Asked by: Aisha Elliot, Stubbington
The Greeks and Romans named most of the planets in the Solar System after particular gods, and we have kept those names in English. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, all unknown in classical times, were named by the modern astronomers who discovered them, but still after Greek and Roman gods. Earth is the one exception. Its name, according to the official gazetteer of planetary discovery, comes from the Indo-European base ‘er’, which produced the Germanic noun ‘ertho’, the modern German ‘erde’, Dutch ‘aarde’, Danish and Swedish ‘jord’, and English ‘earth’.
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