I hope you are not utterly disappointed to learn that it's arbitrary syllable dropping. Ytterby means 'outer village' and contains the word I just mentioned in another thread. Not surprisingly there are several other Ytterby, including one not far from here. /bpj Den söndagen den 16:e december 2012 skrev Eric Christopherson: > On Dec 11, 2012, at 7:59 PM, Herman Miller wrote: > > > But eventually the discoverers of elements run out of ideas for names > and start naming them after places and people. We've got four elements > named after Ytterby, Sweden. > > Sort of off-topic -- I've wondered for a while what the *linguistic* > connection between those four elements' names is; e.g. are there four > dialect forms for the village? or were (partial) syllables just dropped > arbitrarily dropped from the base name ytterbium? > > I do know there's a surname Yttri, which I would *think* would be the > actual origin of _yttrium_.