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Re: Names Of Planets

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Posted by Anthony in Seattle/">Anthony in Seattle on October 23, 1999 21:07:52 UTC

: My wife is driving me crazy! Can anyone direct me to the answer or source to the following question?: Who gave "EARTH" the name "EARTH" ??? OR ANY OF THGE OTHER PLANETS.

: Any help would be appreciated.

Okay, this is not really an astronomy question, but an etymology question. The word "earth" may be a thousand years old (Middle English spelling "earthe"), and was in use long before anyone conceived of other worlds besides this one. Its original meaning did not include the connotation of "planet," but simply meant the land, the soil, the stuff beneath our feet. Even when other planets were discovered, this was still "THE earth," with other planets just being distant celestial curiosities. Its roots are in ancient Germanic, and it is related to the Ancient Swedish word "eorde," the German "erde," the Dutch "aarde," and the modern Danish and Swedish "jord." Earth was called that long before it was a planet.

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