There are "common names" for all of the s and p block groups of elements (alkali metals, alkaline earth metals, icosagens, crystallogens, pnicto­gens, chal­co­gens, halo­gens, noble gases) (although some of those aren't that common), "Trivial names" for some of those aswell (triels, tetrels, pentels), and up to d-block referring to a group as "the litest element in said group" group/family is accepted nomenclature.
What my question is is has there ever been a name used in any reasonable capacity or even proposed for any periods of the table beyond just period #? ie. is there any name I can use for the set of elements containing just H and He.
Period 6 and 7 f-block elements have commonly used names and this is kinda what I am looking for but not quite.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ What would be the point in that? Also if you know triels, tetrels, or even some icosagens, I've likely never heard about, then I doubt we got much to add. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Oct 1, 2023 at 17:13

2 Answers 2


Though I don't know of terms for each row, there are a few that describe a horizontal section of the periodic table.

  1. Astronomers refer to anything other than H and He (first period) as metals, so in that usage, the first period would be "nonmetals"... This hardly a useful chemistry definition, though ;-)

  2. Lanthanides and Actinides are sections of a period, but certainly not the whole row.

  3. Scandides are used for some period-4 elements, though again not a whole row. (courtesy Oscar Lanzi)

  4. Transuranic element is a horizontal set, but also not a single period. The concept is more useful in nuclear physics rather than chemistry.

  5. Heavy metal is far too broad a term, also, and omits nonmetals and alkalis (other than Ra). [BTW, I propose Malmsteenium for the next heavy metal to be created.]

  • $\begingroup$ From the pattern established by Lanthanides, Actinides, and Scandides, for my purposes I am just gonna go with calling each period block combination by the first element in that set with the ending changed to -ides $\endgroup$
    – Anonymous
    Oct 1, 2023 at 16:42
  • $\begingroup$ Alkali-metal "-ides" would also be compounds containing anions of these metals. $\endgroup$ Oct 1, 2023 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ The first extra row on the bottom of the table is known as rare earths. $\endgroup$
    – Joshua
    Oct 2, 2023 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ Also: Coinage Metals $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 14:53
  • $\begingroup$ Coinage metals are not a horizontal period, but rather a group or column with similar properties, e.g., Cu, Ag, Au. The question was for, "a name used in any reasonable capacity or even proposed for any periods of the table." $\endgroup$ Feb 5 at 14:59

The word "scandides" is sometimes used for the Period 4 transition elements from scandium (the namesake) through zinc, particularly in the label "scandide contraction" for what is more commonly called the d-block contraction. As with the lanthanides and actinides, the label does not cover the period as a whole.


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