Planet Dirt YKTTW Discussion

Planet Dirt
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(permanent link) added: 2011-04-12 05:05:10 sponsor: AFP edited by: IchigoMontoya (last reply: 2014-12-17 21:40:43)

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Ah, those humans. A very proud people, with a powerful military, ambitious merchants, expanding their influence throughout the universe. Truly, they must be very special. It does seem that they really dropped the ball when they decided on what to call their homeworld. Earth.

You know, as in "Dirt."

This trope is for when a homeworld, rather than being named for its people, or having some other poetic or epic name, is named for what it was known as back before anyone traveled in space. Essentially, dirt, rock, soil, or even earth. At some point in a culture's development, they never got around to changing the name of their homeworld to something more impressive sounding.

Related to Planet Terra.


  • Babylon 5 is the Trope Namer, with the narrator of the novelization of the Made-for-TV film In The Beginning remarking on how the humans of that universe, for a time, seemed to be uniquely uninspired when it came to how they approached things, naming their planet for the stuff you walk on.
  • In Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters, you meet an alien race, the Supox, who claim to be from the planet Earth. Not your Planet Earth, but rather one on the far corner of the quadrant. It just so happened that this was how the Universal Translator decided to translate their name, being derived from their word for "Perfectly good and nutritious dirt".
  • One of the human colonies in Space: Above and Beyond was named Tellus. Which is, of course, an alternate Latin name for Earth.
  • In The Stainless Steel Rat books, no one really remembers if the ancient Earth That Was was called "Dirt" or "Earth".
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has Jetfire saying that Earth is a terrible name for a planet and may as well be called "Planet Dirt".
  • Subverted in Ursula K. Le Guin's novel The Word For World Is Forest. All sentient species in the universe are descended from the Hainish people (including humans on Earth), who generally use the word "dirt" in different languages for the various inhabited planets. The planet Athshe, however, is an exception. Athshe is inhabited by modified Hainish people who live in trees. Their word for the world is "forest".
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