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Ship nomenclature

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Since the days of the early sailing vessels and other similar expeditions on many planets, the naming of ships has been an important part of many races and cultures' histories.

The naming of ships was often held in high esteem, with the quality of a ship's name seen as a factor of a vessel's success. Lieutenant Piper of Proxima Beta once mused about the mistake of naming the USS Star Empire. She considered the name to be somewhat ignoble, preferring more virtuous names such as Majestic, Embassy, Valiant, and Ramage. (TOS - Fortunes of War novel: Dreadnought!)

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Name prefixEdit

Usually a vessel's given name is preceded by a statement of origination, which was often shortened into some sort of abbreviated prefix.


  • SS - "Sea Ship" or "Space Ship"
  • USS - "United States Ship"
  • HMS - "Her Majesty's Ship" or "His Majesty's Ship"
  • NAR
  • VK - "Voenny Korabl" (Russian for "Military Ship")


  • SS - "Sea Ship" or "Space Ship"
  • USS - "United Star Ship" or "United Space Ship"
  • NAR

Terran Empire (mirror universe)Edit

  • ISS - "Imperial Star Ship"


See main article at Klingon nomenclature#starships and vehicles.


  • IRW - "Imperial Romulan Warbird"
  • PWB - "Praetor's War Bird"
  • ChR - "ch'Rihan"
  • RIS - "Romulan Imperial Ship"
  • RSE - "Romulan Star Empire" (mirror)
No explanation was tendered by ST video game: Shattered Universe as to why the mirror universe Romulan Republic would identify with the Romulan Star Empire's monogram as their prefix, since the Romulan Star Empire didn't exist in the mirror universe.


  • OCS


  • ATS

See alsoEdit

Similar or identical prefices are assigned to a ship's registry.

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