Do You Capitalize Zodiac Signs? When and When Not To


do you capitalize zodiac signs

Capitalization is necessary, it tells us the degree of importance a word has in a sentence, either by its meaning or its location in the text. Zodiac signs are no exception, since they are capitonyms they will be capitalized most of the time.

Zodiac signs are actual constellations in the sky. Since most of them are names of animals, proper nouns, they should be capitalized when used in sentences. Some of the signs, such as Gemini, Capricorn, Taurus, and Sagittarius are capitalized automatically in writing correction tools.

It is imperative that understand each of the zodiac signs to ensure you capitalize it when necessary. It is also worth noting that you shouldn’t capitalize the phrase ‘zodiac names.’ This guide will explain instances when you should capitalize Zodiac signs and when you should not.

zodiac word written in wooden blocks

Definition and Origin of The Zodiac Signs

Zodiac signs originated on Babylonian astronomy, somewhere around the first half of the first Millennium Before Christ. 

The term zodiac comes from the Latin word “zodiacs,” which means circle of animals. The Zodiac’s location is measured in celestial latitude and refers to the belt that extends on the path of the Sun across the celestial sphere in the course of a year. 

This zone contains 12 constellations representing the 12 signs. Zodiac signs have been used over ages to predict characteristics of individual personalities.

Types of Zodiac Names

Zodiac names because of their symbol and what they represent can be categorized into feminine and masculine signs.  

grammarly

The masculine signs are:

  •  Aries,
  • Aquarius
  • Gemini
  •  Leo
  • Sagittarius
  • Libra

And the feminine zodiac signs are:

  • Taurus
  • Cancer
  • Scorpio
  • Capricorn
  • Virgo Pisces
  • Pisces

The signs are also categorized in another subgroup, which are:

  • Personal Signs
  • Interpersonal Signs
  • Transpersonal Signs

Each has a particular interest or purpose. The personal signs (Aries, Taurus, Gemini and Cancer), focus on the experience gained by interacting directly with their immediate environment. The interpersonal signs (Leo, Virgo, Libra and Scorpio) are focused on their interaction with others, how that impacts creativity and they connect. And the transpersonal signs (Saggitarious, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces) are oriented towards relationships, careers and the place they occupy in society. 

When to Capitalize Zodiac Signs

The rule of thumb for capitalization is that the first letter of the first word of every sentence should start with a capital letter. So, we will capitalize zodiac signs every time they are used at the beginning of a sentence.

Examples:

  • Pisces, Capricorn and Virgo Pisces are some of the feminine zodiac signs. Can you name the rest?
  • Libra, represented by a balance, is the only inanimate sign of the Zodiac. Libras are interested in harmony and balance and strive to create a sense of equilibrium in all life aspects.
  • Pisces is the last sign of the Zodiac. It is characterized by divided attention between reality and fantasy and has absorbed lessons of hopes and fears, pain, and joys experienced by other signs.

When Zodiac Signs are Used as Books and Article Titles

All the words in books and articles are capitalized regardless of their position in the sentence. In essence, the titles in literal work represent leading factors. We also capitalize them because usually in books they are used as proper nouns.

Examples:

  • Discovery of Sagittarius, Capricorn, and Cancer – (This is an example of books with proper capitalizations on the title).

  • Everything You Need To Know About the Aries in Your Life –  This is an example of an astrology niche title when the capitalization is done properly

  • Aries and Leo Compatibility in Love, Sex and Marriage Match – This is a title whose article explores the connection between Leos and Aries and their relationship as partners.

Incorporating Zodiac Signs in Quotations

leo zodiac sign

When quoting someone, you should capitalize the first word and proper nouns within the quotation marks. Therefore, if the first word in the quotations is a zodiac sign, you should capitalize it and other zodiac signs in the sentence.

Examples:

  • Esther replied, “Leo is so easy to identify. A lion represents it”
  • The teachers said, “Capricorn, Pisces Taurus, and Scorpion comprise the feminine signs while masculine signs include Libra Sagittarius and Aries.”

Zodiac Signs Use After Colons

Colons play a vital role in sentence construction. Essentially, colons show that a new sentence has started. This means that you must capitalize the first word of the sentence while the rest of the words follow the sentence case. Therefore if the first word after the colon is a zodiac sign, it means you must capitalize it.

Examples:

  • We talked on our way home yesterday night while enjoying the excellent sky view: Cancer appeared so close. I felt like walking in the sky the whole night.
  •  Many people think the sky at night only comprises stars and moon: Pisces and other zodiac signs are not in their mind. I think we should contemplate signs as part of astrology more often.
  • During the December holiday, many young people are about festivities and discovering new adventures: Capricorn and Sagittarius should also interest you. These zodiac signs fall in December and explain much about people born during this month.

Using Zodiac Sign in TV News

Capitalization is crucial even in TV news. Breaking news and primary news are written at the bottom of the screens. The news item is capitalized if it contains zodiac signs.

Examples:

  • The reporter claims that Zodiac signs are not real. Even if you give it fancy names like Capricorn, Libra, Aquarius, and Scorpio. The TV station is notifying viewers in this news headline that the speaker does not believe in zodiac signs.
  • The schools want the students to discuss and make short notes on zodiac signs such as Virgo, Pisces, Taurus, and Cancer. 

When You Should Not Capitalize Zodiac Signs?

Proper nouns in English are always capitalized. However, common nouns are only capitalized in several instances, such as when they appear at the beginning of the sentence.

Zodiac signs are also part of a special group of words in English language called “Capitonyms”.  A capitonym is a word that changes meaning when it is capitalized the first time in a sentence, usually at the beginning. 

For example:

  • Cancer is the sign with the most unfortunate name, it is confused with cancer, the disease all the time.
  • Leo is one of the most famous signs in the zodiac, the personality of a true leo is something for the books.
  • Sagittarius is a very sexually dominant sign, but there are some people born in December who don’t fit the sagittarius sexual inclination. 

When the Zodiac Signs Are Used As Names

A zodiac sign when used as a person’s name, becomes a proper noun therefore it must be capitalized. This same rule applies if the zodiac sign is being used to name a place or an object too.

Examples:

  •  I love playing with Leo the Dog; he makes my day. He is so friendly and cheerful, that is why I go with him everywhere. (In this case, Leo the Dog represents the dog’s name and should be capitalized).
  • Scorpio has not been feeling well. I will take him to the veterinary first thing tomorrow morning. (Scorpio is the name of the pet. While it can be capitalized as a zodiac sign, in this case, it is capitalized because it refers to the specific name of the pet. Therefore it is a proper noun that should also be capitalized.

Other Zodiac Signs Examples

  • The teachers should not invest too much effort and time teaching young students about Aquarius, Gemini, and Cancer. Junior learners are too young to digest this information. Instead, schools should invest in teaching about common things like flowers and coloring.
  • Some people dread the cancer zodiac sign because it is associated with cancer. They fear the sign might bring them bad omen.
  • Aries is ruled by Mars, the red-colored planet named after the Roman God of war.  People born from 21st March through April 20th boast of courage. However, these rams tend to have an explosive temper, which lasts for a short time.
  • Aquarius and Taurus are quite unpopular with the young generation; however, they endured by the baby boomers.
  •  Can you guess the zodiac sign associated with information and communication? You guessed right; it is Virgo. Virgos and Gemini share a ruler, which is Mercury, the message planet of communication.
  • Many people still do not understand the Libra zodiac signs and their physical structure. However, a good number of people know their zodiac signs and the traits they represent.
  • Gemini is always falsely misrepresented because of its celestial twin symbols. The intrinsic duality represents no hidden agenda. Instead, they are constantly juggling between careers, passions, and hobbies.
  • Leos and Scorpio got into a heated debate that almost resulted in a physical confrontation. I don’t understand why people would get so much attached to zodiac signs to the point of nearly fighting. We need to get our act together.
  • If zodiac signs such as Aries, Capricorn, Scorpio, Gemini, and cancer still confuse you, it means physics and geography were not among your favorite subjects. Do you think this is true?

zodiac signs on white background

Final Thoughts

Besides learning about zodiac signs, after reading this article you will know what are the instances in which zodiac signs should use capitalization.

Understanding how to capitalize some terms can prove to be an exciting task. If you were not familiar with zodiac signs, now you are well informed on how to properly capitalize them if you were ever to write them in a sentence. And if this reading has peaked your interest you can do some more research and learn about your own zodiac sign.  

Shawn Manaher

Shawn Manaher is the founder and CEO of The Content Authority. He's one part content manager, one part writing ninja organizer, and two parts leader of top content creators. You don't even want to know what he calls pancakes.

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