Molecules with silly or unusual names

Molecules with silly or unusual names

Paul W May 

London, UK: Imperial College Press 2008 | 188pp ?17.00 (SB) ISBN 9781848162075 

Reviewed by John Unwin 

This extremely funny book is a compilation of the popular website in which Paul May from the chemistry department at Bristol University has for several years revealed chemical names which have been given to structures through the application of humour rather than IUPAC rules. 


Included are old favourites like arsole, housane, draculin, erectone, fartox etc. Who says chemists have no sense of humour?

One deficiency of this book is the lack of an index to the silly and unusual names, but I am sure that it would make an excellent present for a chemist, giving hours of enjoyment over the holiday period.