Trivia

Hard

The Compound Nicotine Is Named After A?

British Chemist
French Ambassador
American Farmer
Greek God
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

Numbers Used To Identify Something Are Known As?

Trivia

Easy

The First Gold Bar Vending Machine Was Located In?

Trivia

Hard

What Ubiquitous Insects Are Actually Crustaceans?

Trivia

Hard

Male Mosquitoes Feed Exclusively On?

Trivia

Hard

Which Popular Website’s Name Is The Result Of A Misspelling?

Trivia

Hard

Which Of These Pine Tree Species Require Forest Fires To Propagate?

Trivia

Very Hard

NASA Modeled The Apollo Re-entry Modules After What Naturally Occurring Shape?

Trivia

Very Hard

Which Of These Bird Species Spends More Time Aloft Than Any Other?

Trivia

Very Hard

In 1910, America Seriously Considered Setting Up Large Scale Ranches For Farming?

Trivia

Hard

To Aid In Maintenance Urban Planners In Melbourne Australia Assigned Email Addresses To What City Feature?