Question from Margot L.:
In a previous post, you stated that aspirin used to be a trademark name. Where did the name aspirin come from?
Aspirin was the brand name given to acetylsalicylic acid by Bayer Corporation of Germany. The name aspirin was derived from the ingredients in the drug. The “a” came from the first letter of the product’s scientific name, acetylsalicylic acid. The “spir” came from the plant Spirea ulmaria, the meadowsweet plant, which was the original source of the compound. The “in” used for the ending was a common ending for medicine at the time.
Bayer was forced to give up trademark rights in U.S., England, France, and Russia in 1919 as part of the Treaty of Versailles. Today, aspirin is the common named used for acetylsalicylic acid in many countries.