When reading about our galaxy, I found that the name comes from the milky glowing band across the night sky and "Milky Way" comes from the Latin Via Lactea which in tern, comes from the Greek kyklos galaktikos. "Milky" is also the root word for the Greek term for galaxy.

Since this term is so rooted in Earth's language and history, what do the other species call our galaxy? Was the term changed by then since Terrans could now achieve FTL travel?

  • Possibly related: scifi.stackexchange.com/a/4686/2242
    – Izkata
    Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 22:32
  • I don't remember the name "Milky Way" ever being used in any Star Trek TV series or movie. It's generally referred to as "the Galaxy" or "our Galaxy". Other species would presumably use whatever name they have for it in their own languages, but Everyone Speaks English. Commented Jan 2, 2012 at 22:35
  • Interesting question. No matter where we see the ships go, its always a uniform star field. It's like they never look toward the center of the galaxy. Maybe they discovered that the Milky Way is just a huge matte painting Q put in deep space to trick us.
    – Kyle Jones
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 18:15

2 Answers 2


It would appear that our galaxy is still known as the Milky Way in the Star Trek universe.

Spock refers to our galaxy as the Milky Way galaxy in the TAS episode The Counter-Clock Incident.

In Voyager, Chakotay refers to our galaxy as the Milky Way in Course: Oblivion, and the EMH uses the term in Someone To Watch Over Me and Tinker, Tenor, Doctor, Spy

  • 1
    The links are to a site that appears to have transcripts of most or all Star Trek episodes (plus Doctor Who and Andromeda). I seriously doubt that the copyright holders would be amused. Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 20:26
  • I can't speak to the legality of the linked site, (and I am not affiliated with it) but sites of this type seem very common. (e.g. simplyscripts.com) Commented Jan 3, 2012 at 20:37

I don’t think it had any special name; it was just “the galaxy”. Several of the Star Trek wikis refer to the Milky Way, but I can’t find any reference to it being named as such in an episode; I suspect this is for out-of-universe convenience.

The Star Trek Expanded Universe wiki page concurs:

The Milky Way Galaxy (translated from Latin Via Lactea, derived from the Greek Γαλαξίας (Galaxias), often referred to as simply “the galaxy”, is a large barred spiral galaxy in the Local Group.

Memory Alpha doesn’t say anything on the subject.

Memory Beta also mentions the name “home galaxy”, from a presumably non-canon game. Make of that what you will.

The Milky Way is a spiral Galaxy in which most of recorded history takes place. The name “The Milky Way” comes from Earth; the galaxy is also known as the “home galaxy.” (TNG video game: Echoes from the Past)

In short, I think it was just “the galaxy”, and the name “Milky Way” was ignored in the Star Trek universe.

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