One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An aluminosilicate mineral resembling talc, occurring as white or pale-coloured foliated masses which exfoliate when heated.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal. From pyro- + ancient Greek ϕύλλον leaf + -ite, after German Pyrophyllit, so called on account of its exfoliation when heated.
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