One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: †a divalent radical =CH or =C, believed to exist in carbyl sulphate and some other compounds (obsolete). In later use: any radical whose point of attachment to other atoms is a carbon atom (a less specific term than alkyl, aryl, etc.).
Mid 19th century. From carbo- + -yl, after German Carbyl and French carbyle.
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