Why Do We Call Our Planet “Earth”?

The planet Earth is known as Terra in Portuguese, Dünya in Turkish, and Aarde in Dutch. The English name for our planet is thought to go back at least 1,000 years, derived from the Anglo-Saxon erda or ertha and its Germanic equivalent, erde. All of these terms have similar etymologies, essentially meaning “ground” or “soil.” But there is no definitive way to know how exactly Earth got its name. Interestingly, it’s the only planet in the Solar System not named after a Greek or Roman god or goddess.

Third rock from the Sun:

  • The Romans named the five planets that are visible from Earth. Venus, the planet that appears the brightest, was named after the Roman goddess of beauty. Mars was named after the god of war.
  • Saturn is named after the Roman god of agriculture, and Jupiter was named for the king of the Roman gods.
  • The German-British astronomer William Herschel, who discovered Uranus in 1781, wanted to call it Georgium Sidus ("George's Star") after King George III. The name wasn't particularly popular outside of Britain, and some argued that the planet should have a mythological name. The name Uranus (father of Saturn and grandfather of Jupiter) was officially adopted in 1850.
More Info: Live Science

Discussion Comments


Apparently God the Creator and Owner of earth named His planet earth from His created caretaker of the earth, man. According to Genesis, the first human being was named Adam by God, meaning earth. Yes Adam in Hebrew means earth or soil or ground. Our planet got its name from us when we were still in innocence and purity. Then we named the rest of our solar system after our fall into sin. What else could fallen humanity have named these planets but the names of pagan gods? That was the much we knew, and still know.

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