23

A brief browse through this list yields some likely candidates:

  • USS Curie -- most likely named after Marie Curie, but could be Pierre Curie or both, or involve Irène Joliot-Curie or Frédéric Joliot-Curie or some combination

  • USS Malinche -- after La Malinche?

  • USS Luna, Amalthea, Rhea, Europa etc -- could be after goddesses, but based on the members of the class, look more likely to be based on names of moons in our solar system

  • Nightingale (VOY) -- is it named for Florence Nightingale?


Related: Are there starships in Star Trek that we know are named after men?

11
  • 5
    The USS T'Kumbra is almost certainly named after a Vulcan woman, given the way Vulcan names work.
    – Micah
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 22:06
  • 1
    Regarding the Luna, Rhea, etc - since the Solar system's moons are named for gods, goddess and other mythical figures why assume the ships are not?
    – HorusKol
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 22:10
  • @HorusKol: Because naming ships that explore space after things in space rather than 3000 year-old mythological entities makes sense at least enough not to be able to conclude it's the other way around. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 22:43
  • 1
    "look more likely to be based on names of moons in our solar system" Which are named after goddesses, so...
    – Polygnome
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 10:07
  • 1
    While not a ship, there is of course the Miranda class of ship, almost certainly named after that one character in Sex and the City. Commented May 24 at 13:07

6 Answers 6

22

Yes

The USS Hera

According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 334), the Hera was a Nebula-class starship with the registry number NCC-62006. The reference work further noted that the Hera was "named for the Greek goddess Hera, wife of Zeus and queen of the gods."

The Vulcan ship T'Pau was named for T'Pau (the Vulcan Matriarch).

The Vulcan ship T'Plana

In an earlier draft, the vessel was known as the T'Plana-Hath, in honor of the matron of Vulcan philosophy. However, the name was shortened during production.

I don't see a USS Nightingale on Memory-Alpha, there is a ship called Nightingale which was named by Ensign Kim and is specifically in reference to Florence Nightingale.

As Kim himself admitted, he named this vessel for Florence Nightingale, whom he described as being known for aiding wounded soldiers on the battlefield.

Assumptions:

In can be assumed that the USS Earhart is named for Amelia Earhart.

3
  • 2
    I think you should promote the Nightingale part. The quote from Kim elevates the canonicity to the top. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 22:47
  • The USS Nightingale is in Star Trek: Bridge Commander, which is Memory Beta territory. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 23:35
  • ThePopMachine - In Star Trek, unlike other science fiction, a starship is defined as an interstellar space craft operated by the Starfleet of the United Federation of Planets. And the word starship is limited to the larger and more powerful classes of Starfleet ships, not couriers, scouts, tankers, freighters, personnel transports, etc., but larger ships capable of exploration or fighting in space battle fleets. Thus The nightingale doesn't count as a starship that the original question asked about. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 17:48
9

There are quite a fair few, mostly named after deities and nymphs

But also at least two named after Earth celebrities

KIM: I think we can do better than that. Nightingale. The name of someone from my homeworld. She was famous for treating wounded soldiers on the battlefield.

and

enter image description here
Star Trek Encyclopedia

6
  • The explicit canon quote about how the ship was named is definitive as it could be, IMO. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 22:44
  • @ThePopMachine - Regardless of which famous person he's talking about, the operative word here is "she"
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 22:47
  • Maybe Kim was referring to the ship herself? (/s) Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 22:49
  • 1
    @ThePopMachine The ship was famous for treating wounded soldiers on the battlefield from his home-world? I don't think so. Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 23:51
  • In Star Trek, unlike other science fiction, a starship is defined as an interstellar space craft operated by the Starfleet of the United Federation of Planets. And the word starship is limited to the larger and more powerful classes of Starfleet ships, not couriers, scouts, tankers, freighters, personnel transports, etc., but larger ships capable of exploration or fighting in space battle fleets. Thus The nightingale doesn't count as a starship that the original question asked about. Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 17:45
5

There are many ships with feminine names but in many cases it is hard to be sure they are named after women.

Here is a list of some possibly named after women I consider uncertain.

  • USS Hathaway - Hathaway is a surname, so a canonical statement that the ship is named after a woman is needed to be sure. Memory Alpha (MA) says: "According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 329), the Hathaway may have been named for Anne Hathaway, William Shakespeare's wife." Thus it is merely speculated who the ship is named after.

  • USS Europa - named after a woman in Greek mythology or after a famous moon of Jupiter. MA says the name is not explained in canon.

  • USS Io - named after a woman in Greek mythology or after a famous moon of Jupiter. The USS Io appears in non canon material and Memory Beta (MB) indicates it is named after the moon.

  • USS Amalthea - named after a female supernatural being in Greek mythology or after a famous moon of Jupiter. Non canon. MB indicates it is named after the moon.

  • USS Callisto - named after a woman or nymph in Greek mythology or after a famous moon of Jupiter. In canon, but name not explained.

  • USS Rhea - Named after a Greek goddess or a famous moon of Saturn, or a genus of large flightless birds. Non canon. Named after the moon of Saturn according to MB.

  • USS Curie - Curie is a surname, so so a canonical statement that the ship is named after a woman is needed to be sure. Non canon. MB indicates it was named after a scientist, so Marie Curie is a good guess.

  • USS Hera - named after the queen of the Greek Gods or asteroid 103 Hera. In canon. MA says: "According to the Star Trek Encyclopedia (4th ed., vol. 1, p. 334), the Hera was a Nebula-class starship with the registry number NCC-62006. The reference work further noted that the Hera was "named for the Greek goddess Hera, wife of Zeus and queen of the gods." Thus a semi canon source claims it was named after the goddess.

  • USS Demeter - named after a Greek goddess or asteroid 1108 Demeter. Not in canon. MB doesn't indicate the source of the name.

  • USS Vesta - named after a Roman goddess or asteroid 4 Vesta. Not in canon. MB says it was named after the goddess.

  • USS Jasmine - named after a female personal name or a genus of flowering plants. Not in canon. MB doesn't explain the name.

  • USS Andromeda - named after a woman in Greek mythology or a constellation including stars in our galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy. All ships named USS Andromeda are non canon. MB indicates the Constellation class USS Andromeda was named after the constellation of Andromeda.

  • USS Nightingale - Nightingale is a surname, so canonical proof that it is named after a women is needed. Or it could be named after a bird. It was named after Florence Nightingale. But since it wasn't a Starfleet vessel it was not a starship.

Thus we see that many of the starships allegedly named after women don't exist in works that are part of official canon. Some of those that are in canon are not named after women, and others are uncertain, so one should not be certain that a ship with a feminne type name is named after a woman.

2
  • 2
    I think you're confusing the USS Nightingale (from the game Star Trek: Bridge Commander) with the Nightingale (from ST:VOY) which is canonically confirmed to be named after Florence Nightingale.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 9:42
  • 2
    I think you're confusing the USS Curie (from the video-game ST: Armada II) with the Curie (a warp-capable shuttlecraft from TNG) that has been canonically confirmed to be named after the physicist Marie Curie.
    – Valorum
    Commented Feb 4, 2018 at 9:44
4

Occam's Razor suggests that your examples are named after women

As an example, let's take the USS Nightingale. There are lots of people who have that surnames including William Nightingale, Mark Nightingale, James Nightingale, or any of dozens of other Nightingales.

Occam's razor suggests that the simplest solution is the correct one. I think that the simplest solution is that Starfleet names their ships after the most famous person to bear that name, or the one who most embodies some characteristic Starfleet aspires to.

Therefore, it's almost certain that the USS Nightingale (a search-and-rescue vessel) is named after Florence Nightingale, who is both famous and known for helping injured people, as a search-and-rescue vessel would do.

Barring any direct in-universe explanation for the meaning of a ship, or any out-of-universe information from the writers who introduced these ships, this is likely the best we're going to get.

4
  • 2
    Yeah, I think Marie Curie is more famous than her husband (Googling "Curie" returns the woman and nothing within sight about her husband). She was pioneering in both radiation and being a respected woman in science.
    – Machavity
    Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 22:51
  • 1
    @Machavity: While I don't disagree, the Nobel Prize in Physics 1903 was awarded to Pierre and Marie Curie as well as Becquerel. She was awarded the 1911 Chemistry Prize independently, but one is forced to at least ask the degree to which she is more famous for being a woman. Basically every time she is mentioned, it's for being a pioneering female scientist. At least in the Star Trek future, one would hope that's not a factor, but we can't know. So I don't think we can really apply Occam's razor on that one. (Like, would Hawking be so famous if his story weren't so compelling?) Commented Feb 2, 2018 at 23:12
  • 1
    @ThePopMachine - I mean, regardless of why she’s more famous, she is. And since these shows were made by US writers from the 20th and 21st centuries, I would place my money on the “Curie” being Marie.
    – Adamant
    Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 0:00
  • 1
    Well yeah, if it's a medical ship... I'm sure the Clinton Canal Museum and the Clinton Presidential Library needn't say which Clinton they are about... although the second one nearly... Commented Feb 3, 2018 at 2:59
3

Including games and books: (from http://memory-beta.wikia.com/wiki/Category:Federation_starships)

  • USS Hathaway (named for Shakespeare's wife)
  • USS Europa
  • USS Io
  • USS Amalthea
  • USS Callisto
  • USS Rhea
  • USS Galatea
  • USS Curie
  • USS Hera
  • USS T'Kumbra
  • USS Demeter
  • USS Vesta
  • USS Boadicea
  • USS Jasmine
  • USS Allison Vinson
  • USS Andromeda
  • USS Samantha Piper
  • USS Samara Uhura
  • USS Libby Curtis
  • USS Artemis
  • USS Athena ... and so on and so forth.
1

There was the USS Janeway shown in Discovery, presumably named after Capt. Janeway from Voyager.

https://memory-alpha.fandom.com/wiki/USS_Janeway

Notable as it's named after a fictional character but one who was real within Star Trek lore.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.