From Hull AWE
Crystal is one of the 117 mis-spellings listed as 'Common difficulties' in the section on 'Spelling' within 'Writing' in UEfAP. It is spelled correctly here.
- Until the nineteenth century (and it is not unknown for students even now), the word was often written with an '-h-' after the 'c-'. This is an error; but it is accepted as one spelling of the forename (Chrystal), which has found some use as a surname.
- Etymological note: Hanks, Hardcastle and Hodges (2006) suggest that the spelling Chrystal for the forename may be "influenced by Greek khrysos [Ï‡ÏÏ…ÏƒÎ¿Ï‚] 'gold'." It may also be a result of English being impressed by the 'exotic' nature of the Greek letter Ï‡ ('Chi'); but the Greek original of 'crystal' is ÎºÏÏÏƒÏ„Î±Î»Î»Î¿Ï‚ ('krustallos') 'clear ice', written with a Îº (kappa, ~ our '-k-') and not Ï‡. This is related to the later ÎºÏÏ…ÏƒÏ„Î±Î¯Î½ÎµÏƒÎ¸Î±Î¹ 'to be congealed', and thus linked to ÎºÏÏÎ¿Ï‚ 'frost', which gives modern science its cryogenic studies, dealing with very low temperatures. (It is also related to 'crust', from Latin crusta 'rim', 'hard shell'; the congealed (solid) surface of a liquid original - as ice is of water.)