How Did Earth Get Its Name?

Planet Earth.

The third rock from the sun.

Our home.

Planet Earth has been around for four and a half billion years…but how long has it

been called Earth for and who gave it its name?

Hello and welcome back to Life’s Biggest Questions, the channel that looks to answer

a plethora of queries from since to space, history to popculture and more.

I am your host Rebecca Felgate and today I am asking How Did Earth Get its Name?

Before we jump into answering this question – I want to ask you guys what your favourite

planet outside of earth is?

Mine is Saturn.

Also while you are down there leaving me a comment, why don’t you hit that thumbs up

button and subscribe to Life’s Biggest Questions if you haven’t yet.

Also do stick around until the end of the video where I will be reading your comments

from a previous video.

So Earth.

Earth is the English language name for our planet.

It isn’t actually the universal name for our rock.

In Spanish it is Tierra, in Dutch it is Aarde, Swedish, Jorden…and Erda in some Germanic


The one thing they tend to have in common is that they are all rough translations that

also synonym soil or ground.

So the generally accepted universal name is roughly translatable in most languages.

It is the only one of the planets in our solar system that has not been named after a Greek

or Roman God or Goddess.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto.

The earliest named among them were first spotted around 5 BCE, although I say that – this

is when their names were first recorded... a lot of them are visible to the naked eye

and could have had different names and understandings from other ancient civilisations who just

didn’t write them down.

The word Earth itself started appearing in text around the 8th Century AD, but Earth

is the only planet not named after a Greek or Roman God, which seems to suggest that

it was named before we had an awareness of other planets…which means the name must

go back much further than it has been documented.

In terms of WHO named the Earth, we simply can’t tell you – it is likely there was

not just one individual, but rather a general consensus as to the name.

It makes sense really – words like ground, soil, terrain, earth - it is something we

have always stood on – something tangible and constant, something even our earliest

of human ancestors would have understood.

Our understanding that we walk on something hard led us to give it a name, and as that

hard ground seemed constant in multiple places, it is likely that multiple adopted that name

as to better communicate.

The word earth was further perpetuated in the King James Bible of 1611 – which reads

God called the dry land Earth – in Genesis 1.10 – but of course by the time that baby

was written, we were already calling it Earth anyway…so…

I mean….if God did name it Earth, he probably should have written that one down and left

some evidence so we could credit him properly.Ahem…moving on.

The lasting point here really is, when it comes to etymology – some words have existed

longer than our ability to write them down.

Something to consider… like..sure….we call it Earth and everyone basically seems

cool with that from one translation to another, but do you think animals have a different

word for it?

We assume that animals don’t really get planets… but I wonder if they have their

own understandings of the land?

Also, I wonder if aliens, if they exist and know about us, have a different name for it.

We go around naming things in our solar system, in our galaxy, but they might not be the names

they would pick for themselves, if they could.

Imagine, for example, we found life on Jupiter and all the Jupiter aliens were like….

What is a Jupiter… our home is called shhnaagokwe.

What are words anyway.

Sounds like a philosophical distraction, Rebecca, not an answer.

How astute of you.

I am sorry.

Ultimately, we don’t know exactly who named our planet so the story of how we became known

as earth is incomplete.

We can only assume a lot of people looked down, decided on a soily, ground sounding

word, and we called it that because it made sense.

So guys, who do you think first coined the name earth?

What would you call it now if you had the choice…also don’t forget to tell me your

favourite planet?

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