Carl Wilhelm Scheele and Joseph Priestley discovered oxygen, but
Antoine Lavoisier named it oxygène, meaning
“acid-former” in Greek. Lavoisier also named
Cavendish’s inflammable air hydrogène,
“water-former” in Greek, because it produces water
when it is burned.
It is strange that water extinguishes a fire when both of
its components, hydrogen and oxygen, are highly reactive, but
water seldom extinguishes a fire by smothering it; instead, the
heat of the fire vaporizes the water, and the energy required for
this starves the fire of the heat needed for the chain reaction.
Also a vocabulary note. In English,
“inflammable” and “flammable” have the
See also in The book of science:
Readings on wikipedia: