- From the Old French salpetre, from Late Latin sāl petrae ("stone salt; possibly "salt of Petra""). (Wiktionary)
“Under normal circumstances the vast majority of this saltpetre is used for fertilizer purposes.”
“Now, since saltpetre is among the most important of these substances, particularly in those countries which possess neither large mineral coal deposits nor cheap hydro-electric power, the artificial production of ammonia and nitric acid has reached an unprecedented degree of importance.”
“Mention of this substance is made in (Proverbs 25: 20) -- "and as vinegar upon nitre" -- and in (Jeremiah 2: 26) The article denoted is not that which we now understand by the term nitre i.e. nitrate of Potassa -- "saltpetre" -- but the nitrum of the Latins and the natron or native carbonate of soda of modern chemistry.”
“And I wonder much at a rabble of foolish philosophers and physicians, who spend their time in disputing whence the heat of the said waters cometh, whether it be by reason of borax, or sulphur, or alum, or saltpetre, that is within the mine.”
“Iodates are found associated with Chili saltpetre, which is an important source of the element.”
“They can produce ices at any season, by saltpetre, which is here abundant and procured at a small price; but strange as it may appear, considering the climate, we have regular collections of ice made in January, in most of the stations in the Upper Provinces, generally under the superintendence of an English gentleman, who condescends to be the comptroller.”
“Other important products of the earth are saltpetre, which is found in the Elburz, and in Azerbijan; sulphur, which abounds in the same regions, and likewise on the high plateau; alum, which is quarried near”
The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 3. (of 7): Media The History, Geography, And Antiquities Of Chaldaea, Assyria, Babylon, Media, Persia, Parthia, And Sassanian or New Persian Empire; With Maps and Illustrations.
“The two manufactures produce about three Kantars, or fifteen or sixteen quintals per month of saltpetre, which is sold at about fifteen shillings per quintal.”
“The whole of the Loehf, or limits of the Ledja, is productive of saltpetre, which is sold at Damascus and Acre; I saw it sold near the lake of Tiberias for double the price which it costs in the Loehf.”
“Ledja, is productive of saltpetre, which is sold at Damascus and Acre; I saw it sold near the lake of Tiberias for double the price which it costs in the Loehf.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘saltpetre’.
All these terms have a (different) American English equivalent. Wonder if you can identify them?
A selection of words from the epic by Victor Hugo
For those who wish no words were ever forgotten
1815 edition; ed. William Burney (London: Chatham Publishing, 2006).
Looking for tweets for saltpetre.