What element is the letter "K" a symbol for on the Periodic Table?
Well, that threw you for a loop, didn't it? OK, we will explain. Potassium gets its name from the English word "Potash". The "K" comes from "kalium" which was the Medieval Latin word for potash. And scientists love their Latin, hence, the K. You know what scientists are not a fan of? Puns. As we've mentioned before, we added four new heavy metals to the periodic table this year. A petition went around asking for one of those metals to be named after the lead singer of Motörhead, "Lemmy" Kilmister, but science said "no thanks." Elements have to be named after a scientist, mythological concept, mineral, or a place, property or country- not after actual heavy metal. We say just call it the Periodic Table of "Lemmy"-ments. Source: Live Science and Los Alamos National Laboratory