Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
About the etymology
In the etymology of this word the following text appears currently:
- From Latinized Greek electrinus "made of amber", from Ancient Greek ἤλεκτρον (elektron) "amber", from ἠλέκτωρ (elektor) "shiny, bright", from ἥλιος (helios) "sun".
- Is it electrinus or electricus?. The word ἠλεκτρικός is not in my dictionary but it does not seem to be an improbable ancient Greek word. Is it electrinus a typo or was electricus never used in Latin centuries ago?.
- According to my dictionary of ancient Greek (634 pages thick, small type, pocket sized, hand bound, probably quite more than sixty years old, bought in a secon-hand bookshop and with no mention of the author, the editor or the place where it was printed whatsoever but a good one) ἠλέκτωρ is a masculine noun meaning just "the sun". The ending of the word is not a adjectival Greek one. If the root means "to shine", it would mean "the shining one" or "the radiant one" rather than "shiny" or "radiant".
- The same dictionary, immediately after the definition, goes on thus (the words between square brackets are mine): «as if ἀλέκτωρ [cockerel], fr. α 1 [negative prefix, 'without', '-less'], and λέκτρον [bed], Κ.Η.ζ, 513.» ... i.e. along with the suffix "-ωρ" (English "er") it would mean something like "bed remover" (a good nickname for a cockerel, I guess). This makes me think that the etymology may be more complex than that stated in the article. I do not know what the reference "Κ.Η.ζ, 513" is but this could be one of those cases where a blending of concepts and similar words get together to make up a "catchy clever" word. It might be as well an ancient folk etymology, though. According to this, the origin of the Greek word elektron is unknown...--Piolinfax 12:17, 13 August 2006 (UTC)
- As for question 1: "electricus", which was coined in w:De Magnete in 1600, so it's "New Latin", apparently... I'm writing about the etymology on Wikipedia in w:quantity of electricity (though this might be moved to a different title).
- It also appears that "electric" could be used as a noun originally; a piece of amber would be called "an electric" to signify that it could hold a charge. Omegatron 00:13, 16 July 2007 (UTC)