Why is our planet named Earth?
Err..I mean..Why are the other planets named after Roman gods and goddesses? Where did they get "earth"?
I don't need the root word or etymology of the name Earth, people.. I just need the reason why our planet is named Earth. :D
- JiberishLv 41 decade agoFavorite Answer
Old English eorþe.
Basically an Old English word for dirt or ground
- campbelp2002Lv 71 decade ago
It is just a name. There is nothing special about it. Earth is the ground under our feet and special stars in the sky that moved from constellation to constellation were gods, as far as ancient people were concerned. After modern science found that those stars were planets orbiting the Sun, and Earth was just like them orbiting the Sun too, only then did it become reasonable to think about the ground under our feet and those special stars in the sky in the same way, but by then all people in the world had been using these names this way for thousands of years. Forcing people to change that would have been a million times more controversial than the recent demoting of Pluto from planet to dwarf planet. Just imagine the uproar if every one of the 6 billion people in the world was told that they could not call our home planet Earth any more, but had to start calling it by the name of some Roman god to satisfy some astronomers who thought Earth was not a name that fit the pattern of all the other planet's names!
You should not complain about answers that mention etymology, because that is really the basis of names. It is WHY the names are what they are. And you DID ask WHY the name is what it is. The name is all about language and not about planets or science. Names are a language thing, not a science thing.
- dansinger61Lv 61 decade ago
The ancient civilizations looked up to the sky and saw that some of the shiny things moved against the fixed backdrop of stars. They assumed in their simplicity that these moving things in the sky must be gods of great power, and so they named them and made up stories about them. Such is the nature of simple folk with no science to resort to. However, while looking up and seeing all of this, the were standing on the GROUND (Latin TERRA, Old English EORTHE). They didn't realize that the TERRA/EORTHE that the were standing on was just another of those shiny things that move around in the sky, so they did NOT call it a god and invent a mythology about it. (Actually, that's not entirely true -- there are whole mythologies just dealing with the spirits that inhabit the ground and water and the flora and fawna, but that's a different story.) By the time anyone got around to realizing we lived on a planet, everyone was already calling it by whatever local name they had for "ground / dirt / this thing we live on", which, in English, became Earth.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Strictly speaking it isn't. Many cultures have different languages which have other words, although most mean earth as in soil. Here is a list of languages and the associated planetary names:
It would certainly be nice if everyone on earth could agree on one word for our planet. How hard could that be. Science Fiction fans have been familiar with the use of Terra for over half a century as a great word. But as far as I know the only word that is sort of universal is OK. Pitiful.
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- David SLv 51 decade ago
You can rename it if you like. Let's call it Juno.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
mother earth... there you go.