Silicon is a chemical element with symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a tetravalent metalloid, more reactive than germanium, the metalloid directly below it in the table. Controversy about silicon's character dates to its discovery. It was first prepared and characterized in pure form in 1823. In 1808, it was given the name silicium (from Latin: silex, hard stone or flint), with an -ium word-ending to suggest a metal, a name which the element retains in several non-English languages. However, its final English name, first suggested in 1817, reflects the more physically similar elements carbon and boron.