Ethanol is often referred to as ‘ethyl alcohol’ or simply ‘alcohol’. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Ethyl is a contraction of the Ancient Greek αἰθήρ (aithḗr, “upper air”) and the Greek word ὕλη (hýlē, “substance”).
Ethanol is naturally produced by the fermentation of sugar and starch crops (e.g. sugar cane, sugar beet, maize, wheat, rye, potatoes, etc) by yeasts or via petrochemical or fossil feedstock (i.e. oil derivatives, coal).