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I read on the Star Wars wiki that Mos Eisley was formerly known as "Eisley" but was "renamed to fit with other towns such as Mos Espa, and Mos Gamos"

What does "Mos" mean? And is there an in-universe explanation for why Eisley was renamed?

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    I blame Mos Def. – Daniel Roseman Jan 6 '14 at 21:07
  • @DanielRoseman I wish there was a way to upvote your comment a thousand times. – Monty129 Jan 6 '14 at 21:59
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    I'd guess it means something like "town" – ratchet freak Jan 7 '14 at 11:28
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According to the Star Wars Wiki, the city was originally founded by survivors of the crashed "Dowager Queen" that can be seen wrecked in the centre of Mos Eisley and now functions as a hotel.

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The city was supposedly named by survivors who were unaware that the planet was already inhabited. When they found out that there were other towns nearby (named Mos Espa and Mos Gamos) they renamed it to fit in with the surroundings.

Quite why they chose the prefix "Mos" isn't mentioned.

  • Star Wars Tatooine was filmed in Tunisia, and many of the smaller cities or tows have the prefix 'Sidi' (e.g., Sidi Ayed, Sidi Ismaïl… the Tunisian Hotel Sidi Driss was used for Owen, Beru and Luke's home), and many have the prefix 'Bir' (e.g., Bir Halima, Bir Mcherga Gare). Lucas may have taken inspiration for the 'Mos' prefix from the local naming conventions in Tunisia. – Lexible Feb 10 at 17:46
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I don't think it's ever explicitly explained, sort of like how many planets end with -tooine, or have "Ord" before the name. It's likely meant to be background world-building that evokes real-world naming conventions like "[X]ville", or "[Y]ton".

  • ville comes from "village", just as "-burg"/"-ton" suffix from town. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 7 '14 at 6:04
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    Right--I think it's implied that there's a similar history with "Mos", but it's unexplained to the audience thus far. – Milo P Jan 7 '14 at 16:17
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I think it means "The" or possibly "Saint" or is at least meant to evoke that sort of feeling.

Remember that Lucas was from Modesto, CA. A vast number of cities in California start with "San" and "Los" but the modest cow town on 99 that Lucas hailed from didn't. So I get the impression that he sort of blended "Los" and "Modesto" and got "Mos."

I imagine somewhere in the back-lack-of-woods on Tatooine there's probably a torn called Mos Desto.

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