The Greek name Γαῖα (Gaĩa) is a mostly epic, collateral form of Attic Γῆ (Gê), Doric Γᾶ (Gã, perhaps identical to Δᾶ Dã) meaning "Earth", a word of uncertain origin. Robert S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin. It, however, could be related to the Avestan word gaiia "life" (cf. gaēθā "[material] world, totality of creatures" and gaēθiia "belonging to, residing in the worldly or material sphere, material") or perhaps to Avestan gairi "mountain".
In Mycenean Greek Ma-ka (transliterated as Ma-ga, "Mother Gaia") also contains the root ga-.