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um.. there isnt really a lot of "speculation" here -- the article registry already states that "USS" stands for "United Space Ship" as it was used in "The Cage" and "The Menagerie, Part I", or for "United Star Ship" as it was used in "Court Martial" and "The Squire of Gothos" -- Captain Mike K. Barteltalk 11:58, 3 Oct 2005 (UTC)

Can someone assist me on this? I'm sorry, it's not entirely directly related to the article, but it could be important in writing articles that use the abbreviation. When is it appropriate to use 'U.S.S.' and when 'USS'? Such things confuse me, similarly with 'U.S.' and 'UK.' Thanks. Makon 20:31, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

Wiki names, according to our policies, "prefer" less periods and hyphens -- so here at MA we pretty much only use USS, IKS, etc; UK, US USSR, etc. The things that get periods would be people's names (J.G. Hertzler or A.G. Robinson). So we use no periods for acronyms, but we do use periods for initials. -- Captain M.K.B. 21:25, 29 March 2006 (UTC)


The use of USS for Starfleet ships was not mentioned until a computer graphic on the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Divergence".

Exactly what graphic does this refer to? --From Andoria with Love 23:31, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

This one:

USS Enterprise + USS Columbia

--Jörg 23:41, 29 March 2006 (UTC)--

For the record, the above graphic is in the same mold as the historical Starfleet database timeline seen in "In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II", in that some of the info on the graphic should not be considered canon as it conflicts with established facts. For example, the Mirror graphic states that 2061 was the year in which Zefram Cochrane made his historic warp flight, when we all know it actually occured in 2063. Similarly, neither the Enterprise or Columbia had a USS prefix; the graphic, therefore, is an anomoly that, like the Starfleet Academy diploma seen in "Storm Front, Part II", shouldn't be taken seriously. --From Andoria with Love 21:02, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

Or we could consider that the registry system is introduced in that period with the arrival of series ships capable of exploration : USS, NX and NCC, number registry... and will be used again in the Federation. The fact that it has never been stated before may be because it is for that time only an administrative prefix to distinguish for ECS, SS... and which is rarely mentionned until the Federation put it on all the ships. - Philoust123 21:44, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

The problem is that "USS" stands for "United Star Ship" or "United Space Starship". Why would anybody use that prefix prior to the formation of a United Star/Space Alliance (ie the United Federation of Planets). I suppose it's possible the prefix stood for something different earlier and was adopted as something else later... eh. --From Andoria with Love 21:48, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

You mean like United Earth ? - Philoust123 22:09, 7 May 2006 (UTC)

No, United Earth wasn't an alliance between other star systems... however, it is possible that United Earth used the prefix for something other than United Star/Space Ship. --From Andoria with Love 02:03, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't United Earth include Earth colonies in the solar system (so, "United Space") and in other star systems (so, "United Star")?
United Earth may include Earth colonies, but it was still only United Earth. UE already includes the colonies. In other words, United Earth wouldn't become something else when colonies are included. I'm not sure if I'm making sense here... basically, no, the addition of colonies would not affect the name of the organization, especially since the organization already includes those colonies. Crap, I think I just confused myself now... --From Andoria with Love 01:47, 24 March 2007 (UTC)
US standing for "United Earth" makes just as much sense as US standing for "United Federation of Planets." I always figured that they shortened it from UESS/UFPSS and colloquially referred to it as a "United Star Ship" (or "United Space Ship").--Tim Thomason 02:03, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

"United Sol System", guys? or "United Sol Ship" i guess?-- Captain MKB 15:12, 18 March 2008 (UTC)

USS or U.S.S.?

I am curious, why is it on MA, it's USS when on starship hulls and computer graphics, it's U.S.S. ? --Terran Officer 07:33, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

See Captain M.K.B.'s reply here. ---- Willie LLAP 12:32, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Use of the "USS" prefix in the federation


It seems quite stupid to call "USS" - United Star Ship or United Space Ship as this could refer to any entity in the galaxy! Heck, the Klingons could use this prefix as they are united (One Government) and they have space ships! Surely the writers should have been on the ball and called it "UFPS" - United Federation Of Planets Ship. Im guessing though since most of the fan base is in the US, they thought it would be more appealing and "Normal" to them then to rename the prefix.

-- 19:25, March 13, 2011 (UTC)Stuart-- 19:25, March 13, 2011 (UTC)

Or Gene Roddenberry simply preferred to use that prefix in his "new" show in 1966? --| TrekFan Open a channel 22:03, March 13, 2011 (UTC)


Why are they formatted like this? Is it because the ship was only seen as a mirror reflection? --LauraCC (talk) 17:04, June 20, 2016 (UTC)



I was curious about the abbreviation of USS and felt that as a fan, it was wrong for me to not know what that signified. I have read the definitions given and am surprised, "United space ship" / "United star ship" ? I feel this just misses the mark.

The federation is, if anything, a collection of alligned planetary systems whose peoples and resources are shared for the betterment of the whole. Ships are normally crewed with peoples from each of these sytems.

So for me, it would seem more logical to understand that USS would stand for .. United Systems Ship, for it represents that very thing, a unification of various star systems.

Or am I wrong? Would love feedback. Shaunwiki (talk) 13:20, July 16, 2020 (UTC)

Logical perhaps, but not in the canon presented to date. What's in the canon presented to date is in the article. -- sulfur (talk) 13:32, July 16, 2020 (UTC)