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Contributor Contrib.anonymous on 7/10/2007
Derived from obsidian, the English name for a specific type of volcanic glass. The name is ultimately derived from Latin obsidianus meaning "of Obsidius", after the Roman (also called Obsius in some instances) who supposedly was the first to discover this type of volcanic glass. The name Obsidius is possibly a corruption of Opsidius, which is apparently a very obscure Roman nomen gentile.** Etymologically, Opsidius may be a more elaborate form of OPSIUS. It could also be Oscan in origin, in which case it may have been derived from Oscan úpsed meaning "worked, laboured" (which would thus make the name related to OPPIUS). Last but not least, if the discoverer's name was Obsius rather than Obsidius, then his name was probably a corruption of OPSIUS. In either case the etymology is very similar. Finally, in popular culture, Obsidian is the name of a character in the "Transformers" franchise as well as a character in a comic published by DC Comics.** Please see page 638 of the book "The Italic Dialects" written by Robert Seymour Conway.