Why is Earth the only planet not named after a Roman God?


(Worldkings) Have you ever stopped and wondered why “Earth” is the only planet not named after a god?


In nearly every language, Earth is a variation of that word. “Terra” in Portuguese, “Dünya” in Turkish, “Aarde” in Dutch, “Tierra” in Spanish. The common thread here is they all came from the same meaning “ground” or “soil” — in Latin, “terra”. That word is also associated with the goddess Terra Mater (Gaea to the Greeks). In mythology, she was the first goddess on Earth and the mother of Uranus. The name Earth comes from Old English and Germanic. It is derived from “eor(th)e” and “ertha,” which mean “ground.” Other civilizations all over the world also developed terms for our planet.




The name probably came from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘erda’, which has a germanic equivalent ‘erde’, meaning “ground” or “soil”. In old English, the word evolved into “ertha”. There is also speculation that it came from an Indo-European language which base is ‘er’.

Translations of the Bible into English was one of the earliest recorded use of the name Earth — “God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.”

But why not a God?

That is because, funny enough, people didn’t consider Earth a planet. Planets were these distant stars in the sky akin to how a God would likely look to a human.

For people back then, “Earth” was more of a setting. The elements that made up existence were water, air, fire and earth. Our “earth” came from this. It’s simply “the ground” or what’s not “the sea”.




Later, of course, thinkers and civilizations theorized that we were standing on a planet too but by the time this was confirmed we had already kept the Roman names for the planets and we have called our planet “Earth” for centuries.

Bonus Fact: The Earth is gradually slowing down. Every few years we need to add an extra second to make up for lost time. It is believed that millions of years ago, a day on Earth was ~20 hours long and that in a few million years, a day on Earth will be 27 hours long.

Source: medium.com




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