One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mineral of the sodalite group, a silicate and sulphate of sodium and aluminium, Na₈Al₆Si₆O₂₄(SO₄), that crystallizes in the cubic system and occurs in phonolites and related volcanic rocks.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Thomson. From the name of K. W. Nose, German geologist who described the mineral + -an, after German Nosian.
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