from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. Any element from group 15 of the periodic table; nitrogen, phosphorus, arsenic, antimony and bismuth.
From Ancient Greek πνίγειν (pnigein, "to choke, to stifle") (a property of nitrogen) + -gen, with -t- in some forms, perhaps by analogy with pnictide. (Wiktionary)
The terms pnictogen and chalcogen are dear to my heart, yet they are just pretentious ways of saying nitrogen family and oxygen family.