One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A saturated hydrocarbon which is a colourless oil and occurs in the liver oils of certain sharks and related species; 2,6,10,14-tetramethyl pentadecane, C₁₉H₄₀.
1920s; earliest use found in Journal of the Chemical Society. From German Pristan from classical Latin pristis large fish or sea mammal, sometimes identified with the sawfish + German -an.
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