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Today, I learned that $\ce{N_3^-}$ is referred to as azide. I was wondering why $\ce{N_3^-}$ is referred to as azide. I checked Wikipedia for an answer, but I didn't find one. Does anyone know why this ion is assigned this name?

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  • $\begingroup$ dictionary.com says it's azo- + -ide. $\endgroup$ – f'' Jul 16 '16 at 16:26
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    $\begingroup$ Speaking of which, azidoazide azide, unsurprisingly has only Nitrogen and explodes upon any stimulus (including a bright light). [unrelated but a cool fact] $\endgroup$ – noɥʇʎԀʎzɐɹƆ Jul 16 '16 at 22:03
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Nitrogen was originally called 'azote' by Lavoisier. This name persists in many nitrogen containing species such as azide, hydrazine, diazonium etc.

The '-ide' ending is the standard ending for anions of a single element such as carbide, oxide, sulfide etc.

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Bon explains in their answer that

Nitrogen was originally called 'azote' by Lavoisier.

And it was called 'azote' because living things cannot survive in the gas.

From Greek a- "not, without" [...] + zoion "a living being;" [...] coined in French by Lavoisier & de Morveau because living things cannot survive in the gas.

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=azo-&allowed_in_frame=0

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