I have constructed an entire star system with two intelligent species in it. One of them is a human species which developed on a large moon of a gas giant. Now I know that technically moons are not planets but would it be terminologically wrong for the humans to call this world their 'home planet'? And on that note, is it weird to place humans on a moon? (It's a very big one, though, slightly larger than Ganymede.)

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    $\begingroup$ If it doesn't sound right, "homeworld" carries the same meaning but is a little more generic to different things that might count as worlds — moons, giant rotating stations, etc. $\endgroup$
    – parasoup
    Jul 31, 2020 at 20:48
  • $\begingroup$ Living on one is one thing, evolving there is another issue. But I figured it wouldn't be unfeasible. $\endgroup$
    – 1995inHUN
    Jul 31, 2020 at 20:53
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    $\begingroup$ It seems to me that beyond definitions (which you seem quite aware of), it's just a matter of author's choice. The only answers you could get to this would be opinion-based, not supported by facts/citations or expertise. $\endgroup$ Jul 31, 2020 at 21:35
  • $\begingroup$ @parasoup a home body or home celestial body would be interesting though. They still laugh at Uranus. Imagine how much jokes you can make with that. $\endgroup$
    – Trioxidane
    Aug 1, 2020 at 11:10
  • $\begingroup$ That's funny because English is not my native tongue and once I actually had to explain to someone why English-speakers laugh at Uranus. It was rather awkward. $\endgroup$
    – 1995inHUN
    Aug 1, 2020 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


Technically speaking, a moon is not a planet. However, every culture has its own slang, so there's no reason that the humans on that moon wouldn't popularly refer to it as their "home planet."

The Oxford English Dictionary records a sense of the word "planet" that rhetorically refers to a faraway place, so it's not unprecedented to use the word in a non-litteral sense:

In figurative contexts, indicating detachment from ordinary existence. Esp. in phrases, as another planet, a different planet, etc., and in rhetorical questions ( what planet is —— on?). Also prefixed to a noun designating a particular state or sphere distant from ordinary life (colloquial (humorous)).


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