Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by kayla. kayla Wonders, “We wonder how the Earth got its name. Who named it? Is it the same word in every language? ” Thanks for WONDERing with us, kayla!
Do you know your address? We hope so! Most children learn to memorize their address early on in their school careers, since they need to be able to tell a teacher where they live if they happen to miss the bus home.
In addition to the street you live on, an address includes additional information like the city, state, and country that you live in.Your complete address allows mail to reach you and people to visit you.
Did you know that there's one part of your address that is the same as everyone else in the world? In fact, it's so obvious that we don't even include it as part of your address. What is it? Your planet: Earth!
Since we all live on Earth, we don't have to include Earth as part of our address. It's not like we're going to send mail to anywhere other than Earth, right? In fact, we all call our planet Earth…or do we? And how did we come up with the name Earth to begin with?
Earth actually does not have the same name in every language. Like most words and names, Earth has its own unique name in each of the many different languages around the globe. Let's take a look at the English word "Earth" first.
Although it might not seem like it at first glance, Earth is a very unique name when it comes to the planets. Earth is the only planet in our solar system not named after a Greek or Roman god. As astronomy developed and other planets were discovered, scientists turned to Greek and Roman mythology for names for these heavenly bodies.
Earth, however, already had its name long before these other planets were discovered. Long, long ago, prehistoric people didn't know a lot about the composition of our planet. Sure, they would have known about a river, stream or even an ocean near where they lived, but they could not have had any idea that approximately 70% of Earth's surface was covered with water. They did, however, know the ground beneath their feet -- how it looked and felt.
It's no surprise, then, that "Earth" came from the Anglo-Saxon word "erda" and the German word "erde," both of which mean ground or soil. The Old English version of these words became "eor(th)e" or "ertha," which eventually became "Earth." In fact, one of the earliest recorded uses of the name Earth can be traced back to the translation of the Bible into English.
So how should you refer to your home planet when you visit another country? In Spanish, you'd call it Tierra. Other versions of Earth include Aarde (Dutch), Terre (French), Jorden (Norwegian), Nchi (Swahili), and Bumi (Indonesian).