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Holoska Day Music Extended Essay

Why did Constantinople get the works?That's nobody's business but the Turks'.

"Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've a date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul"

The Four Lads, "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" (1953), re-popularized by They Might Be Giants on Flood.

Whenever there's a fantastic Earth, or a world like our own yet very different, it's a safe bet that the author has messed with the names. Renaming things and places after what they could have been called is a very effective way to bring a touch of the exotic into the mundane, be it in The Time of Myths (Hyperborea for Greenland, Avalon for England), After the End (Amazon Desert, Empire of Denver, Whatever States of America), Alternate History or in another dimension. Popular choices are alternate etymologies (eg. Allemannia for Germany), older names (Yamato for Japan), alternate names (Albion for Britain or Columbia for the USA, but then you have to make up something else for Colombia and British Columbia), names in the local tongue (Sakartvelo for the country Georgia, Nippon for Japan, Gitchegoomee for the native American name of the lake that Americans and Canadians know as Superior), things from local mythology (Jotunheim for Norway), possible corruptions and derivatives (Drontheim instead of Trondheim, though this one actually happened), and just taking the easy route and swapping some letters around. Best not to think about it too hard when characters from these different worlds meet, though. What are the chances, after all, that those two universes happen to have alternatively named or defined locations while maintaining a mutually intelligible language? (Pretty damn likely, actually) The trope name comes from the song of the same name written by Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon — a huge hit for The Four Lads in the fall of 1953, then re-popularized in 1990 by the cover version performed by They Might Be Giants. See also Fantasy Counterpart Culture. Please Select New City Name often provides names to choose from (and real life examples should rather go there).


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    Anime and Manga 

  • The Britannian Empire in Code Geass, which encompasses a chunk of what used to be The British Empire. (Notably without Britain itself, but with the entirety of the Americas to make up for it.)
  • The Familiar of Zero takes place in Tristain (Belgium), with other countries being called Gallia, Germania, Albion, and Romaly. Saito, the Trapped in Another World protagonist, is from our Japan, but doesn't seem to make the European connection. He does recognize the language being spoken at the school as French, however.
  • Albion for England in Trinity Blood. The capital is called Londinium, the Latin name for London.
  • Strike Witches seems to exist in a universe where most European countries kept the names they had as Roman provinces. Britain, for example, is "Britannia". France is "Gallia", Spain is "Hispania", etc. However, some countries have somewhat obscure names (Germany is "Karlsland"note Probably named after Charlemagne, aka "Karl de Grosse" in German, from whose Frankish Empire were the realms of France and Germany born., the Scandinavian countries are "Baltland"note Possibly after the Baltic Sea, which borders the Scandinavian peninsula from the east — though if that's the case, one wonders what this world calls Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania collectively in lieu of "the Baltic States"., and they just got lazy with Orussianote Though it could be based on the Middle Mongolian exonym of the country, "orus", created due to Mongolian phonetics and later loaned to China). Somewhat justified with Suomus, Ostmark, Venezia and Romagna (Finland, Austria-Hungary, North and South Italy), which are based on either historical names for the countries, or the names of the countries in their native languages. Italy, in this universe, was apparently never unified and Venice still seems to hold some of its territories in Eastern Europe. Liberion is a pun on "Liberty", and is an alternate-USA, and Fuso is the Japanese pronunciation of "Fusang", an ancient Chinese name for Japan. Introduced in other works is "Faraway Land" for Canada, and "Neue Karlsland" for South America. Here's a map for reference.
  • In Log Horizon, the five regions in the Japanese server of Elder Tale have their names derived from their corresponding regions in real life Japan. Ezzo Empire corresponds to Hokkaido (Ezo being the old name for Hokkaido), League of Freedom Cities Eastal corresponds to the Kanto region (lit. "east of the gate"), Holy Empire Westeland corresponds to the Kansai region (lit. "west of the gate"), Fourland Dukedom corresponds to Shikoku (lit. "four provinces") and Ninetail Dominions corresponds to Kyushu (lit. "nine provinces").
  • Cyber City Oedo 808 has Tokyo revert to its former name of Oedo by 2808.
  • Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress refers to Japan as "Hinomoto" which is an Alternate Character Reading of the kanji that make up the country's name (as opposed to the more widely known "Nippon").
  • Izetta: The Last Witch is set in a blatant mimicry of World War IIEurope. The in-series names for the countriesshow pretty good research. Besides Britannia and Germania:
    • Livonia (Poland): The counterpart for Poland, is the name of a nation that lasted from the 1100's to the end of World War I. Livonia was made up of the present-day countries of Latvia and Estonia, and many of the nobles of Livonia became part of the Polish nobility. Additionally, there are some cultural similarities between the Latvia and Estonia and Poland.
    • Thermidor (France): After the French Revolution, France adopted the "French Republican Calendar," which was decimal-based. All months and days had new names. One of these new months (between 19 or 20 July and 18 or 19 August) was called Thermidor. Furthermore, the overthrow of Maximillan Robespierre, which ended the Reign of Terror, took place in the month of Thermidor and is today known as the Thermidorian Reaction, the Revolution of Thermidor, or just Thermidor.
    • Westria (Switzerland): Westria is placed as Switzerland, and is similarly neutral.
    • Romulus Federation (Italy): The Romulus Federation is mentioned as Germania's primary ally, and Eylstadt geographically sits between where Germany and Italy would be, which is why Germania is invading Eylstadt in the first place. In addition, Romulus is the name of one of figures responsible for the creation of Rome.
    • United States of Atlanta (United States of America): Atlanta is the name of one of the USA's largest and most influential major cities.
  • The geography of the world of Attack on Titancorresponds to an upside-down and mirrored map of the real world, in which South Africa is known as Marley (which in this universe is a militaristic empire that dominates most of the African continent, part of Europe and South America), the island of Madagascar is named Paradis Island (and it's the place where the Three Walls are situated), there are also appearances of a Mid-East Alliance which seems Turkish-Ottoman and an Asian nation Expy of Japan called Hizul.

    Board Games 

  • Risk 2210 A.D. makes a number of renamings, from the good (Republique du Quebec) to the gratuitous (New Avalon). Scandinavia is called Jotenheim. The classic name is, of course, the east Africa-encompassing 'Ministry of Djibouti.'
  • The wargame Flintloque, set in a Fantasy Counterpart Culture of the Napoleonic Wars, gives the countries names of varying silliness, many of them based on mythical or ancient names (Avalon for England), and others based on mildly pejorative terms (Joccia for Scotland).

    Comic Books 

  • Justified in Astérix, since it's set in the Roman Era Europe so everyone refers to all places by their ancient name, sometimes there are footnotes mentioning the modern name to the reader's benefit.
  • Arrowsmith by Kurt Busiek and Carlos Pacheco had the alternate earth version, with Divided States of America, and a war between Prussia and Galia. The dragons were cute, though.
  • Batman: Gotham City, since Gotham is an old name for New York. There was a 19th-century book which, playing on American jealousy of European cities which liked to boast about their hundreds of years of history, was a fictional history of NYC, giving it the name "Gotham". Whether or not Gotham City is New York in the comics has varied through the years; currently, they're different cities in-universe, but writers still play with parallels.
    • As far as Christopher Nolan is concerned, Gotham is actually Chicago — until The Dark Knight Rises, anyway.
    • In the novelization of No Man's Land, New York is explicitly stated to be separate, incidentally, and implied to be slightly smaller and nearby.
    • There's also Metropolis.
    • Both are representations of New York, though different views of it. Gotham is the seedy, dirty New York stereotype and Metropolis is the important melting pot of cultures major city of the world type.
    • It was noted in the Marvel Comics/DC ComicsCrossoverAvengers/JLA (or JLA/Avengers, depending on which company published which issue) that DC-Earth, with its fictional American cities (in addition to the above, there's also Star City, Central City, Coast City, Blüdhaven, and probably a few others), is actually somewhat larger than Marvel-Earth (Marvel often goes in for fictional countries on other continents - like Latveria in Europe and Wakanda in Africa - but adds no major cities to its USA), thus leaving room for DC's fictional and real-world cities to co-exist.
  • The Captain Britain series from Marvel, particularly under Alan Moore, had a large number of Alternate Universe counterparts to the hero, each with a different name (ie, Captain Albion, Captain England, Captain Airstrip-One, ad nauseam).
  • Some of the Mega-Cities in Judge Dredd follow this naming convention, like Hondo City (Hondo is an ancient name for the main Japanese island, Honshu) and the Ruhr Conurb (named after the Ruhr Valley, the largest metropolitan area in Germany), while others are named after actual current cities, like Luxor (Egypt) and the now-defunct Brasilia (Brazil).
  • In the Astonishing X-Men: Ghost Boxes mini-series, It featured a Steam Punk version of the team known as The X-Society that's based in New Portsmouth, New Albion; a version of San Francisco where California was colonised by the British, rather than the Spanish.
  • The first arc of Kingdom in 2000 AD takes place in the "cold place," Anarchticy — that's Antarctica to you and me. Subsequent stories visit Tazzy Island and Auxtralia.
  • Kamandi: These After the End stories have a world map that looks like This. The "United States of Lions" are perhaps especially notable.
  • Nikolai Dante mentioned Britannia and Amerika.
  • The Squadron Supreme limited series played this trope to the hilt, with every geographic location renamed from its real-life counterpart. Mt. Rushmore becomes Presidents' Mountain, New York City is Cosmopolis in the state of New Troy, Washington D.C. becomes Capitol City, Magelland, and on and on and on.
  • American Flagg! often uses this trope for throwaway gags that highlight the intriguing ways in which the world has changed without going into great detail about it - e.g. "the People's Republic of Great Britain."
  • The Thing from Marvel Comics discovered in Marvel 2-in-1 #100 that in a previous issue when he traveled into the past to attempt to cure himself that he hadn't actually created an alternate timeline but had been sent to a parallel Earth instead after Reed reviewed video footage of Ben's time there and realized the Newspaper read 'New Amsterdam' rather than 'New York'.

     Fan Works 

  • In With Strings Attached, in their quest for the first piece of the Vasyn, the four are sent to the city of New Zork on an alternate Earth. Locations there include Crooklyn and Harvem, the latter being the ghetto for the harveys, human-sized intelligent rabbits. The US is called Ameriga; England is Angland. And much to their dismay, though it's 1954, the Beagles have just arrived....


  • The Signal (2007) is set in Terminus, which used to be the name of Atlanta, Georgia, the city the movie is filmed in.
  • The Great Dictator has Osterlich, the pacifist country next to Tomainia. It's an obvious parallel to Austria down to the name with a different spelling: Österreich is the German/Austrian name for Austria.
  • The Lost Boys is set in Santa Carla, rather than Santa Clara, California. (Ironically, Santa Carla looks a lot like Santa Cruz.)
  • William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet reimagines Verona as "Verona Beach," based on Venice Beach, California.


  • House of the Scorpion and The Lord of Opium: Mexico has been renamed Aztlán at some point between the present day and the time of the novels.
  • The Hunger Games: Panem is set in what was once called North America after a unexplained apocalypse. The characters are well aware of their history (for the most part) as Katniss knows that Panem was once called North America, and District 12 was in a place called Appalachia.
  • Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series is set in an alternate North America. Many names remain familiar, but are in variant spellings, such as "Hio," "Irrakwa" and "Wobbish." All these are originally Native American words, and the familiar forms are transliterations by Francophone explorers. In this world, the Anglophones seemingly got there first, so the transliterations are a bit different. As for New Amsterdam, it never became New York.
  • In the Kushiel's Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey, the maps at the beginnings of the book show that it is Europe. The UK is named Alba, Ireland is Eire, Spain is Aragonia, Germany and the northern lands are Skaldia, Italy is Caerdicca Unitas - Venice, or a suspiciously Venetian city, is La Serenissima - the Balkans are Illyria, Greece is Hellas, Egypt and the Maghreb is Menekhet, India is Bhodistan, China is Ch'in, Japan is the Empire of the Sun, Jebe-Barkal is Ethiopia and a bit more, The Flatlands are The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, Vralia is Russia and Drujan and Khebel-im-Akkad are different parts of Ancient Persia. France is called Terre d'Ange (literally Land of Angels) but that's because it's the land of Mary Sues for backstory reasons.
    • Some more accurate than others. For instance, Alba is actually the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, not the UK in total, which would be Albion.
      • Perhaps it sounds OK in D'Angeline - analogous to the way many people in our world (often speakers of English as a second language) use "England" to refer to all of mainland UK, even though that only refers to the bit south of Scotland and east of Wales.
  • John Crowley's Aegypt Cycle approaches this obliquely: protagonist Pierce Moffett is obsessed as a child with the country of Aegypt—not the historical Egypt, but its fantastic analogue in Western myth. "Aegypt" is the Egypt of imagination that was credited as the homeland of the Gypsies, of Hermetic mythology, and of the countless mystical doctrines that people supposed to have originated there.
  • In So You Want To Be A Wizard, the main character reads in her wizard's manual about "alternate earths where the capital of the United States was named Huictilopochtli or Lafayette City or Hrafnkell or New Washington".
    • For that matter, it isn't specified whether all of these are actually Washington, D.C. under different names. The capital could be located elsewhere.
  • Thomas Hardy set all his novels in his native region of southwest England but with most placenames changed; he called it Wessex.
  • Job: A Comedy of Justice: Robert A. Heinlein has a lot of fun with this as the two protagonists get shunted from alternative earth to alternative earth.
  • In another Heinlein book, The Number of the Beast, Hilda wonders if they crossed over into the universe where the fourth planet is named Barsoom instead of Mars.
  • The Conan the Barbarian books and related materials, set in what was constructed to be a feasible vanished age. Scandinavia is not called Jotunheim, but it's called Vanaheim and Asgard, which isn't better. Robert E. Howard claimed things to be the other way around: the different mythological names of people and places he mentions were 'corrupted' over time, becoming the myths we know of today. Some other examples are:
    • Acheron is the Roman Empire, a large Empire ruling over large areas that, after its fall, remained with certain cultural influence over the former provinces.
    • From Europe: Aquilonia will be a cross between the Byzantine Empire and Italy (it's the name of a French region though, althoug Aquilo in Latin means "north wind".Argos is Ancient Greece. Brythunia is Britain (culturally, geographically is located in what is now Poland). Corinthia is Athens. Hyperborea, Russia and Finland. Zingara is Spain, a similar country is Zamora, another Iberian-like country and the native land of the Gypsies.
    • From the Americas: Barachan Islands are the Caribbean with their own pirate island; Tortuga and the Picts are like a version of the Native Americans.
    • From Asia: Hyrkania is Mongolia. Turan is Central Asia and Turkey. Vendhya is India. Shem is the northern Middle East (Mesopotamia and Palestine for example) whilst Ophir is Arabia (both names come from the Bible). Khitai is China (is the name of one of the prehistoric Chinese dynasties). Meru is Tibet (Meru is the name of a sacred montain in Tibetan Buddhism). Iranistan is Persia, of course, and Koth is the land of the Hitites.
    • From Africa: Stygia is Egypt, the name is the same of one of the rivers of the Greek Underworld. Zembabwei is Zimbabwe. Punt is Somalia and the Wadai tribe kindgom is base in real life Wadai tribe of Chad.
  • Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm is set in an alternate Britain named Branion, with a similar map. Since the series focuses on nobility, many of the original names can be determined from the titles. For example, the heir to the throne is the Prince of Gwyneth (Wales) and Duke of Kraburn. If it wasn't obvious from the map that Kraburn is Cornwall, Kraburn has a major port named Halmouth (Falmouth). The second in line to the throne is the Duke of Yorbourne, which from the map clearly represents York. Other countries include Gallia, Danelind, and Tiberia (home to the Pontiff of a Catholic-analogue religion).
  • Nation by Terry Pratchett is set in a version of the South Pacific called the Great Southern Pelagic Ocean. "Pelagic" means "open sea". The map at the front of the book also features the "Reunited States".
  • In The Big One by Stuart Slade, Halifax Nova Scotia is renamed Churchill, in reaction to the Lord Halifax-led political coup that sues for peace with Germany and touches off the events of the series.
  • The His Dark Materials series executed this very impressively, using many alternate etymologies and extending to objects in addition to lands. Includes Anglia (England, although England, English and "Brytain" instead of Britain are also mentioned. Scotland also exists but it's not addressed whether it's the same country as England in that universe), Muscovy (Russia), Nippon (Japan), skraelings instead of Inuit, the Peaceable Ocean, and The Country of Texas in New Denmark. This also applies to objects such bas atomcraft, naphtha lamps, gyrocopters, anbaric lights ("electric" comes from a word for "amber"), and chocolatl (which is closer to the original Aztec word). Scandinavia is not Jotunheim, (it's called the Scandinavian Empire instead!) and the Svalbard archipelago is still the Svalbard archipelago (but it's an independent kingdom controlled by armoured bears). Lapland is also mentioned as possibly independent with a population of witches.
    • The Spanish translation also uses Latvia instead of the Hispanic name "Letonia".
    • The "Country of Texas" did actually exist: Texas used to be a Mexican territory, which later became an independent country; the USA annexed the Country of Texas shortly after that.
      • Muscovy existed as an independent country before Russia as we know it today existed. The series also features Tartars, who are strongly implied to have their own country as well. Evidently Russian unification was rather less successful in the alternate Earth.
    • Also, since in this world America was apparently not only found, but also made widely known by Vikings, it is called New Denmark.
  • Airborn is an Alternate History where the biggest change is the rise of airships as the major form of long-distance transportation. The history only diverges from ours in the early 20th century or so, but one of the changes is the renaming of Vancouver (supposedly the airship capital of the world) as Lionsgate City.
    • Several other places have very minor name changes, such as the Pacificus and Atlanticus oceans, Europa, and the Republic of Colorado.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt, where the plague killed off most of the Christian population of Europe, leading to Arabic/Chinese/Japanese/etc place names such as Yingzhou for North America, al-Alemand for Germany, Skandistan for Scandinavia, Nippon for Japan and so on.
  • Charles Stross' Merchant Princes features alternate versions of our earth, which people with a certain genetic trait can travel between.
    • In the first world encountered, North America was colonized by a Germanic people who worship the gods of Norse Mythology; England and Christianity never became dominant in America and might not exist in that world at all. Most of the action that world takes place in a feudal culture corresponding geographically to what is New England in Real Life and most place names are in some Conlang that seems like a mix of German and Scandinavian.
    • In another world protagonists visit later in the series, North America was colonized by the English like in Real Life, but history happened differently in at least two ways: The American Revolution failed or didn't happen at all, but another revolution in Great Britain did succeed. So North America is ruled by a Vestigial Empire ruled by an English king who doesn't rule anything on the east side of the Atlantic. Boston is called New London in this world.
  • Harry Turtledove
    • The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump: This Magitek novel is set in Angels City, on the coast of the Peaceful Ocean, and just north of the Barony of Orange. On the East Coast of the Confederated Provinces are the District of St. Columba and the city of New Jorvik. Other countries mentioned include Alemania and Persia, as well as a Hanese restaurant.
    • Some American States have different names in Timeline-191. North and South Dakota are one state, called Dakota, Oklahoma is called Sequoyah, and when the Union captures part of Texas, they rename it Houston (though the actual city of Houston is still in Confederate Texas). And when the Mormons attempt to secede, they rename Utah "Deseret" (their original name for the state).
    • His more traditional alternate history novels feature this too, mainly for objects — nukes become "exploding-metal bombs" (in the World War/Colonization series) or "superbombs" and "sunbombs" (Timeline-191), suicide bombers become "people bombs," the Molotov cocktail is the "Featherston Fizz," and the Army's heavily armored frontline combat vehicles are "barrels," not tanks. A laser is called "skelkwank" in the World War/Colonization series (having been borrowed, along with invention, from the Race).
    • And when the superbombs go off, they produce a "toadstool cloud".
    • Speaking of nukes, element 92 is still named uranium, but while the USA names the next two elements neptunium and plutonium as in Real Life, the Confederate States Of America goes the other direction and calls them saturnium and jovium. (Britain calls element 94 churchillium.)
    • London, Ontario, is renamed Berlin by the occupying US authorities; Roanoke, Virginia, is called Big Lick (justified in that that was the original name before the N&W Railroad renamed the town); and Hawaii is British-ruled and still called the Sandwich Islands.
    • His War Between the Provinces series is basically a retelling of The American Civil War in the West from Chickamauga on, only with the map reversed (the rebels are in the north), the colors reversed (because indigo is a major rebel product) and with names either given alternates or horrid puns. General Rosecrans is renamed "Guildenstern." Chickamauga is renamed "The River of Death," and Lookout Mountain, "Sentry Peak." Georgia becomes "Peachtree," and Selma, Alabama is renamed "Hayek."
    • Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfus do this in The Two Georges with Boston, Oregon (rejected in real life by a coin flip; you probably know the city as Portland).
  • Piratica tweaks the name of every country out there, as well as the nationalities (we get things like "Canadee").
  • Done cleverly in Gene Wolfe's Soldier of the Mist series where places in the ancient world are identified by the literal meaning/folk etymology of their names. For example, Boetia is Cowland, Athens is Thought, and Sparta is Rope in the "Silent Country".
  • The Lord Darcy mysteries are set in the Angevin Empire, an Anglo-French superpower in a world where Richard The Lion Heart's heirs kept their royal status into the 20th century. The basic geography is the same, but many regions' names have evolved differently. For instance, New England is all of North America (with Nova Borkum in place of NYC), and Mechiceo is an Angevin duchy.
  • In the series Stravaganza, there is an an alternate universe version of Italy known as Talia. Likewise, the UK equivalent is Anglia. There are also various city-states throughout Talia with Italian-esque names with similar meanings to their counterparts (ie, Venice = Bellezza, Florence = Giglia, Siena = Remora).
    • Remora is mentioned to have been founded by Remus, thence the name. See the below example.
  • Christopher Stasheff's

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