Trivia

Hard

The Compound Nicotine Is Named After A?

French Ambassador
Greek God
British Chemist
American Farmer
An 1876 engraving depicting Jean Nicot  de Villemain.
Albin Michel/Wikimedia

Answer: French Ambassador

Nicotine is a very potent parasympathomimetic alkaloid, found in the nightshade family of plants, that acts as a stimulant in the human nervous system. It’s also, as both smokers and non-smokers alike know, a very addictive compound.

While the name of the compound was assigned based on the plant in which it was found (nicotine was first discovered in analysis of the plant Nicotiana tabacum), we can in turn trace the scientific name of the plant back and arrive at the real origin of nicotine’s name.

In 1560, the French ambassador to Portugal, Jean Nicot de Villemain, sent bundles of tobacco and seeds to Paris to be presented to King Henry II. He promoted the use of tobacco as a medicinal drug and through both his influence and the social power of those he sold on the idea of regular tobacco consumption (such as the Father Superior of Malta and the queen mother Catherine de’ Medici), the use of tobacco spread quickly throughout French society.

Trivia

Hard

What Is The Only Other Body In Our Solar System With Surface Liquid?

Trivia

Hard

Which U.S. State Has The Longest Official Name?

Trivia

Hard

In Hong Kong, The Majority Of Residents Flush Their Toilets With?

Trivia

Hard

The Only Warm Blooded Fish In The World Is The?

Trivia

Hard

Which Video Game Features A Boss Who Mocks Your Real Life Video Game Preferences?

Trivia

Hard

What Modern Computer Term Derives Its Name From Metal Casting?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Film Directors Planted 500 Acres Of Corn To Avoid Using CGI?

Trivia

Hard

A Common Spike Used In Surveying Is Made From The Old Parts Of?

Trivia

Hard

Whose Intervention Ensured Star Trek Saw The Light Of Day?

Trivia

Very Hard

What Technology Company Was Almost Called “Syzygy”?