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A flame, showing a quantity of heat δQ, in the form of an inexact differential, coming out of the flame.

In thermodynamics, heat (TR:1295) (LH:40) (TL:1335|#14), symbol "Q", meaning "Quantity" of heat (Lavoisier, 1783), or Delta Q.jpg (Clausius, 1865), meaning inexact differential unit of heat, refers to []



The term "heat", from the Middle English hete and haete and old English hat meaning "hot".[1] Language variants include: Old High German heiza and hizza, German hitze, or Danish hitte, and Greek haetu and haeto, to name a few.[2] All of these, in turn, are word cypher based term derived, in some way, to the Greek letter “eta” η, or “heth” in Phoenician (1050BC), which is behind the letter “H” in modern English alphabet.[3] Precise etymology beyond this, however, is inexact.

What we do know, nevertheless, is that in c.1000BC the Greeks, e.g. as later found in the works of Hesiod and Homer, called the Egyptian sun god by the name Helios (NE:318), and also the Egyptian city of An by the name “Heliopolis”, meaning city of the sun”. Subsequently, the “H” part of the word “heat” has a sun or sun god based meaning. The NE-value for “eta” is “306” which renders in secret name in the words: “faith” (or trust) and or boy (Barry, 1999). This seems to yield little information?

Eta (8th letter) = H | Ennead: generates the sun (heat)

A diagram of the Egyptian Ennead, aka 8-god family, giving birth to the sun, which releases "heat". The word heat starts with the letter "H", which derives from the Greek letter eta, symbol: Ή, η, which is the 8th letter of the Greek alphabet. This, presently, is the best etymological explanation for the word "heat".

The numerical value of eta, however, is “8”[4], which is symbolic of the Greek Ogdoad, which, according to the creation myth of Hermopolis, aka Hermopolis creation myth, is what gave birth or engendered the sun, i.e. the sun was born out of "water", water being defined as the first principle, according to the Egyptians and later Thales, as shown below:  

Hence, as "eta" (or H), or "the eight" (gods) of Hermopolis, engendered the sun, so to do we now find many H-related (aka eta-related) terms, e.g. "heat", "hot", hot body, hotness, etc., defined as sun-related or warmth-connected or themed words.


The following are related quotes:

“It must not be thought that heat generates motion or motion heat — though in some respects this is true — but that very essence of heat or the substantial self of heat is motion and nothing else.”
Francis Bacon (1620), New Instruments [5]

End matter


  1. Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, 2000.
  2. Battino, Rubin; Wood, Scott E.; Strong, Laurence E. (1997). “A Brief History of Thermodynamics Notation” (abs) (pdf), Journal of Chemical Education, 74(3):304-05.
  3. Alphabet – Hmolpedia 2020.
  4. See also: "888".
  5. (a) Bacon, Francis. (1620). New Instruments: True Suggestions for the Interpretation of Nature (Novum Organum) (pg. 165). London: William Pickering, 1850.
    (b) Tyndall, John. (1875). Heat Considered as a Mode of Motion (Appendix to Chapter II, pgs. 50-51). D. Appleton and Co.
    (c) Novum Organum (New Instruments) – Wikipedia.

External links

  • Heat – Hmolpedia 2020.