One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Originally: the simplest pinacol, 1,4-dimethylpropan-2,3-diol, (CH₃)₂(OH)C—C(OH)(CH₃)₂. In later use: any pinacol.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Henry Watts (1815–1884), chemist. From German Pinakon from ancient Greek πινακ-, πίναξ (in allusion to the fact that the hydrated form of the compound crystallizes in thin tablets) + German -on. Compare French pinacone.
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