Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
1660s, from obsolete German Bismuth, also Wismut, Wissmuth (early 17c.), of unknown origin; perhaps a miner's contraction of wis mat "white mass," from Old High German hwiz "white." Latinized 1530 by Georgius Agricola (who may have been the first to recognize it as an element) as bisemutum. According to Klein, not from Arabic.
bismuth bis·muth (bĭz'məth)
A highly diamagnetic metallic element used in various low-melting alloys in castings, solders, and fire-safety devices. Atomic number 83; atomic weight 208.980; melting point 271.4°C; boiling point 1,560°C; specific gravity 9.747; valence 3, 5.
A brittle, pinkish-white, crystalline metallic element that occurs in nature as a free metal and in various ores. Bismuth is the most strongly diamagnetic element and has the highest atomic number of all stable elements. It is used to make low-melting alloys for fire-safety devices. Atomic number 83; atomic weight 208.98; melting point 271.3°C; boiling point 1,560°C; specific gravity 9.747; valence 3, 5. See Periodic Table.