Current name

Turpentine is commonly used to refer to the oil or spirit of turpentine, which is the result of distilling pine resin. After distillation a solid residue remains, called colophony or rosin. According to Kirby, the name turpentine comes from another viscious liquid resin, named Chios turpentine or Cyprus balsem. This resin, however, is unrelated to conifers, but are produced by the trees Pistacia atlantica Desf. and Pistacia terebinthus L. The resin from these trees, called terebinth (and turpentine) was used around the Mediterranean in ancient times for medical purposes, among other ends. In historical recipes the referent of turpentine or terebinth is sometimes clouded and an analysis of the textual context will have to reveal its meaning. 

See also: Turpentine oil, Venice turpentine, Strasbourg turpentine, Turpentine gum, and Terebinth.

Jo Kirby, Susie Nash, and Joanna Cannon, eds. 'the appendix: Pigment Glossary', “Turpentine”, in Trade in Artists’ Materials: Markets and Commerce in Europe to 1700. (London: Archetype Publications, 2010).


Other names: 
Referring to the oil: Aqua de rasa (Italian), Ol. Terbinthinae (German), Terpentinöl (German). Referring the gum: Gummi Terebinthinae vulg. (Latin), Gemein Terpentin (German) Common names: Armentijn, Termentijn, Terpentin, Terpentijn, Torpentyne, Trementina, Turpentyn, Tyrpyntene.
Historical names