Artifact Title / Real Life

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  • In general, place names in many countries outside of the New World describe geographic or human features that are no longer relevant. There's no longer a ford in Bradford ("broad ford"), nor is there a meadow at Oslo ("meadow at the foot of the hill") and Düsseldorf ("River Düssel village") is no longer a village. It would be easier to list exceptions: Tynemouth is still at the mouth of the River Tyne and Amsterdam still has a dam on the River Amstel.
  • Anything that hangs around for long enough with the word "new" in its name (and no original or older version to differentiate itself from) is set for a date with this trope.
    • Novgorod (=New Town) in Russia, now one of the oldest cities there.
    • The New Forest in England, created by William the Conqueror in 1079.
    • The Pont Neuf (=New Bridge), oldest bridge in Paris.
    • New College, Oxford, is one of the oldest members of the university.
    • The Old-New Synagogue, the oldest in Prague (it dates to the 13th century). Formerly known as New Synagogue, to distinguish it from the Old Synagogue (11/12th century). In the 16th century the New Synagogue was built, and the other came to be called Old-New. (Neither the New Synagogue nor the Old one exist any more.) A Jewish legend gives a different origin of the name — as the story goes, an angel brought stones from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem to serve as a foundation of the building, under a condition (Hebrew: al tenai, subsequently corrupted to alt-neu, German for "old-new") that they must be returned when the temple is rebuilt.
    • Speaking of Prague, its New Town (Nové Město) has been founded in 1348.
    • Hong Kong's New Territories were ceded to Britain by China in 1898. And since Hong Kong itself is now back under Chinese administration, the "territories" part is also sort of quaint. The PRC did find this name colonist-sounding, and that name was in fact always put between quotes in the Basic Law, implying Chinese disapproval. However, there's otherwise no better name for "the part of Kowloon Peninsula, north of Boundary Street (see below) and south of Shenzhen River"...
    • Yellowknife's downtown business district, New Town, probably is the newest of all these entries, dating only to the 1950snote . But there's been a lot more development in the city since then.
    • On the other end, the West Bank city of Nablus is probably the oldest example—it was founded in the third century under the Greek name of Neopolis or "New City"; nearly two millennia have passed since the name got corrupted into its present form.
  • Before the cession of the New Territories, the dividing line between British and Chinese sovereignty was marked in part by boundary stones. Later Boundary Street was built along the former line (seeing how difficult it would be to defend apparently persuaded Margaret Thatcher to offer Deng not only the New Territories back but the entire colony). Not only is it now an artifact because of the handover, it was an artifact title when it was first built (although it did have some effect on land taxes).
  • In fact, the name "Hong Kong", in the sense of the city of Hong Kong, is an artifact. It means "fragrant harbor" in Chinese, and it came from the many sandalwood trees in the area of what is now the village of Stanley ... on the south side of Hong Kong Island, whereas the city itself is on the north side.
    • And while the city has a harbor all right, it sure doesn't have many sandalwood trees.
    • Of course, when the harbor was more polluted than it is now back in the late 1970s or so, it was indeed fragrant, although not in a good way.
  • Further up the Chinese coast, Shanghai also has some artifactual placenames related to its complicated colonial and post-colonial history:
    • The French Concession hasn't been under any kind of French authority since World War II.
    • The Waibaidu Bridge at the north end of the Bund is still sometimes called the Garden Bridge by foreign visitors. The Public Garden, from which that name came, is now called Huangpu Park and is a good deal less of a garden than it was, with the addition of a museum and the Monument to the People's Heroes.
    • The Bund itself is either an inversion of this trope or plays it straight—depending on which meaning of the Hindi word "Bund" you prefer. If it means "quay", in the sense of an area where boats dock to be loaded and unloaded, well—it may have been once been a working waterfront but, except for one ferry terminal, it isn't anymore. If it's "embankment", meaning an area at the edge of the water built higher as flood protection, it wasn't an embankment until the current elevated walkway was built in the late 1980s.
    • And the Chinese name for the Bund, Waitan, is a pure artifact. It means "the outer bank" which it was in relation to what was then Shanghai when the ports and concessions were established in the 1840s—the Old City to the south, whose riverfront area is more in what is now the French Concession (see above), as opposed to the British and American International Settlement where the Bund is. It was peripheral then; within 20 years it was quickly becoming the center of the city.
  • And just across from Hong Kong in mainland China is the city of Shenzhen, which wasn't any more than some small fishing villages until Deng Xiaoping declared it a special economic zone 30 years ago—now it's one of China's ten largest cities. Its name means "the deep drains" and seems rather ill-chosen for a city—because it makes a lot more sense for the river that divides it and Hong Kong.
  • Beijing and Nanjing are also somewhat artifactual. The -jing part means "capital" from their days as the north (bei) and south (nan) seats of imperial power. Since the emperor was deposed in 1912, only Beijing has been the capital, making Nanjing completely an artifact name, and Beijing half one since it's no longer necessary to draw the distinction. That said, there were several points at which only Beijing or Nanjing was capital; the sense is closer to "the city in the north/south that is often capital."
    • This is especially notable considering that both cities were frequently (Beijing has gone through at least 19 names over its recorded history) renamed to avoid this when they were not the capital; it is the reason why Beijing was renamed to Beiping (Northern Peace) during that Nationalist period when Nanjing was the capital, while Nanjing was renamed to Jianning during the Qing dynasty when Beijing was capital. However, the Communists decided explicitly not to do this when they recaptured Nanjing.
    • In addition, when Edo in Japan was renamed and replaced Kyoto as (official) capital of Japan in 1869,note  it was renamed Tokyo, which means Eastern Capital, in order to follow in tradition of Beijing and Nanjing—confusing things mightily, since "Kyoto" is archaic Japanese for "Capital" (Kyoto was briefly renamed Saikyo—"Western Capital"—but it didn't stick).note  In Vietnam, there was also Tonkin, also meaning Eastern Capital.
  • In Beijing, the Forbidden City, once the emperor's palace, is now open to anyone who can pay the admission fee.
  • Toponyms with "gate" in them usually don't have gates anymore, and in some cases are just named for places that once did. These are particularly common in City of London, where the various gates—Bishopsgate, Ludgate, Billingsgate, Aldgate, Newgate (also artifacts, since "Aldgate" means "Old Gate" and "Newgate" should be obvious, and isn't new anymore)—now give their names to areas of and around the City, and usually to major roads that run through where the gatehouse used to be.
    • Likewise there are a lot of Chinese place names with "men", which also means gate and is sometimes (depending whether the old city wall had been demolished) just as nonexistent, in them. Especially apparent in Beijing, as only two "gates" survives construction of Subway Line 2 (then called "the loop") and/or the Cultural Revolution.
  • The California golden bear (Ursus arctos californicus) has been associated with the state of California since the short-lived Bear Flag Republic of 1846, and was placed on the official state flag in 1911, where it remains today. The sports teams of the University of California, Berkeley (the main campus of the University of California system) have been called the Golden Bears since 1895. The California golden bear went extinct in 1922.
    • For that matter, California stopped being a "Republic" in 1864 but the words remain on the flag.
  • The US city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin is often referred to by the nicknames "Brew City" or "The Brew" as it gained notoriety in the early 20th century as the headquarters of four of the countries' largest breweries. Nowadays, its economy is centered around health care and only one large brewery (Miller) still operates in the city, but is headquartered in Chicago.
  • Hunstanton, Norfolk has a similar problem; the construction known as the Hundred Steps (leading from the Esplanade Gardens down to the beach at the bottom of the cliffs) hasn't had a hundred steps since the main promenade was extended to meet the steps about two-thirds of the way down.
    • It was also called "New Hunstanton" when Henry Styleman Le Strange founded the town in 1846, and technically still is (Old Hunstanton neighbours it to the north) although virtually nobody calls it that.
  • Somewhere in France, there is a road called the "seventeen turns", but at least two of them were later removed.
  • There is a church in Athens, Georgia known as Prince Avenue Baptist Church. It is located on Ruth Jackson Road, which is across town from Prince Avenue.
  • The town of Sevenoaks in England varies between accurate and artifact at different times. It is currently an artifact, with nine oaks on the site, but there have been as few as one in the past.
  • The House of Blues, while still hosting the occasional soul or jazz act, is seen as a must-hit venue for any band/performer of any genre touring the US. The Onion even mocked this by titling an article "House of Blues actually House of Whites". Then again, it might be seen as a live-venue version of Network Decay.
  • Orange County, California, was so named because of the large numbers of orange groves that once grew there, and those orange groves no longer exist. A few abandoned Sunkist factories survived for a while but they, too, were eventually torn down.
    • When Orange County was formed, there was already a town named "Orange" there. It's apparently debatable though whether the county was named after the town, or whether the county was named after the fruit and the town name was a coincidence. (The town itself was named after Orange County, Virginia.)
    • It is widely believed that Orange County, New York (home of the eponymous Choppers) had taken its name from the Dutch royal family, which hasn't held any kind of authority there since the late 17th century.
  • The United States of America, under international law, is a state, and the "states" are really provinces. The name comes from when the U.S. was still thought to be a confederation of sovereign states that acted more or less like independent nations under a more powerful and local UN, hence all the early references to "this Union" or "Union of States". This conception more or less died out after the Civil War, when "nation" started cropping up (though secession's still theoretically permissible, so long as the other "states" agree).
    • The name's meaning began to fall apart a mere twelve years into the United States' existence, when the Articles of Confederation were replaced by the US Constitution. This reduced some of the powers available to state governments and greatly increased the power of the national government. Which has from then on been the "federal" government, denoting that it shares power with the states instead of merely having what the states delegate to it.
    • Really it fell apart when the Articles of Confederation themselves were ratified in 1781, just five years into the United States' existence. That document, while creating a far weaker central government than the Constitution that replaced it, did reserve certain powers—declaring war, making treaties, sending and receiving ambassadors, enforcing maritime laws in U.S. territorial waters, and coining/printing money. No truly independent state would cede those powers to another entity. Though in the aftermath of World War II a few nominally sovereign small Pacific islands have ceded their power to coin/print money and to wage war to the United States (the latter was not much of a concession, since they never had their own militaries).
    • The title is most confusing when you consider that the United States of America, a country, is also a member of the Organization of American States, an international alliance of countries.
  • Scenic 17 Mile Drive in Monterey, California is no longer 17 miles long. It's just under 10, while the other portions of the road have been absorbed by the surrounding town and are not considered part of the scenic highway anymore.
  • A large number of settlements and nations across the world have often lost the things or characteristics they were named after.
    • "America" is most commonly used to refer to the United States, although it originally meant all of the Americas (North and South). Many Latin Americans dislike this usage for obvious reasons.
      • This isn't universal to all languages. Spanish, for example, has the term americano, which refers to people and things from the Americas in general, and estadounidense, which refers specifically to the United States. Though this may be because Spanish is the national language of most Latin American countries.
  • Crystal Palace, South London takes its name from the Crystal Palace, which was re-sited there in 1854. Originally erected in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition of 1851, the re-sited Palace was the most prominent landmark for miles around, and gave its name to the area (formerly Sydenham Hill) and most of the local amenities. It isn’t there now, though: it was destroyed by a fire in 1936.
  • Street names are often artifacts of times past:
    • Many towns across the US will continue to have a "Railroad Street" (or "Station Road" in the UK) long after the corresponding railroad track has been dug up, a "Church Street" that no longer has a church on it, a "School Street" that no longer has a school on it, et cetera.
    • Similarly, the Chestnut and Elm streets in many American towns have few, if any, of those tree species left due to the Chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease.
    • Some shopping mall developers name the mall access roads after the department stores they're near. Sometimes, these access roads keep the same name even if the department store doesn't (for instance, J. L. Hudson Drive around Northland Center in suburban Detroit; the corresponding Hudson's chain was later sold to Marshall Field's, which itself sold to Macy's before both the store and the mall closed in 2015). The Crossroads in Kalamazoo, Michigan also has a J. L. Hudson Drive that now leads to a Macy's.
      • In Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, the Charlottetown Mall has an access road named Towers Private Road, for the now-defunct Towers chain, which was sold to Zellers in 1990, which in turn was sold to Target (which only stayed open for about a year when they reported a massive loss of money; the stores' fate remains up in the air as of February 2015) in 2013.
      • Likewise, the access roads at the Paramus Park Mall in Paramus, NJ, were named after the mall's original anchor stores. While Sears Drive still passes the Sears at the one end, the Abraham & Strauss store that begot A&S Drive has been a Macy's for decades.
      • In Danville, PA, there's a Sheraton Rd. near the Interstate. But the hotel the road leads to is now a Days Inn. Similarly, in Falls Church, VA, the hotel to be found on Ramada Rd. is now a Westin.
      • In Manassas Park, VA, the fast food place on Hardees Drive is now a Roy Rogers.
    • Richmond, British Columbia has a street known as Sweden Way, formerly home to a store of Swedish chain IKEA which relocated to an adjacent lot in 2012.
    • In Reston, Virginia, the massive Reston Town Center project required considerable construction resources, and a temporary road was built to facilitate access for construction vehicles. Over two decades later, a number of businesses and residences have Temporary Road as their (permanent) address.
    • New York City's Wall Street originally went along an actual wall. The wall is long since gone, but the name stuck. Likewise, Canal Street was laid out along the route of an actual canal that drained a now-obliterated pond into the Hudson River.
    • Horseferry Road, Westminster, best known for its magistrates court, did once lead directly to the horse ferry crossing the Thames to Lambeth Palace. It now leads to Lambeth Bridge, which replaced the ferry in 1862.
      • There are a great many "Ferry ..." odonyms all over the English-speaking world that are now "in name only." Sometimes it carries over to the name of the town, such as Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.
    • Some towns in the U.S. that are home to small eponymous state universities, such as Montclair, N.J. and East Stroudsburg, PA, have streets named "Normal". That otherwise puzzling name is left over from when the colleges in question were established to train teachers, under the name "X State Normal School." This even gets applied to a whole town: Normal, Illinois is the location of Illinois State University, founded as Illinois State Normal University.
    • In Baltimore, Maryland, "North Avenue" was so named as it was once the northern border of the city. It is currently nowhere near the city limits, being actually rather close to downtown (less than half a mile north of the "official" northern limit of the downtown area). (Incidentally, as any Baltimorean or fan of The Wire can tell you, "North Avenue" is often used metonymically for the administration of the Baltimore City Public Schools, which have their headquarters at North Avenue and Calvert St.).
    • Chicago's North Avenue and Western Avenue once defined the city's northern and western limits. Western Avenue is now the city's western boundary for one and a half miles, but this is almost entirely a coincidence since that part of the South Side was annexed much later. Also, Michigan Avenue gets its name from once having been on the lakefront, from which it was cut off first by the Illinois Central Railroad and later by Grant Park.
    • By the same token, "South Street" in Philadelphia formerly formed the southern border of the City of Philadelphia (separating it from the townships of Passyunk, Moyamensing, and Southwark). In 1858, these municipalities were merged, along with the rest of Philadelphia County, into the City, and now South Street is basically in the heart of Philly. In a subversion, it's still the southern border between Center City ("Downtown") and South Philly.
    • On the other hand, one can argue that Gay Street in lower Manhattan has had its name become more appropriate as changing times led to a vibrant gay culture in the surrounding neighborhood, though the name actually originated, apparently, from the name of an 18th or 19th century property owner.
    • Lansing, Michigan has two examples. Ramada Drive on the south side of town no longer has a Ramada on it; it was converted to Best Western for a time, but is now a vacant lot. On the other side of town is a Knights Inn Drive, leading to a Motel 6 that used to be a Knights Inn. (Interestingly, the motel has a Saginaw Highway address, and the only business to have a Knights Inn Drive address is a storage facility, thus making that drive doubly non-indicative.)
    • The same is true of Hilton Boulevard in Ann Arbor, Michigan where the eponymous motel was later a Crowne Plaza and is now unaffiliated.
    • Holiday Lane in Howell, Michigan used to have a Holiday Inn on it. Said motel later changed brands and is now a vacant lot.
    • Orlando, Florida and Marietta, Georgia both have streets named for Woolco, a department store division of Woolworth which closed all of its American stores in 1983.
    • Drivers passing through Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, on Route 17 will see a sign in either direction for a turnoff at Race Track Road. If they get off, however, they will not find a race track in either direction. There was onenote  that began as a harness racing track, and later became home to midget-car races. It was closed down after some horrific accidents in the late 1930s; the land was redeveloped for residential use.
    • There are a couple of squares in the Sainte Catherine district of Brussels that were created by filling in what were originally docks. The sides of the squares still have street names beginning "Quai", or "quay".
    • Nappanee, Indiana has a Family Fare Drive that has not led to a Family Fare supermarket since the late 80s.
    • The hotel on Hampton Drive in Effingham, Illinois is no longer branded as Hampton Inn.
  • Some other places can be named for nearby businesses that no longer exist:
    • Hills Plaza in State College, PA no longer has Hills.
    • There are two examples in metro Detroit: Korvette Apartments in Roseville and Korvette Park in Redford Charter Township were both named for their proximity to E. J. Korvette stores, which went out of business in 1980.
    • Firestone Boulevard in Southern California was named for the large Firestone Tires factory very close to it. That factory has since been replaced by a shopping center.
  • The US-23 Drive-In in Flint, Michigan had an accurate name for only six years: the road in front of it was US-23, until the highway was re-routed to a freeway in 1958. It was also right next to a "23 Market" (now a Kroger), which once had several other locations throughout Flint — none of which were located on US-23 or a past alignment thereof.
  • Speaking of highway re-routings, it's not uncommon for the old alignment of a state or national highway to be renamed "Old [highway number]". However, in some cases, the "new" highway is later renumbered, but the "old" one still carries the old number. For instance, there are several pieces of "Old M-11" throughout western Michigan; M-11 was re-routed several times before it was renumbered US-31 in 1926, and the number M-11 was used elsewhere.
  • Vermont's Route 22A is a continuation of New York's Route 22A, which splits off from that state's long Route 22 near the Vermont state line. Vermont itself has no Route 22.
  • The Long Path hiking trail, from New York City to (currently) the Albany area, was originally meant as simply a list of points of interest gradually going further north from the city that hikers could find their own routes between, rather than an actual built and maintained trail—hence it was called "path" to make the distinction. When the idea was revived in the early 1960s, 15 years after originally being proposed, it was as a conventional trail, but the name was not changed (not least because there's already a Long Trail in Vermont).
    • Speaking of the Long Trail, it may have been that way a century ago when it was first proposed. But while it takes a month, usually, to hike the full length of the trail, it's not long at all in comparison to the Appalachian, North Country, Continental Divide or Pacific Coast Trails, among others that have since been huilt.
  • Madison Square Garden in New York City was originally located around Madison Square, but has had two locations away from it since 1925 (the current dating to 1968).
  • The New York Times built itself a new headquarters at the junction of Broadway, 43rd Street and Seventh Avenue in 1904. The intersection quickly became known as Times Square, a name that has persisted long after the Times itself moved to another headquarters in 1960.
  • Redding, California has North, South, East, and West streets, which were named as such because those were the geographic borders of the town. Now they are in the middle of the western half of the city.
    • Redding also has the Lorenz Hotel, which is actually a business center with some apartments, as well.
    • Also, Redding is the county seat of Shasta County. The Shasta Native American tribe has been officially considered completely wiped out by the federal government.
    • Redding's Shasta High School yearbook is named the Daisy, even though that has not been their mascot for about a century (it's the Wolves).
  • Many cities that have undergone amalgamations contain neighbourhoods or districts whose names no longer apply. For instance, in Toronto the term "East End" does not refer to Scarborough or part thereof, but to the east end of the pre-1998 city.
    • Oklahoma City, OK, has several such neighborhoods. Capitol Hill is, in fact, miles from the State Capitol complex, and is instead the former main street of a city that was annexed long ago (it's also no longer a hill, if it ever was). Stockyards City and Putnam City are not cities but neighborhoods of OKC. Midtown and Uptown are much closer to Downtown than they are to the actual outer boundaries of the city, which has expanded greatly since those names were given. Belle Isle hasn't been an island since the lake it was in was drained over half a century ago to make room for a new highway. Additionally, Automobile Alley and Film Row no longer have any car dealerships or film exchanges, respectively. The name "Deep Deuce" probably no longer applies, either. There are a lot of bricks in Bricktown, though.
  • University buildings may fall into this trope over time. For instance, the Old Horticulture Building at Michigan State University (affectionately termed "Old Whore" by students) houses... the Department of Romance and Classical Studies (that's "Romance" as in "Romance languages"—if you take Latin, Greek, Italian, French, Spanish, etc., your class will be therenote ). Yes. It used to house the Horticulture department; no longer. Horticulture today is housed in the Plant and Soil Science Building, which actually is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Columbia University's Low Memorial Library (the big domed building in the middle of campus that's a National Historic Landmark) is currently the administration offices. It hasn't been the campus's main library building since Butler Library across the quad was built in the 1930s. Yet Low still has "The Library of Columbia University" engraved across its frieze.
    • Similarly, Sir Howard Douglas Hall at the University of New Brunswicknote  is still commonly called the "Old Arts Building," despite not having not hosted the Faculty of Arts in decades. It, too, is now purely an administrative building.
  • The city of College Station, Texas, was named for the railroad station, College Station, which was named because it served Texas A&M College. Texas A&M College long ago became Texas A&M University, and the railroad station named for it long ago was bulldozed to make way for a multi-lane road.
    • In fact, the "A&M" in Texas A&M is an artifact. The name used to be short for "Agricultural and Mechanical", back when it was primarily an Ag school. Now that the school's subjects have expanded to include all manner of subjects, the "A&M" isn't short for anything in particular, and is kept out of tradition.
  • Both Glacier National Park and Glacier Bay National Park could lose most of their glaciers if climate change continued unchecked.
  • In the United States, many railroad stations are called Union Station. These originally were used by trains from multiple railroads and joint owned by the railroads served. Today, most of these stations are owned by the city in which they reside, and are mainly served by Amtrak. Still the name has stuck.
    • This goes double for "Pennsylvania Station": most of these aren't even in Pennsylvania (e.g. the busiest and most famous, New York Penn), and the Pennsylvania Railroad doesn't even exist anymore.note 
    • Some say the only aversion is the one in Los Angeles, because there are three operators. That said, the three operators are still government-owned: Amtrak (Federal government), Metro (Los Angeles County), and Metrolink (commuter rail jointly operated by several counties in the region). Also, by that standard, at least two other "union" stations bearing the name are in operation in the US: Washington Union—with Amtrak, MARC (State of Maryland), and VRE (commuter rail jointly operated by several counties in Northern Virginia)—and New Haven Union Station—with Amtrak, Metro-North Railroad (under the Metropolitan Transit Authority, a strange extension of the State of New York), and Shore Line East (State of Connecticut).note  You might add two more if you give the "true union" title if there are only two rail operators: San Diego Union (also called Santa Fe Depot)—with Amtrak and COASTER (San Diego County)—and Chicago Union—with Amtrak (of which it is a major, major hub) and Metra (State of Illinois, more or less).note 
  • In many towns in Canada and Australia, you can find bars called hotels, which dates back to a time in which bars were illegal, and alcohol had to be sold in some other setting. Few of them still rent rooms.
    • Frequently the case in Scotland, where in addition to 'hotel', 'inn' and 'lodge' can often be found in the names of pubs. They often will have a few rooms but people rarely stay in them unless it is in an isolated area.
  • One Tree Hill (Maungakiekie) in Auckland, New Zealand, the namesake for a U2 song and a teen drama series, no longer has a tree. The single radiata pine on its summit was felled in 2001 after being attacked by a Maori activist with a chainsaw, and attempts to plant a replacement tree have met legal resistance.
  • There are a number of place names that made sense only before they were developed:
    • St. John's Wood in London. Has trees still, but it's not a forest anymore.
    • The Pastures neighborhood of Albany, New York, was once the communal pasture for the city when it was within a stockade that surrounded the present downtown. It still has a surprising amount of open space, but you probably wouldn't want to annoy the many residents by grazing animals there.
    • Boston's Back Bay has long since been drained and developed. By the same token, the name of the Boston Red Sox's home field, Fenway Park, in that area, reflects its location in what was formerly the wetlands at the edge of the now-drained bay.
    • New Lots in Brooklyn, New York, has a lot of buildings now.
    • Las Vegas translates as "The Meadows".
  • A number of airport codes reflect now-abandoned names. (The codes stick around because the IATA is not fond of changing codes after they've been printed on aviation charts.)
    • "ORD" for Chicago's O'Hare airport, probably the best known example of this, dates to when the Windy City's main airport was still known as "Orchard Field."
    • "SDF" for Louisville International Airport references its original name of "Standiford Field".
    • "MCO" for Orlando International Airport is from the former McCoy Air Force Base which the airport mostly took over.
    • "MCI" for Kansas City International Airport is from its original name of "Mid-Continent International Airport". (A bonus joke during the 90's long-distance phone wars asked why Kansas City's airport code was MCI while the city was the headquarters for Sprint.)
    • Stewart International Airport, which serves Newburgh, N.Y., was originally Stewart Field—hence it still has the code "SWF."
    • In Russia, St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Airport is still coded "LED" for Leningrad.
    • Saigon was officially renamed Ho Chi Minh City after the collapse of South Vietnam in 1975, but Tan Son Nhat International Airport retains the code "SGN" (though "Saigon" is still widely used informally).
    • India has a bunch: "BOM" for Mumbai (formerly Bombay), "CCU" for Kolkata (Calcutta), "MAA" for Chennai (Madras).
    • Again back in China, Beijing Capital International Airport is still PEK, from when the city it serves was known around the world as Peking. There's also "CAN" for Guangzhou (for the older romanization of Canton).
  • The airport code isn't the only remnant of Beijing's former romanization. It still has Peking opera, Peking duck and Peking University.
  • Beijing also has major streets with the suffixes "nei" and "wei", meaning "inner" and "outer" respectively. That distinction related to which side of the city's wall they were on, a wall that was mostly knocked down on Mao's orders in the 1950s and replaced with the city's Second Ring Road.note 
  • Some cities remain famous for an industry that has since disappeared, especially after many Western countries saw industrial decline in The '70s and The '80s.
    • Pittsburgh, PA is widely known as "Steel City" and has a football team called the Steelers. The city is now better known now for medicine and glassworks.
    • Detroit's nickname of "Motor City" (which, in turn, inspired the name of Motown music) is becoming increasingly outdated as automobile manufacturing is outsourced to Asia.
    • In the UK, the Stoke-on-Trent area is often nicknamed "The Potteries", while Stoke City FC are known as "The Potters".
  • India takes its name from the Indus River, a river which now flows mostly in neighboring Pakistan. It isn't always like this, since Pakistan was a part of India until the modern era, having only separated in 1947. Also, the Pakistanis, except for those inhabiting the northwestern areas (who have more in common with the Persians), are basically Muslim Indians, so from a cultural viewpoint, it is still correct.
  • Brazil is named after a certain tree called "Pau-Brasil" (Brazil Wood), which was very abundant during the time of the country's colonization (circa 1500-1600). This tree is practically extinct today.
  • The "Pacific" in Pacific Northwest is an artifact of a time when it needed to be distinguished from the "Northwest", which is today called the Upper Midwest (the name of Northwestern University in Chicago is thus an artifact title as well). This is because in the early 19th century, the western parts of the United States were not yet states and were barely populated. As a result, Illinois would have been considered "northwest" by most Americans back then. These days, nobody looking at a map of the U.S. today would consider anything but the Pacific Northwest to be the Northwest.
  • Nearby the Pacific Northwest is the Canadian province of British Columbia. Britain hasn't exercised direct authority over the territory at least since 1931, hasn't been able to exercise any authority over it since 1982, and while it is true that the Canadian and British Columbian head of state is HM The Queen, she holds that title separately independently (that is to say, it "just so happens" that the Queen of British Columbia is the same person as the Queen of the United Kingdom). In other words: British Columbia isn't British anymore.
    • It was only called "British" Columbia in the first place to distinguish it from the various other "Columbias" that existed at the time, including the US district and the country (spelled "Colombia.")
  • No actual sheep have grazed in the area of New York's Central Park called "Sheep Meadow" since the 1930s, when they were removed out of fear that people made desperate by the Depression would kidnap and eat them.
  • And Pearl Harbor has long been inhospitable to the pearl-bearing oysters it was once rich in.
  • Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, N.Y., are still collectively referred to as the Tarrytowns, despite residents of the latter having voted in 1996 to change the name from North Tarrytown to capitalize on the tourist business.
  • Just south of Buffalo, Lackawanna, N.Y., is an artifact name in several ways.
    • Why is a town in Western New York named for a river and valley two hundred miles to the east in Pennsylvania? Well, in the early 1900s, Buffalo's business elite convinced the Lackawanna Steel Company to move its production west from Scranton, where workers were getting increasingly militant. They set up shop not in the city but just south of it, in the town of West Seneca, where there was less infrastructure and thus they'd pay less in property taxes.

      In 1923 the Lackawanna sold out to another Pennsylvania-based steel company, Bethlehem. It kept the name, and later in the decade, with its own workers frequently going on strike, it encouraged the founding of the city of Lackawanna, so that a proper police force could be raised to deal with the strikers.

      Eventually Bethlehem renamed the plant for itself. The city's name stayed. Then in 1982 it closed up shop. So, Lackawanna is named after a company that no longer exists which no longer makes its product in the city.
  • Really, any country that gets its name from a founding dynasty will sound like this once that dynasty falls out of power: China (Qin dynasty, out of power 206 BCE) and Korea (Koryo dynasty, out of power 1392 CE) have shades of this, though in the latter two cases they are names that the Western countries assign to them (with China having the more enduring local name meaning "Central Country" and Korea's local name meaning "Land of the Morning Calm.")
  • In Brooklyn, NY, Coney Island hasn't been an island for over a century. It used to be separated from the rest of Brooklyn by a small creek, but that was filled in over time. Parts of Coney Island can be considered a peninsula.
    • Ditto with Stonecutter's Island in Hong Kong, now connected to the Kowloon Pensinsula.
  • Many Native American place names traveled west with settlers, making them incongruous with those used by the local tribes.
    • The state of Wyoming, like Wyoming County, New York, gets its name from Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. A Delaware name thus was used for a part of Iroquois, and later Cheyenne, territory.
    • Just north of Wyoming County, New York, is Genesee County, which actually does come from the local Iroquois. So, what better name for settlers to take to Michigan and give to the county around what is now Flint—a long way from the Iroquois.
    • Settlers originating from the Mohawk Valley region of upstate New York named the settlement they founded in North Dakota Canistota, a misspelling of their hometown's Iroquois name: Canastota.
    • Poughkeepsie, Arkansas: A Dutch transliteration of an Iroquois name now used in a place where the Dutch never settled and the Iroquois never went.
  • Kyoto ("capital city") retained its name after Tokyo became the (de-facto) capital of Japan.
  • An interesting case from San Antonio, TX: The city's oldest indoor mall was the Wonderland Mall, which opened in the 1950's. It was a decaying artifact by the late 1970's, so in the early 1980's the property's owners decided to do a complete overhaul of the mall, which they then, by the middle of the decade, renamed as Crossroads Mall. One of the streets that borders the mall was also renamed, to Crossroads Boulevard. The mall began decaying yet again by the early 2000's, so toward the end of the decade the property's owners decided to do yet another overhaul of the mall and transform it into a combination medical building/office space/shopping center, anchored by a Target. They also switched the property's name back to Wonderland Mall (of the Americas). Crossroads Blvd. has not been considered for a renaming.
  • At different times, Maryland and Missouri concluded it was better from a local-government standpoint if the cities of Baltimore and St. Louis respectively became separate counties (at least from an administrative standpoint). However, the former counties remain known by the names of those cities (so that, for example, Missouri has both St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis, which is not a officially a "county" but in practice is treated exactly as if it were).
  • Two for reporters in New York City:
    • The reporter's room in City Hall is called "Room 9" despite several changes in how rooms were designated, even after renovations to the building in The New Tens.
    • Police reporters used to work out of a trailer outside One Police Plaza called "The Shack." They're now in a room in the building itself, but it's still called "The Shack" as tribute to the old thing.
  • The Love Canal toxic-waste site in Niagara Falls, NY, was never actually used as a canal when it was built in the 1890s. It retained the name even after it was bought by a chemical company and filled in to hold it waste products.
  • Orchard Road, Singapore's main shopping district, was so-named because it contained plantation fields in the 19th century.
  • Broadway is the name of a Long Island Railroad station in eastern Queens, NY. It was named in 1866 for a street that ran through there before the borough of Queens was unified. By the 1930s, the street name was finally changed to avoid confusion with a street called Broadway in western Queens. But the station name has remained the same to this day.
  • The Northwest Territories were once most of what is today Canada. Over time provinces and other territories have been carved out of it. The plural might have made sense as long as the land itself was divided into districts. But since the last of those districts, Keewatin, was made into the territory of Nunavut in the late 1990s, there's nothing to suggest that it's necessary (although it's still in Canada's Northwest, though)
    • However, the creation of Nunavut caused an inversion of the trope as applied to the "Northwest" aspect. Before that, the territories included all the islands of the Canadian Arctic, the two largest of which, Baffin and Ellesmere, are on the northeast of Canada. Today the territory is comfortably nestled in the northwestern portion of the country.
    • The territorial capital's name, Yellowknife, is also an artifact. There are still descendants of the Dene band that gave it its name, but there have been too few members for them to be an organized band since the 1960s.
  • Down in Edmonton, the West Edmonton Mall's amusement park was originally called Fantasyland. It was changed to Galaxyland after a lawsuit from Disney over trademark infringement. But the hotel attached to the mall is still the Fantasyland hotel.
  • San Francisco's legendary Winterland Ballroom (which closed in 1978 and was demolished seven years later) was called that because it was originally built as an ice skating rink.
    • And Cow Palace, on the border of San Francisco and Daly City, was originally built to host livestock expositions and rodeos. It still does, but it's also hosted plenty of concerts and some political conventions (including, most famously, the 1956 and 1964 Republican National Conventions) as well as having been the home arenas for the NBA Golden State Warriors and the NHL's San Jose Sharks in the past.
  • Wrigley Field in Chicago retains the name despite the Wrigley family selling the stadium (and the Chicago Cubs) to the Tribune company in 1981. Both are now owned by the Ricketts family.
  • Through downtown Detroit, I-75 has an exit 51B and 51C, but no 51A. This is because the exit 51A, which connected to John R Road, was removed and the exit numbers were never changed.
  • Washington D.C.'s K Street, often used metonymically for the political lobbying industry in the U.S., is getting artifactual in the same way as Wall Street—many of the larger firms have moved out to other locations, sometimes in the D.C. suburbs.
  • The Jewish Autonomous Oblast, a federal subject of Russia, presently only has 0.2% people who identify as Jewish. It once had a large Jewish population, since, well, the subject was accorded specifically for the Jews, but they all either internally or externally migrated not long after its creation. But then, the name is doomed from day one anyway, considering that the oblast, due to being created during the height of antisemitism, is located far, far, far, away from major Russian cities: in the Russian Far East, near China. Once antisemitism (largely) receded, most of the Jews who lived there moved to the metropolitan cities.
  • Across central and western New York state are a couple of towns with "port" in their name: Port Byron, Spencerport, Brockport, Gasport and Lockport. All are inland, about 20 miles or so south of the Lake Ontario shoreline. They get their names from the days when they were, indeed, ports on the Erie Canal.
  • The Soviet Union became one throughout the years as it put less and less constitutional emphasis on Soviets (local councils of workers deputies), which as the name implies, were supposed to be the entire basis of the state, but which fell out of favor as the executive branches of government ended up wielding far more authority than the Supreme Soviet/Congress of Soviets.

    Companies 
  • It is common for a new owner of an established restaurant to keep the name the previous owner(s) in order to keep the established clientele and all the good reputation built. This will often lead to names which imply one style of cuisine and offer a different.
  • Many companies that are named after a person keep that name long after said person or its descendants are of any relevance to the company. Adidas doesn't have anything to do with Adi Dassler or his descendants today, Schenker has been a subsidiary of the various German state railway companies longer than it has been associated with any person called Schenker and so on.
  • Among Hawaiian companies:
    • LikeLike Drive Inn, for many years now neither near Likelike Avenue nor a drive in.
    • KamBowl Haircuts, formerly in the Kamehameha Shopping Center Bowling Alley, but now in a nameless strip mall near Dillingham Avenue after the demolition of said bowling alley.
    • Wisteria Vista condominiums on South King Street, formerly overlooking the Wisteria Restaurant (therefore offering a Wisteria Vista). Now not so much, as the Wisteria was torn down and replaced with an ordinary 7-11 (see below).
    • Kapiolani Community College, also decades in its spot near Diamond Head instead of its former location on Kapiolani Avenue.
  • The famous (and now gone forever) New York music venue CBGB stood for "Country, Blue Grass, and Blues", initially specializing on those aforementioned types of music (along with "Other Music For Uplifting Gormandizers"). Soon, CBGB, instead of being a home for old-time folk music, went down in history as an important landmark for the American punk/New Wave scene, housing bands such as The Ramones, Blondie, and Talking Heads.
  • Stan Lee hasn't been involved with Stan Lee Media since the late 1990s. The company itself has been described as "a sleazy Internet start-up that could function as the poster child for the excesses of the turn-of-the-century era."
  • Canadian Tire started as an auto parts store in Toronto in 1922, hence the "Tire". It's now a much more diversified hardware store, although most Canadian Tire stores have extensive automotive departments, service garages and gas stations.
    • Similarly with London Drugs, originally a small drugstore in Vancouver, now a nationwide chain of fairly diverse retail stores, though with some emphasis on the sorts of things you expect from the "Drugs" part of the name.
    • Western Auto (now defunct) started as an auto supplies store, but diversified greatly in the 1950s and 1960s to the point where the typical rural Western Auto store resembled a Sears "catalog store" more closely than it did a NAPA or AutoZone and auto parts made up a relatively small part of their business.
  • The convenience store chain 7-Eleven was named after its hours of operation. Now most stores are open 24-7. Its parent company was until 2005 known as the Southland Ice Company, after its original business model of block-ice delivery in Texas in the years before most Americans owned refrigerators.
  • The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, or A&P. A long-standing grocery chain, they quickly went on to sell more than just tea. Yet, when they announced that they were having financial problems in 2010, at least one news website ran a headline saying "Tea company to close 25 stores."
    • Related to this, the Atlantic and Pacific parts of its name fit this, as the long-struggling chain gradually (over a 50-plus year period) withdrew itself mainly to the Northeastern United States before going out of business in fall 2015.
  • Any product or store named after a price expressed in an inflatory currency will be this if the name isn't changed:
    • Dollar/"99 Cent" stores in North America. They originally specialized in items that cost one dollar or less (plus tax if not food), but due to inflation, most of their products cost more nowadays. As such, stores with "Dollar" in the name (Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, Dollar General, etc.) are now understood to be discount stores, meaning the items are still cheap but not necessarily a dollar.
      • Funnily enough, Japan has managed to keep their equivalent fairly well. Almost everything in 100 yen shops costs 100 yen (or 108 with tax). More expensive items tend to be in multiples of 100, rarely exceeding 500 yen.
    • In Hungary the "Twinner 88" chewing gum initally cost 88 forints. There were also shops that "sell everything for 100 forints", which was later changed to "we sell (almost) everything for 100 forints", then only the name of the shop was "100 forint shop" but the prices were higher. Now it is re-branded to "One Euro Market" - in a country that doesn't use the euro.
  • American fast-food chain Carl's Jr.:
    • The chain was so named because its first location was supposed to be the "junior" (i.e. smaller accompaniment) of a now long-gone barbeque chain called Carl's.
    • When the chain debuted its largest hamburger, it was rather short-sightedly called the "Six Dollar Burger" because it was the kind of burger you'd get at a sit-down restaurant and have to pay a whole six dollars for, rather than the $3.99 it cost at Carl's. Inevitably, inflation raised the price of the burger to the point where it needed to be renamed the "Thickburger."
      • Partially. At the time the Six Dollar Burger was renamed the Thickburger, Carls Jr. was also trying to homogenize with its sister chain, Hardee's, which had been calling them Thickburgers for years.
  • Motel chain Best Western was named because most of their properties were west of the Mississippi and considered to be the "best". They tried using "Best Eastern" once they hit the other side of the river, but it didn't stick.
  • YMCA stands for Young Men's Christian Association, and in those days, it was exactly what it said on the tin. It was created in 1840s London by a group of Christian guys who had come from the country to work in the new textile factories as a place for good, clean fun, giving an alternative to various city vices (since the only "entertainment" at the time were taverns and brothels); since period swimsuits were not compatible with pool technology of the time, the facilities had to be male only. But nowadays, it's a place where even old Hindu women can go and have fun. (Plus its notoriety as a hook-up spot for gay men, which inspired the Village People song). It is still an association, though.
    • The organization has changed its name to 'The Y', because of the general confusion as to what YMCA was supposed to stand for. One can only wonder what will happen when people forget that the Y stands for YMCA...
    • There have also been YWCAs (Young Women's Christian Associations) and YMHAs (Young Men's Hebrew Associations), and there used to be at least one YWHA (Young Women's Hebrew Association) in Philadelphia. The YMHA and YWHA are now under the umbrella name of Jewish Community Centers, although some individual JCCs still use the older terms, or "The Y"; the famous 92nd Street Y in Manhattan began its life as a YMHA and is now a JCC.
  • AOL, despite being short for America Online, now operates in countries outside the United States, many of which are not in North or South America.
  • 20th Century Fox. The name originally came about from a merger between 20th Century Pictures and Fox Film Corporation in 1935, and at the Turn of the Millennium they made a statement saying they wouldn't update the company name (Futurama's Logo Joke notwithstanding).
    • However, after owner News Corporation split into two companies in 2013, the legal successor company, which owns 20th Century Fox, is now known as 21st Century Fox.
  • DreamWorks Animation is no longer the animation department of DreamWorks SKG, having been spun off from the studio in 2004. It does however own the rights to the name "DreamWorks", which it leases out to the main studio.
  • The Phone House still goes by its its original name of The Carphone Warehouse in the UK and Ireland.
  • In Baltimore, there is a place called the "Belair Road Supply Company". It started as a supply company on Belair Road. However, it has since moved to Pulaski Highway.
  • There's a corporation called Gyrodyne which once manufactured helicopters for the US Navy. By 1975 the military contracts dried up and the company reinvented itself as a real estate investment trust.note  For over 40 years it has had nothing to do with aviation or engineering of any kind, yet no-one ever bothered to change the company's name.
  • Oxfam International is a multinational aid confederation with member organisations in 14 countries. Its name comes from the now obsolete telegraph address of the original organisation: the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief, founded in Oxford, UK in 1942 to lobby for a relaxation of the Allied blockade of Axis-occupied Greece to allow food relief.
  • Dunkin' Donuts. Sure, they still serve donuts and coffee, like they always have, but they never seem to even bother to promote the tens of varieties of donuts they serve. Their current slogan is "America Runs On Dunkin'", an emphasis on coffee, compared to this commercial from the 1980s, where there was an emphasis on donuts. They even serve, including but not limited to, flatbread sandwiches, bagels, bagel twists, pepperoni-stuffed breadsticks, breakfast sandwiches (served on croissants, bagels, English muffins, and biscuits), chicken salad sandwiches, hash browns, iced beverages, and a coffee menu that's mutated to all sorts of coffee-based drinks.
    • Likewise, Canadian chain Tim Hortons dropped "Donuts" from their name entirely once they started to sell more than coffee and donuts.
  • Inverted by Netflix: The service's name was created during its initial conception as a streaming service (which was shelved for technology reasons). As a result of improving technology, the name became accurate when the service's streaming content eclipsed its mail order content.
  • GEICO stands for Government Employee Insurance Company, and as the name suggests, only sold insurance to government employees. (The assumption at the time was that government employees would tend to be better drivers, and even if their driving sucked they also could be reliably expected to have the income to pay the monthly premium.) It has since expanded well-beyond the point that its name makes any sense.
    • There's also a fair amount of credit unions originally founded for public employees of a particular agency that are now open to anyone. Many of them still don't fall completely under an Artifact Title by virtue of the fact that that parent company's staff can apply for membership, so the name is still appropriate.
    • BHW is a German abbreviation for "Beamten Heimstätten Werk" (roughly government employee/ civil servant home provider) while they still operate on the housing market, they are open to people of any profession nowadays.
  • The iTunes Store, while originally a store for music, now also sells ebooks, movies and iPhone apps.
    • Similarly, Google Play works well with most of the things they sell, but one doesn't really "play" a book or newspaper.
  • New York's famous Second Avenue Deli, now located on 33rd Street and 3rd Avenue, with a second location on 1st Ave. and 75th St.
  • Nokia Corporation got its name because it had a mill in the town of Nokia, Finland, back when it used to manufacture paper rather than communication technology. Nowadays it has its headquarters in Espoo, Finland, and the only connection it has to its old home town is the name.
  • AT&T stands for American Telephone and Telegraph. While they could probably still handle it if they had to, telegraphy went out of use a long time ago.
    • Additionally, their symbol on the New York Stock Exchange is simply "T" for "Telephone," as they were the only phone company (not counting ones relegated to servicing rural areas in the middle of nowhere) in the US until their forced split in 1984.
  • Gateway, the former computer company, was originally founded as Gateway 2000 to make and sell peripherals, such as network gateways, in the mid-1980s. The plan was always to start making their own computers, and by the early 1990s that was their core business. In 1998 the "2000" was dropped, averting that part of the trope. Acer, which has owned Gateway since the mid-2000s, will soon be retiring the name completely.
  • The Warner Music Group was once Time Warner's music department, but it hasn't been affiliated with them since 2004.
    • Similarly, Time Warner Cable became its own company in 2009 after spinning off from Time Warner, but it's held on to the name since then.
    • Both companies former parent is still referred to as Time Warner, even after Time Inc. was spun off in 2014.
  • Facebook: A "facebook" is something that has historically been distributed to American college freshmen, with pictures of the entire class and, perhaps, some brief information. Sort of like a high school yearbook inverted, even with the same lame pictures. This name for the network reflected its original limitation to alumni of various colleges and universities — a restriction that, when dropped, helped the company overtake MySpace and become the dominant social network.
  • The Vassarette brand of lingerie takes its name from the Vassar-Swiss Underwear Company of Chicago, which made both men's and women's underwear. In the mid-20th century the brand name for the latter was given a feminine ending to distinguish it. It was more successful and the company spun it off several years later. The original Vassar brand stopped being produced in the late 1960s.
  • Pizza chain Little Caesars has an artifact slogan of "Pizza! Pizza!", referencing the fact that in the early days, Little Caesars sold two pizzas for what competitors charged for only one. While this pricing is no longer the case (although $5 for a "Hot & Ready" pizza is still a pretty good deal), "Pizza! Pizza!" and many other variations thereof are still prominent in advertising.
    • Except in Canada, where a completely unrelated chain known as Pizza Pizza has operated since 1967, a dozen years before Little Caesars began using "Pizza! Pizza!" in the States (after buying the US rights to the slogan). Little Caesars has been prohibited from using the slogan in Canada, for obvious reasons.
  • Speaking of pizza, many Pizza Huts aren't in hut shaped buildings anymore... They have many hut-less locations inside strip malls (most of which are carryout-only), and have even begun opening full-service locations that aren't hut shaped at all.
  • The Universal Music Group is currently owned by Vivendi, as they kept the division after selling its former parent Universal to GE.
  • Glacier Media, a publisher of various newspapers and magazines in Western Canada, gets their name from having started out as a bottled water company (a business they've been out of for years).
  • The names of the Honolulu Advertiser and Memphis Commercial Appeal, both the major newspapers in those cities, reflect their origins as primarily vehicles for ads with a little copy in between. Their news holes have since increased to the size of other comparable newspapers, and that's what people buy them for. In Honolulu Advertiser's case, The Other Wiki states:
    The biggest story in the first edition was a report on the wedding of Kamehameha IV and Queen Emma. However, the front page was devoted almost exclusively to advertisements. Throughout the paper, Whitney posted fifty-two advertisements for sailing ships in port at Honolulu Harbor with three hundred vessel timetables.
  • Motel 6 got its name because its original rate was $6 a night. Costs have since gone up over the years both due to inflation and to the increase of amenities such as coin-operated black-and-white TVs being replaced with free color TVs.
    • The same is true of Super 8 Motels, which originally charged $8.88 per room.
  • The Five Guys burger chain is named for "Five Guys" that were the founder and his four sons. After a fifth son was born, the "Five Guys" were retconned into the sons, all of whom work for the company.
    • And of course today it has a lot more employees than that, quite a few of whom are women, as well. That said, the business model is still based on five employees running the kitchen.
  • Chex cereal's name and shape reflected the checkerboard logo of its former owner Ralston-Purina (yes, the pet food company used to make cereal, too). The cereal has since been sold to General Mills in 1997, three years after the Ralston portion was spun off into Ralcorp.
    • The "Ralston" portion of the name reflected the early endorsement of the company's cereal by Webster Edgerly, who in the 1890s founded a weird, eugenics-derived and frankly racist by modern standards social movement called Ralstonism that didn't last much beyond the first decade of the 20th century; Edgerly himself died in the mid-1920s. Yet the name stayed until the company was sold off.
  • Supermarket chain ASDA was originally ASsociated DAiries - Exactly What It Says on the Tin. Doubles as a Market-Based Title as it's now Walmart UK in all but name.
  • Discount clothing store Filene's Basement got its name because the first one was opened in the basement of Filene's department store flagship in Boston. The flagship closed in 2006 when Filene's parent company was bought out by Macy's, since it was across from an existing Macy's store. Filene's Basement persisted a good five years after the demise of Filene's, although it ended up in bankruptcy, as well. (There was an attempt by the company that owned Filene's Basement to pull a Gyrodyne and turn into a real estate investment trust, as they held a lot of pretty good leases; this doesn't seem to have worked out.)
  • Similarly, Value City Furniture was once, as its name indicates, a furniture spinoff of discount chain Value City. Value City Furniture was spun off into its own company in 2002, and Value City ended up going out of business in 2008. (Ohio State University's Value City Arena is sponsored by Value City Furniture.)
  • The United Knitting Machine Corporation was once a large American producer of knitting machines until the late 1970's when it bid and won a subcontract to produce a set of electric railcar pantographs for General Electric. In the years since as the domestic textile industry proceeded to fall off a cliff, UKM took on more and more rail related manufacturing contracts until it completely abandoned knitting machines, but the company nevertheless kept its old name.
  • For some reason, "90s Nails" is a common name for nail salons (particularly in shopping malls), despite the 90s being long gone; since nail salons really got started in the 80s and 90s, it's possible that these were founded in the 90s.
  • The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railway served more than just those three cities. In fact, though the railroad's route followed the old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe itself was only served by a branch line that was built as the main line was being extended towards the Pacific Ocean, and Kansas City displaced Atchison as the eastern terminus in the railroad's early years. As time went on, management began to refer to the railway as just "Santa Fe."
  • The New York and Harlem Railroad has a fascinating history as an artifact title. When established in 1831, its goal was indeed to provide rail service between what we know today as Lower Manhattan and a village about ten miles to the north called Harlem. Six years later it had connected them. By 1842, when it went into the Bronx, the name was no longer accurate.
    • In 1864, it became part of the New York Central Railroad. By that point it went all the way up to the Berkshires, where it connected to the main line of the Boston and Albany Railroad. The section of Putnam and Dutchess counties along the Connecticut state line is still sometimes referred to as the Harlem Valley because of the railroad that served it. The Central called it the Harlem Valley line.
    • The Central itself met its demise in the early 1970s. But Conrail, and today Metro-North, still designate the commuter rail service along its old route, all the way to Wassaic, NY, as the Harlem Line (confusing to younger riders at first as, while its first stop north of Grand Central is indeed at 125th Street in Harlem, it shares that with the other two Metro-North lines out of the city.
  • When private rail lines in New Jersey were merged into New Jersey Transit, some of the old line names were preserved, such as the Main Line, which is only called so as it was formerly Exactly What It Says on the Tin for the Erie-Lackawanna Railway.
  • Among other American railroads with an artifact title is the Delaware and Hudson. How it got that way is atypical for a railroad:
    • Originally, the company was chartered in the 1820s to build and operate the Delaware and Hudson ''Canal'', which brought anthracite coal from northeastern Pennsylvania to New York City by way of what is today Kingston, then down the Hudson to the city. The charter allowed the company to expand into other transportation businesses and even abandon the canal if it saw fit.
    • And while it did bring the British Stourbridge Lion to the U.S. in 1829 for a test run on tracks near Honesdale, PA (the first time a locomotive ever ran on tracks in the U.S.) to see if this method of transportation might be a better long-term investment than the canal, it decided to stick with the barges.
    • But over the course of the 19th century rail technology did improve, and eventually the D&H began laying track and operating trains as well. Ultimately it built the line north of Albany, connecting New York City and Montreal, that is still in use by Amtrak today.
    • By the 1890s, it had formally dropped the "canal" from its name. A decade later, it closed the canal. So the railroad aspect, which primarily served the upper Hudson valley and had little to do with the Delaware Valley, had an artifactual name from the start.
  • Most U.S. railroads have names based on their original routes or service areas, combined with those from railroads they merged with, that are no longer accurate: Norfolk Southern (a merger of the Norfolk & Western and Southern railroads) serves practically the entire Eastern US; BNSF (Burlington Northern Santa Fe) serves much of the West; CN (Canadian National) serves not only Canada but also extends down the Great Lakes and the Mississippi to Louisiana.
  • Sprint Nextel was originally owned by the now defunct Southern Pacific Railroad. Sprint was an acronym for Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Network of Telecommunications. Southern Pacific went out of business when it was bought by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1996. The acronym has been long gone but the name Sprint lives on.
  • U.S. Gold started out as a British publisher of American-developed computer games, but soon branched out to porting arcade games by Japanese companies such as Namco, Sega and Capcom, and eventually started publishing original games from European developers such as Core Design and Delphine Software International before being bought out by Eidos.
  • The French video game company Loriciels (which later dropped the 's') was named after the Oric 1 & Oric Atmos computers its earliest games were created for, but which became obsolete long before the company folded.
  • Dungeons & Dragons maker TSR's initials officially don't mean anything now, but originally stood for Tactical Studies Rules, a name which made sense when they were just doing tabletop wargaming but less so when the fantasy role-playing game developed as an offshoot became the company's cash cow.
  • A women's clothing store called White House was Exactly What It Says On The Tin — they sold white garments only. Later on, they divided the stores into a second section called Black Market. But White House/Black Market stores now sell more than just those two colors.
  • HSBC stands for Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, from the two Chinese cities where it was founded. For the first thirty years or so of the People's Republic of China's existence, the name was half artifactual as there were no private banks in Shanghai under Communism and the bank was based in Hong Kong exclusively. Since the liberalization of China, HSBC has returned to its other original home in a big way and the trope has been averted. Of course, none of this stops HSBC from being headquartered in neither Hong Kong nor Shanghai—its HQ is at Canary Wharf in the East End.
  • Limited Brands continued to have that name for six years after they sold of clothing chain The Limited (they're now just "L Brands"). Limited Too, a girls' clothing chain, was spun off in 1999, and continued to go by that name independently of the parent company until it was renamed Justice in 2006.
  • Banana Republic got its name because it originally sold safari clothing. It was bought out by Gap, who turned it into a more upscale clothing store.
  • The McDonald family hasn't had any real interest or control in the McDonald's company or even brand since the mid-1950s. The last vestige of that period of the company's history ended in 1990, when the one remaining restaurant that they had franchised, in Downey, CA, was bought by the company. The franchise is now owned exclusively by the Kroc family - and while "Kroc's" might be a witty name for the restaurant, perhaps with a cartoon "krocodile" replacing Ronald McDonald as the chain's mascot, the original name has such extensive brand-name recognition (worldwide!) that there's now no chance of ever altering it.
  • The French Canadian transportation giant Bombardier bought out Canadair in the late 1980s, yet its CRJ airplanes still refer to "Canadair Regional Jet." Similarly, it also bought out De Haviland, yet the Dash jets that company made are still abbreviated as "DH-8", with the "DH" standing for their original manufacturer.
  • Newbury Comics started out as a comic book store located on Newbury Street in Boston. By the time it became a New England-wide chain store, it was primarily a music retailer. The "comics" part of the name isn't a complete artifact though, as all locations still have a small section for comics and/or graphic novels.
  • The Christmas Tree Shops are open year-round, and sell a lot more than Christmas stuff (but not actual Christmas trees!).
    • The plural used in the name of all the stores is a more genuine artifact. The now-closed original store on Cape Cod was actually divided among three separate buildings, two small houses and a barn that had been retrofitted into shops. All of the newer stores are just one shop.
  • The bar and restaurant chain Yardhouse no longer serves yards of beer. Half-yards are as large as they get these days, and apparently "Half-Yardhouse" just won't do.
  • American Express, a financial service company known for its credit cards, started off as a courier service.
  • Coleco, the company behind Colecovision and Cabbage Patch Kids, started their existence as the Connecticut Leather Company, who just processed leather for shoes. They then expanded into leather crafting kits, which led to other kits aimed towards kids to put together. They shortened the company name before completely selling off their leather-production facilities in the 1960's.
  • ASOS, a clothes shop originally named that as an acronym for "As Seen On Screen", as they focused on making duplicates of garments in movies. Nowadays they just make mainstream high-street fashion and run an online vintage marketplace, and don't make any more celebrity clothing dupes than any of the other high-street chains do.
  • Duncan Hines, not a company but a brand, is a lesson in how brand licensing can trigger this trope. Hines was actually a real person, a former traveling salesman whose notes on good places to eat and, later, stay in various communities around the country became a best-selling series of guidebooks during the '30s and '40s. In the early '50s he licensed his name to what later became ConAgra for a line of cake mixes and frostings that is still sold today—pretty much the only remnant of his life outside his hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and yet one that he had almost nothing to do with once the check for the rights cleared. So pervasive is this association today that a recent biography was almost subtitled The Man Behind the Cake Mix.
  • Samuel Goldwyn never produced any films for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which inherited the middle third of its name from the Goldwyn Pictures Co. he had once founded.
  • Lemsip, the brand of cold remedy hot drink mix, was originally lemon-flavoured, but is now available in multiple flavours and not just lemon. Apple and Cinnamon Lemsip?
  • The Chinese name of the Hong Kong office of PricewaterhouseCoopers is Lowe, Bingham & Sanford Yung, as before the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand that created the current PwC, neither firm imposed their name to their Hong Kong agencies, Lowe, Bing & Matthews and Sanform Yung & Co respectively.
  • The Spanish bank BBVA is still officially known in China by one of its predecessors, Banco Exterior de España, because that's the only bank a given Chinese is likely to have business with—it had a monopoly on export finance in Spain during The Franco Regime.
  • Banco Nacional Ultramarino was originally Portugal's colonial banking organization. However, after the Carnation Revolution, most of its colonial businesses were nationalized with the exception of Macau, and was absorbed by the state-owned giant, Caixa Geral, in 2001. With the explicit purpose of creating The Artifact, Caixa Geral spun off the Macanese business it inherited from BNU to a new Macanese-registered company of the same name which is still wholly owned by Caixa Geral. Which means BNU, after 2001, wasn't even intended to be an overseas banking organizationnote .
  • In the US, some banks, like railroads, have names that still reflect their original purpose at founding. Buffalo's M&T Bank was founded as Manufacturers and Traders, since the former had trouble getting financing from more traditional banks who were too used to traditional merchants' schedules to changes their ways back in the mid-19th century. Today they probably still make loans to manufacturers and traders, but you can also open personal checkings and savings accounts there, among other things not likely to have been part of their original purpose.
    • Likewise with the Manufacturers' Trust Company in New York, later Manufacturers Hanover.
  • DR1, Denmark's oldest TV station, was called Dansmark Radio until 1996, as it started out as a radio station in 1925, well before the introduction of television. It is officially referred to in English as the Danish Broadcasting Corporation.
  • Record label Arista Nashville is an example, as it was spun off from Arista Records, which itself went under in 2011.
  • Mills Corporation managed to both invert and play this straight. The company was originally known as Western Development, and built several malls called "____ Mills" (except for Block at Orange, now Outlets at Orange, in Orange, California). These proved so successful that the company was renamed Mills Corporation. They later bought malls from other developers, but did not put them into the "Mills" Theme Naming except Cincinnati Mills, originally Forest Fair Mall. When Simon Property Group bought the Mills portfolio, they kept the "Mills" named malls, except for St. Louis Mills (now St. Louis Outlet Mall) and Cininnati Mills (now Forest Fair Village), which were renamed after Simon sold them off.
  • Until 2016, it was the case of one of the major bus operators in the Czech Republic, Student Agency, now known as Regio Jet. It still has a branch occupied with the accommodation of the Czech students abroad, but you would be hard pressed to find this activity mentioned on the company's website (unless you switched to its Czech version) or in the media, so irrelevant it has become compared to its transportation business. One may say that their new name is downplaying this trope rather than averting it completely. At least, it conveys some vague idea of transportation, even if they don't own a single jet plane.
  • Also in the Czech Republic, many local bus companies, municipally owned and private, still have in their names "ČSAD" (Československá Statní Automobilová Doprava - Czechoslovak State Motor Transit) - an acronym coming from the Communist years when these companies were local subdivisions of the only national bus operator. Bonus points for referring to a disappeared state.
  • The (state owned) company running the trains in East Germany from 1945 to 1994 was called "Deutsche Reichsbahn" (German Imperial Railways). Despite there not being any "Deutsches Reich" (German Empire) after 1945. This was - at least in part - an Enforced Trope, because one of the treaties between the four powers controlling Berlin included a line that the Berlin S-Bahn was to be run by the "Deutsche Reichsbahn" in all of Berlin - while this may have been intended as a temporary fix until some better solution could be found, the political situation developed in a way that made changing this impossible and so the GDR railway was forced into this very strange artifact title. Even after the Berlin S-Bahn was taken over by the BVG (the local public transit agency of West-Berlin) in the mid 1980s, the name was kept because by now people had grown used to it. Deutsche Reichsbahn only ceased to exist in 1994 when it was united with (West-German) Deutsche Bundesbahn to found Deutsche Bahn AG. So not only did the GDR railway survive its state by four years, the Reichsbahn also survived the "Reich" by almost half a century. The Reichsbahn also existed longer in the GDR than under any other arrangement. It was only founded in the 1920s as a consequence of the treaty of Versailles. Before that, the several German states had their own railroadsnote  and some private railroads managed to hang around as well.
    • Deutsche Bahn themselves zigzag that trope. On the one hand they now own bus companies in Britain and freight subsidiaries in most countries on the globe (making both the "German" and the "rail" part of their name questionable) on the other hand their main business is still rail travel in Germany and adjacent countries and CEO Rüdiger Grube even stated they want to focus more on this "bread and butter business" of theirs instead of the expansion around the globe his predecessor Hartmut Mehdorn was known for.
  • QANTAS, Australia's national airline, started life as Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services, but has grown well beyond those two regions.
  • Volkswagen gets its name from the "people's car" project started under the Nazis, a design never actually built for civilian use. When the British were looking around for ways to get the economy going in the sector of Germany they occupied after the war, they found the plans all ready to roll and started up production, not bothering to change the name. However, in a more general sense their name still is (mostly) apt as they do produce a car for "all people", with their cheapest widely available model (for decades the Käfer note  then the Golf and now the Polo) a very common entry level car for young people and young families with little to no stigma attached to it and an emphasis on few but useful features and durability. However, since about The '90s, VW has trouble producing cars cheap enough to fit this bill and even some brands within their own company (Skoda first and foremost) managed to undercut the "decent cheap entry model car" business model by being cheaper without necessarily offering worse quality or durability.
  • Berlinlinienbus, which is owned by Deutsche Bahn but operated separately from both DB trains and other DB buses used to be Exactly What It Says on the Tin - a company operating bus lines to an from Berlin. But in The New Tens a long standing law limiting intercity buses to a few routes (mostly to and from Berlin) was changed and now most of the routes and most of the passengers have nothing to do with Berlin. Berlin is still an important hub, though.
  • Airbnb got its name from the founders' idea to inflate three air mattresses in the living room of their apartment and run it as a bed and breakfast in order to make their rent payments. Since they turned it into a company, many guests in others' apartments and homes have gotten to sleep on real beds.
  • A number of cities in the United States have a "Yellow Cab Co." offering taxi service. Many of them now paint their vehicles other colors.note 
  • Swiss Chalet, a Canadian restaurant chain, started with an actual Swiss Chalet restaurant, although since then, they've moved on to more traditional square flat-roofed concrete buildings as other restaurants.

    Computing 
  • Windows Phone 7 doesn't have... windows. Applications run full-screen. While the OS shares many internals with other versions, the UI element that is its namesake is not present. The closest it comes to such in version 7.5 is a card-style app switcher similar to webOS.
    • Windows 8 is partial aversion in that it features a new UI similar to Windows Phone with fullscreen apps, however the classic desktop is still available and essentially exists as its own app within the new UI paradigm. It's an OS within an OS (or a graphical shell within a graphical shell).
  • The use of "C:\" to designate the first hard drive of a PC reflects its original deference to the 5¼-inch and 3½-inch floppy-disk drives, which were give the letters A:\ and B:\ (computers rarely had more than two floppy drives, or a hard drive). Computers haven't shipped with the first as a standard since the late 1990s, and the second went by the boards a few years later. Yet "C:\" remains the beginning of the drive alphabet. Thanks to Idiot Programming, some installers struggle when the system drive is given any other letter.
    • In fact, the whole system is an artifact of the era when computers were likely to have access to lots of disk drives (at some large companies, they had gotten into triple letters). There's really no need for letter codes any more. Very few users need to go to the CLI any more, and you really don't need them in the folder now called "Computer".
    • Indeed, many indexed drives, such as memory cards, and USB drives, are solid-state and not actually disk drives at all, although lots of computers still use drives with moving disks - hard drives and optical drives (like CD/DVD-ROM) being the most obvious examples.
    • POSIX compliant systems avert this. They don't have drive letters to begin with. Drives and other storage devices are accessed (if from the command line) by going to the /media/ system folder with devices given generic names like "sda0" or something.
      • Although that too is an artifact title coupled with Non-Indicative Name. The "sd" means SCSI Disk, as opposed to the "hd" naming convention which was for the older ATA. Now, "sd" is assigned to just about any mass storage device, regardless of what type or bus it uses.
  • Two basic operators in the LISP programming language are named CAR and CDR. Their names stand for Contents of Address Register and Contents of Decrement Register, which referred to parts of the 36-bit memory words used to store lists in the original implementation of the language on the IBM 704. (They were not the names of the actual machine code instructions used to implement them.)
  • Usenet, the Internet's bulletin boards, got their name from its creators' original hope that that Usenix, the Unix users' group, would become an official sponsor.
    • The original purpose of Usenet was to disseminate news of interest to Unix enthusiasts. Hence its division into "newsgroups" and the then-general practice of referring to Usenet as "news", even long after it became just another discussion board swamped with spam and porn.
    • Similarly, uuencoding, the system used to translate binary files into blocks of text that could be sent via email and other text media, derives its name from Unix-to-Unix Encoding.
    • For the transfer of Usenet news, the Network News Transfer Protocol, commonly known as NNTP, was developed. During an attempt to update it in the early 1990s, a proposal for a separate protocol for commands to clients, to be called Network News Reader Protocol (NNRP), was put forth. As The Other Wiki tells it:
      This protocol was never completed or fully implemented, but the name persisted in InterNetNews's (INN) nnrpd program. As a result, the subset of standard NNTP commands useful to clients is sometimes still referred to as "NNRP".
  • The "Requests for Comment" from the Internet Engineering Task Force that establish networking standards are usually final documents implemented almost immediately (any actual comments are usually made privately, and sometimes do result in slight tweaks to the standards ... which are then issued as new RFCs). In the early days of the Internet, when ARPA was still running things, they actually did generate a lot of responses, sometimes publicly, and were extensively revised.
  • The well-known programming technique Ajax stands for "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML". Quoth Wikipedia: "Despite the name, the use of XML is not required (JSON is often used instead, though some pedants call it AJAJ in that case), and the requests do not need to be asynchronous."
    • JavaScript is by far the most used language for client-side web scripts because it's nearly universally supported, but yes, the name Ajax is also used when talking about this technique in some of the alternatives (such as Google's Dart).
  • Most of us are familiar with Apple's iProduct formatting, which has now become a simple trademark accepted by the public. However, it was originally used on the iMac to mean "Internet," as its main focus was how easy it was to connect to the Internet. It was also meant to stand for "individual" to signify home usage as opposed to the professional Power Mac line. Naturally, as other iProducts came out such as the iPhone and iPod, it started being used more as a trademark than anything, and the original definition has since faded away into obscurity.
    • Conversely, Apple as a whole made a move to avert this when, upon the announcement of the first iPhone in 2007, they shortened their name from Apple Computer to just Apple, as their product line had increased beyond personal computers and into consumer electronics.note  Although, one could argue that this was unnecessary, as most of their products are, strictly speaking, still computers.
  • The floppy disk icon is still commonly used to indicate program save functions, despite floppies having fallen out of general use since the late 1990's and early 2000's.
    • The name "Floppy disk" fell into this category with the 3.5" version, which used a hard plastic shell instead of a floppy one.
      • Although the magnetic disk inside the shell was in fact still floppy.
    • For that matter the term "hard drive" for a computer's internal memory. The term was coined to contrast with floppy disk drives, but persists despite floppies being obsolete. And despite many hard drives not actually being disk drives but solid state memory now, too.
  • Google's AdSense, the company's cash cow, was originally a feature called AdWords Select, a premium version of a paid-search function called AdWords it had launched in 2002. AdWords Select became so popular that Google dropped the original AdWords altogether shortly afterwards, but didn't rename it.
  • ScummVM was designed to run point-and-click games made with the SCUMM scripting language, however, time has passed and more games that don't use the SCUMM language were added to the compatible games list.
    • SCUMM itself is an example. The acronym stands for Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, but mutated from a scripting tool for an individual game into a scripting language standard for all of Lucasart's graphical adventure games.
  • The acronym VGA, short for Video Graphics Array. Originally it meant a graphics chip shipped with IBM PS/2 computers. The name either means the 640x480 resolution it introduced, or the connector it had (a 15-pin D-Sub), which later added support for much higher resolutions.
  • The now-bankrupt Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox got its name from the acronym that reflected its original purpose. It started out as the Magic:The Gathering Online Exchange. After its collapse (and the disappearance of most of its assets), many people commented that if people had known the full name of the place they were storing their e-money, they probably would have chosen elsewhere.
  • Intel's Pentium brand was named such since the original was Intel's 5th generation processor of the x86 architecture. It also used to be the top-tier brand, but after the Pentium 4, it was lowered into the low-tier.
  • The programming language LOGO was named after the Greek word for "word," and while it always did have words and sentences as data structures, it's best known for something completely different: turtle graphics. The LOGO turtle was invented in the age of teletypes and minicomputers, and originated as a turtle-shaped mechanical device that used a pen in its belly to draw lines on paper. Graphical CRT displays made the mechanical turtle obsolete, though many later implementations of LOGO, such as Atari LOGO for Atari 8-Bit Computers, still represented the turtle with a turtle-shaped icon; other implementations drew the turtle as a simple pointing triangle.
  • XBMC, an open-source media player. It was originally developed solely for the Xbox under the name Xbox Media Center. As time went by, the development team ditched the Xbox platform and moved on to Windows, Linux, Mac OS, iOS and Android among others. This led to the program being referred to as the acronym, rather than the full name.
    • Then it changed its name again to Kodi.
  • Dial-up networking got its name from how you used modems back in the day (i.e., the mid- to late 1970s)—you actually dialed (and we do mean dialed, as pushbutton phones were just being introduced themselves around the same time) the number of the computer you wanted to connect to yourself, waited for it to pick up and give you carrier tone, then slam the headset into (or later, onto) the modem before it disconnected for lack of a computer it could talk to on the other end. Later generations of modems sent the tones or (yes) clicks themselves, and by the 1990s internal modems, which dispensed with the need to use the actual phone, displaced them in turn. Yet the connections that relied on a POTS connection with inline signaling were still called "dial-up" until they were (mostly) finally displaced by broadband in the early 2000s.
    • In that vein, "broadband" is an artifact of when both it and dial-up were in use and the two needed to be distinguished. Had the term "dialup" not existed already, it would doubtless have been called "narrowband." Today just about all Internet is broadband.
  • a.out, which originally designed assembled executable files - indeed, it stands for assembler output - now is the default output of compiled executables.
  • Pop-up notifications are commonly called "toasts" even though do not look necessarily like a toast popping up from a toaster.

    Other media 
  • The Christian Science Monitor is still owned by the Christian Scientists, but its reporting is pretty secular.
  • The Manchester Evening News now has a morning edition.

    Others 
  • The soft drinks Coca-Cola and Pepsi still carry names that hearken back to their origins as medicinal products, when they were marketed for their supposed health benefits rather than for their taste. Coca-Cola was originally a stimulant and painkiller containing cocaine and kola nut extract, and Pepsi was a digestive aid containing pepsin. Coke even got taken to court over it—though technically they charged the product.
  • Role-playing games is an interesting example. First it only meant a genre of Tabletop Games where players take roles of different characters. Nowadays, Role-Playing Game also means any video game where a character can level up, with rare "role-playing" exceptions where the player's choices actually affect the plot, much to the consternation of tabletop gamers - both in the form of disappointment at the lack of "their" sort of game in video games, the annoyance of people mistaking one genre for the other, and in some cases the deep suspicion that video gamers are trying to make their games more like computer games.
    • Some people would tell you that freeform role-playing isn't a game, which depends on one's definition of what a game is.
  • It is typical for a person's online screennames to lose their significance over time as the person's interests change; however, many sites do not offer the ability to change it — thus giving them the choice to either accept this trope or create a new account, which means losing whatever history and data the site saves.
    • Likewise, as xkcd points out, the area code of many North Americans' cell phone numbers reflects wherever they were living in 2005 or so.
  • In American politics, the House of Representatives was initially called that because its members were directly elected by and represented the people, in contrast to the Senate, whose members were selected by the state legislatures. The term "House of Representatives" has been an artifact title since the passage of the seventeenth amendment, which mandated the direct election of senators. That said, the Representatives still represent their districts, so it isn't completely outdated.
    • The term 'Senate' itself originally derived from the Latin word 'senex', meaning an old man; 'Senate' literally meant 'the place of old men' because Roman Senators were (originally at least) retired magistrates. The term was then appropriated by many other countries for their legislatures, which are neither exclusively old or exclusively men. That said, Senators are still mostly men, and although the constitutional minimum age for Senators is 30, the youngest Senator is typically in his/her late 30s or early 40s, with the vast majority being substantially older. Due to several factors (seniority and pork barrel spending among them) very elderly senators (who are sometimes visibly senile) are still reelected from their states and a senator in his nineties (this has thus far rarely ever happened with female senators) is no uncommon sight on the floor. A particularly interesting phenomenon is an old senator doing a fillibuster - talking on end, often about totally unrelated subjects to defeat or delay a measure of legislation.
  • The first five Roman Emperors all had 'Caesar' as their family name, referring (depending on whom you ask) to either Gaius Julius Caesar's ancestor's exceptional hairiness or as an ironic comment on said ancestor's baldness (equivalent to calling the bald guy "Curly"; certainly, the jokes in Rome caught on to this idea in reference to Caesar himself). However it quickly became a title used by all Emperors, no matter how hirsute they were.
    • It later spawned the monarchical titles Kaiser, Czar and Tsar.
  • When a horse leads throughout a race, the win is often described as "wire to wire." This expression comes from the days before the invention of the starting gate, when the field started from behind a wire as well as crossing a wire at the finish line.
  • Older people often refer to a refrigerator as an "icebox", even though it hasn't been a box chilled by ice brought by the iceman in many decades.
  • The Rock in Rio music festival got its name due to the event taking place in Rio de Janeiro. The title became an artifact once the event was moved to Lisbon, where it has remained ever since.
  • None of the Woodstock festivals have ever actually been held in the town of Woodstock, NY. The name qualifies as an artifact since the original promoters, Woodstock Ventures, Inc., was indeed based in Woodstock (the idea was that the profits from the concert would be enough to fund the construction of a recording studio, the real project). The first one was held in Bethel, not even in the same county; the 10th anniversary show was at Madison Square Garden; the impromptu 20th anniversary was at the original site, the 1994 Woodstock was held in Saugerties, which at least borders on Woodstock, and the 1999 event was held at a former Air Force base in Rome, NY, almost a hundred miles away. The 40th anniversary was marked by a national tour.
  • The NAACP stands for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It is still called that now, even though use of the term "colored" for minorities is now considered backwards by the general populace. But nowadays, it's justified in that the association today advocates for all "people of color" (Latinos, Asians, Native American, etc) rather than just African-Americans. The term "people of color" is still in common and acceptable use.
    • The same thing could probably be applied to the United Negro College Fund, an outdated term in the name of an organization that still exists.
  • UNICEF's original name, from whence its acronym comes, was the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. That reflects its establishment in late 1946 to attend to the needs of the many refugee children all over Europe still displaced in the wake of the war. That emergency is long since over and the agency has extended its scope to all children in the world in need regardless of the situation; officially it's now called the United Nations Children's Fund. Yet they still use the original acronym, probably because it's easier to pronounce.
  • Soap operas are called that because the earliest examples were radio serials that were sponsored by soap manufacturers. Modern soap operas aren't—though Guiding Light and As the World Turns were produced by soap and detergent manufacturer Procter & Gamble's in-house production company up until 2008.
  • The U.S. Permanent Resident Cards (aka "Green Cards") used to be noticeably green. Nowadays they're mostly yellow with only a hint of green.
  • The U.S. Federal "Food Stamp" program is now implemented through debit cards. The popular term for the program has mostly shifted from "Food Stamps" to the card's name, "EBT".
  • The name of Amnesty International made sense when they mainly worked for the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. But since the 1960s, the mandate of the organisation has grown to comprise many different human rights questions, making the name way too narrow. As a matter of fact, Amnesty even opposes impunity for certain serious crimes, making the name downright misleading at times.
  • The astronomy website nineplanets.org doesn't make sense anymore since Pluto's demotion to dwarf planet in 2006.
  • Large trucks made to tow a semi-trailer connect to those trailers using a coupler are called a "fifth wheel". Most of these trucks have more than five normal wheels.
  • Pencil "leads" are made of graphite. They aren't, and never have been, made of lead. The stylus, a writing implement used by the Romans to inscribe characters in wax, did consist of a lead rod with a point, however, and that's the reason we still use the term to this day. As a result, many young schoolchildren fear "lead" poisoning should they prick themselves with a sharpened pencil, even though graphite, being pure carbon, is harmless.
    • In addition, high-quality graphite resembles galena and other lead ores, causing confusion in the 17th century when graphite's use in writing implements began.
  • Ottawa's Cisco Systems BluesFest (formerly the Ottawa Blues Festival) started out as a festival of Blues music (although the headliner of the first festival was Clarence Clemons; a fine musician, but not quite a Blues musician). For years now, as the festival has grown exponentially in size and profile, it has expanded its repertoire to include a wide variety of music styles, including Urban, Classic Rock and Heavy Metal, but thanks to the original branding, still has Blues in its name. Every year when the new lineup is announced, the same tired complaints about how "there's no Blues in the BluesFest" come up, even though there are always plenty of legit Blues musicians on the undercard and side stages. Bizarrely, one headliner in recent years that drew complaints from this faction were The White Stripes, who, although an Alternative Rock band, do actually have a lot of Blues influence in their music, and opened up their BluesFest set with covers of John Lee Hooker and Son House songs.
  • The word "movie" came from the term "moving pictures." This word could thus be applied to television, internet videos and animation, and video games. However, the word "movie" is exclusively used to refer to feature-length, non-interactive, (usually) non-serialized moving pictures as shown in theaters.
    • Likewise, "film" was originally a reference to the medium the movie was both shot and presented in. With today's digital technology, it's entirely possible to record hours of footagenote  without any of it coming near an actual film reel in any form.
    • "Tape" has now joined this.
    • The montage of blown takes that is sometimes included as a DVD extra is still called the Blooper Reel even though today it may not ever have been on any physical medium that requires a reel to play back.
    • CD stood for Compact Disc, which could still refer to DVDs and Blu-rays. DVD stood for Digitial Video (later Versatile) Disc, which could still refer to CDs or Blu-rays.
  • The Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon certainly weren't poor for long — better known as the Knights Templar, they controlled the late medieval European banking system. They got to keep their name at the time because they received large amounts of wealth and land from feudal rulers and the like but claimed to be managing it all on their behalf (so that they could claim to own none of it), which is basically the modern concept of banking.
  • The two oldest political parties in Norway are called Høyre and Venstre (meaning Right and Left, respectively). When they were formed they were the only two parties in parliament, and the names were thus accurate as to their political leanings; Høyre backed the aristocracy and landed interests, opposing further democratization, while Venstre backed the liberal bourgeoisie and emerging industrial/commercial interests and supported more democratization. In the early 20th century, the Labour Party eclipsed Venstre to become the largest left-wing party, resulting in the latter ending up being allied with its former conservative opponents. These days, it is considered a centrist party.
    • Even more confusingly, the Venstre (same meaning) party in Denmark is actually the largest right-wing party. It has similar origins to the Norwegian Venstre party, having opposed a party called "Højre" (same meaning as "Høyre"), which became the Conservative People's Party and now works closely with its erstwhile opponents Venstre.
    • Nordic Agrarian parties are generally called Centre Party, despite generally being percieved as right-wing parties in the last few years.
  • The third generation of the Boeing 737, officially known as the 737 Next Generation or 737NG for short. 15 years after entering service, it is still referred to as such, even in promotional material for its upcoming successor, the 737MAX.
  • Before xerox technology, the only way to send copies of one letter to additional people was to have it carbon copied. Actual carbon copying is obsolete, but letters still use the term "c.c." to refer to a list of additional recipients. It's even used with e-mails, which lack any physical papers to carbon copy.
    • Carbon copy has taken a new life on Twitter of all places, since a short "cc" take up very little space and lets you take more people.
  • Sanitary napkins (sanitary towels to UK readers) are still commonly sold and referred to as "maxipads" in the US, even though most manufacturers stopped making minipads around 1980 or so.
    • The brand names New Freedom (now defunct) and Stayfree refer to the fact that those products were the first to not require a belt (up to the mid-1980s, Stayfree's boxes still described their contents as "beltless feminine napkins", which by then was the product sector).
    • Though some places still make "minipads", they're now often called liners instead.
  • X-rays were initially referred to as such by their discoverer, Wilhelm Röntgen, because he did not know what they were at the time, and so gave them the designation "X" - the algebraic symbol for an unknown. X-rays have now been known to be electromagnetic radiation for over a century.
    • In languages other than English, however, they are known as Röntgen Rays, but it probably won't catch on in English because X-ray sounds cooler.
  • The drafts of stories sent out to media organizations, and the live events where someone announces something and may or may not take questions from assembled reporters, are still referred to widely as "press releases" and "press conferences", even though they've included electronic media for decades and the various stylebooks tell you to substitute "news" or "media" for "press".
  • The leather straps that standing passengers in the New York City subway once held onto were replaced with metal loops by 1970 due to health concerns about the leather. Those metal loops themselves gave way to horizontal bars within a decade. Yet subway riders are still referred to as "straphangers", and one rider advocacy group calls itself the Straphangers' Campaign.
  • The 3 Musketeers chocolate bar used to contain three different flavored pieces in one package: chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. During World War 2, only the more popular chocolate piece was kept due to restrictions on sugar at the time, and has remained that way since.
  • Having someone paged originally meant sending a pageboy out to find them and deliver a message or summons. This rarely happens now.
  • As a result of several confusing decisions by their parent company, Cumulus Media, Atlanta modern rock radio station 99X was briefly on the 97.9note  frequency (before moving to 99.1).
  • Surnames describe the appearance, occupation, place of birth, lineage or personality of the original bearer, but get passed down to descendants that they no longer correctly describe. We all know Smiths who aren't smiths and MacDonalds whose fathers aren't named Donald.
  • In the U.S., the laws like the Sherman Act that are enforced to prevent companies from becoming monopolies and otherwise engaging in unfair trade practices are still called antitrust laws, even though the "trusts", the corporate cartels they were enacted in response to, have long since been broken up by the enforcement of said laws (in the rest of the world these statutes are known as competition law.) This Artifact Title is probably for the best as anticorporation law doesn't have the same ring to it and describes the laws a bit too well to make some people comfortable.
  • The laws in almost half the U.S. states that prohibit collective bargaining agreements that require all represented employees to join the union or at least pay agency fees are called "right to work" laws because they're descended from laws that permitted an employee to work if they wanted while everyone else was on strike—they were called "right to work" to contrast them with the "right to strike" that unions were claiming in the early 20th century, now recognized legally. The term has persisted even though the only "right to work" it recognizes is the right to not join the union because it sounds so good that it wins the argument for a great many people simply on the strength of that term alone (who could possibly be against it?)
  • NASDAQ, the electronic stock exchange, was spun off from the National Association of Securities Dealers, the trade group which had created it 30 years earlier, in 2001. Since then NASD has itself merged with the NYSE and become the private Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, commonly known as FINRA, making the name doubly apt for this trope as the NASDAQ is no longer connected to an entity that is no longer known by that name.
  • MI5 and MI6 were named because they were the fifth and sixth branch of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (hence the "MI"), which went from MI1 all the way up to MI19. Today all of the other sections have been disbanded or were absorbed into other organizations; and MI6 is now officially known as the Secret Intelligence Service and MI5 as the Security Service.
  • Have you ever wondered why the doctorate degree title for all scientific disciplines is called a Ph.D. ie. Doctor of Philosophy, even though almost no such field of science has anything to do with philosophy? This is an artifact title from the times when philosophy and science (and theology) were considered the one and same thing. (It was not until the so-called age of enlightenment that these things were separated, but the title of the doctorate remained, at least in most English-speaking countries.)
    • The word "philosophy" comes from philos "love" and sophos "wisdom", with no specific connotations on the actual field of study; as various branches of knowledge came up with more descriptive terms for themselves, what we now call "philosophy" took over the generic term.
  • In Australian high schools, there used to be the School Certificate which was usually awarded at the end of 10th grade and was required to leave school, and the Higher School Certificate which was awarded after 12th grade was complete and was required to enter university. The School Certificate was abolished in 2011, and now the Higher School Certificate isn't higher than anything.
  • When the United States Secret Service was originally formed to crack down on counterfeiters after the Civil War, it was composed almost entirely of undercover operatives who used secret identities to infiltrate counterfeiting operations incognito. Since then, the organization's duties have broadened to safeguarding key members of the American government, and though it still employs many undercover operatives, a sizable portion of Secret Service agents are highly visible security enforcers who aren't exactly very secretive about what they do.
  • Few if any members of the Teamsters union (or International Brotherhood of Teamsters, to give its proper title) have to work with teams of draught animals these days. Indeed, it is unlikely that any truckers would even be referring to themselves as "teamsters" these days, were it not for the continued existence of the IBT.
  • The middle part of Remote Keyless Entry systems for cars (the button you press to unlock the car from a distance) is becoming an artifact as the buttons are moved from the key fob to the key head itself. Yes, you don't technically need the key to unlock the car, but the buttons are on the key, so it can't be called "keyless" anymore.
    • This is becoming less of an artifact as many cars now come with a properly-titled keyless ignition, where the car is started by pressing a button and thus there is no physical key at all. The buttons are once again on a keyfob. There is a key that is stored in the keyfob for unlocking the door if the battery dies, but it can be removed and is rarely used.
  • "Geology" and "geography" are artifactual when applied to the surface features and minerals of other planets, since the "geo-" prefix comes from a word applying to the Earth.
  • Although it's not completely archaicized yet, in the US, you still hear drivers refer to a "service station" where they get gas. That's because, except for the two states (New Jersey and Oregon) that prohibit self-service gas, very few such establishments have garage or repair facilities, much less employees who can or even will check your tires, oil, etc., while you get gas. Convenience stores long displaced them as a profit center for the chains that run more and more gasoline retail.
  • Using "grocery", a term which originally applied to stores that sold only food, to refer to supermarkets (all of which have vast non-food aisles) in general.
  • Airplane "Black Box" flight data recorders are usually orange these days (they were originally named for their pitch black interiors, since they used photographic filmnote , so as to better find them among the wreckage if the plane crashes. Although, by sheer coincidence their nature means they fit a completely different definition; since they're designed to be tamper-proof they're black boxes in the engineering sense of the term.
  • The GRE admissions test for American graduate schools still stands for "Graduate Record Examination." This title comes from the fact that it originally included a section where a record was played of questions being asked orally (presumably reflecting the fact that research doctorates and some masters' degrees require an oral examination to earn). That was dropped from the test decades ago; it's been all written since.
  • Hedge funds are used for a much wider spectrum of investment strategies today than insuring against losses.
  • The months September, October, November, and December came from the Roman calendar, where their names were in the 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th positions respectively. (January and February were originally 11th and 12th.) When the Romans reformed it to the Julian calendar, they kept some of the names but shifted their positions. This still remains in the Gregorian calendar we use to this day.
  • A number of landmark laws are still referred to by the numbers under which they were considered and proposed, particularly ballot initiatives. Even when the number gets reused, in some cases repeatedly, over the years. California's property-tax cap is still known as Proposition 13 nearly 40 years after it passed. A similar law in Ohio is likewise still referred to statewide as House Bill 920. This can get confusing in some cases, such as the four different amendments to California's constitution that were all passed as Proposition 8.
  • Many people, particularly older ones, kept referring to manual transmissions as "standards" long after automatic transmission became the norm.
    • "Standard shift" originally referred to a specific type of three-speed manual with column shift (later referred to "three on the tree" as a retronym from "four on the floor") and the specific pattern of 1-toward you and down, 2-dogleg up and away, 3-straight down from 2nd, R-toward you and up. All manual transmissions since the early '80s are floor-shift with 5 or 6 speeds as of the early 2010s.
  • Northwestern University's name is an artifact of the time when the Chicago area was in the northwestern corner of the United States (see Pacific Northwest, above).
  • Case Western Reserve University's name refers back to the time when Connecticut's territory included a strip of land between Lake Erie and the 41st parallel that now lies in northeastern Ohio. Connecticut ceded sovereignty of this territory to to the national government in 1786, but retained the title of part of it until the mid 1790s, though it remained popularly known as the "Western Reserve" long after Connecticut sold out.
  • "The leader of the free world" is a popular nickname for the U.S. president. It's a Cold War-era term, connoting America (and, by extension, the President) being the leader of the western countries opposed to the Soviet Union and the communist bloc. This designates the Soviet leader as the Evil Counterpart — the leader of the unfree world, as it were. The Soviet Union and the communist bloc are long gone, but the nickname lives on.
  • The Railroad Commission of Texas is best known as the agency that regulates energy production and distribution in that state, in particular oil and gas (during the 1950s and '60s, it had the influence over the international oil market that OPEC does now). According to The Other Wiki, it was started as the state's rail regulator. In the late 1910s its dominion was expanded to include oil and gas pipelines and then the actual production; that sector eventually became its primary focus. In 2005 such rail regulation as it still did was transferred to the state's DOT; the name was not changed.
  • The U.S. states of New York and New Jersey have a couple of bistate agencies that have increasingly stretched their nominal ambits enough to qualify for this trope:
    • The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was originally created in 1921 to bring all the port facilities in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Newark and Elizabeth under the same management, smoothing over the disputes between the two states that the Interstate Commerce Commission had gotten sick of arbiting. Because it had jurisdiction over the Hudson River, it was also supposed to build bridges and tunnels, which it has, and collect tolls from them to pay off its debts. It sort makes sense in allowing transshipments between port facilities. Then after World War II it took over all three airports, and built a bus terminal in midtown Manhattan near the Lincoln Tunnel. OK, that's still related to transportation. And later it took over the Hudson & Manhattan Railroad under the river between the states. Same deal. But helping build the World Trade Center was only tangentially related to port facilities, and widely questioned. In the 21st century, the name has finally become geographically artifactual, with the agency's takeover of Stewart Airport, outside of Newburgh in the Hudson Valley, and Atlantic City Airport—both of them a long way from New York City's ports.
    • Similarly, the Palisades Interstate Park Commission was created around the same to manage the park of that name along the stone cliffs that abut the Hudson across from Upper Manhattan into Rockland County, in both states, and the parkway that connected them. But the parkway was eventually completed all the way to Bear Mountain, about 20 miles north of the nearest point in New Jersey, and it made sense for the PIPC to have jurisdiction over Bear Mountain and Harriman State Parks as well, even though those are entirely within New York. It has since been given responsibility for other state parks and historic sites in Orange and Ulster counties in New York, even further away from Palisades Park and New Jersey.
  • The New York State Thruway Authority mainly manages that toll highway and its branches—in Buffalo, the Berkshires and a short connector to the Garden State Parkway in New Jersey. It also got control over the section of Interstate 95 through Westchester County between the Bronx and Connecticut, known as the New England Thruway, so the name still held. But in the mid-1990s a onetime budget move gave it control over Interstate 287, Westchester's Cross County Expressway, between the New England Thruway and its main section. It couldn't charge tolls on it under federal law, and didn't rename it or change its own name. In another year at the same time a similar budgetary move by the state (since reversed) gave the Thruway the entirety of Interstate 84 in New York, which has an interchange with the Thruway main line between Pennsylvania and Connecticut. So it's managing roads beyond the Thruway.
  • And in New Jersey, we have the New Jersey Turnpike Authority—which since 2003 has operated the Garden State Parkway in addition to its eponymous toll highway.
    • Before 2003, the Parkway was operated by the New Jersey Highway Authority, whose name wouldn't have suggested that they also ran the Garden State Arts Center, a concert venue accessible only from the highway in Holmdel. It's now PNC Bank Arts Center—still owned by the NJ Turnpike Authority.
  • This can even apply to private nonprofit organizations in the two states. The New York/New Jersey Trail Conference is the main umbrella organization for hikers in the metropolitan area. Its maps and guidebooks, however, cover areas in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania that border on New York and New Jersey.
  • The Canadian national law enforcement agency is still known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police even though they haven't used horses for a long time (except for the occasional ceremony).
  • A common term for a marked police cruiser is a "black and white" (in Britain, the term "Panda Car" is also used) whether or not those are its actual colors (NYPD cruisers are white with blue stripes, for example).
    • Significantly, in The Blues Brothers, the retired squad car known as the "Bluesmobile", was in fact black and white, while most if not all of the myriad police cruisers that pursued them throughout the film were not.
  • Some abbreviations on the periodic table are nowhere near what their names would make them out to be, because they are mostly words from other languages or archaic names for the elements in question. For example, "Na" comes from "natrium", the Latin word for "sodium" (which in turn came from the Ancient Greek nátrio).
    • Some languages adopted the older names and stuck with them. For example, Japanese uses "natrium" as the word for sodium, while Chinese uses 钠, which is pronounced "na".
  • Civil engineers were so called originally (as in, back in the 18th century) because they were engineers who weren't in the military. As technology and the profession developed over the course of the next century, with new specialties such as mechanical and electrical engineering developing, "civil engineering" came to refer just to the branch of the field that involves designing large pieces of infrastructure like roads, bridges, dams and aqueducts, the traditional focus of engineers.
    • In some ways it could still be said to be non-artifactual as, while civil engineers may not necessarily work for the government, a lot of the things they work on are government projects.
  • While some nightclubs are known for being very exclusive, they are not actual clubs in the sense of being organizations that have members and a leadership structure.
    • Even more overtly, many "nightclubs" now open during the daytime.
    • This might have been a relic of an era similar to what was until recently true in the U.S. state of Utah. Under its famously restrictive liquor laws, bars as such were not allowed. Instead, they were all "private clubs" that allowed almost anyone to be a "member" for a night as long as they'd paid their dues (don't call it a cover!). The laws were changed in 2009.
  • Not only (as noted above under "Places") is the wall along Wall Street long gone, as a term for the U.S. financial-services industry it's somewhat artifactual since, while the New York Stock Exchange itself is still on Wall Street, the investment banks and brokerage firms that do the actual trading have in recent decades moved their offices to other parts of Manhattan, mainly Midtown.
  • Most infants' rubber pants are now made of plastic.
  • Page Six, the New York Post's celebrated gossip column, is very rarely found on that page of the paper's print edition anymore.
    • Some days it's been more like Page Sixteen.
  • The U.S. progressive activist group Move On was originally founded during the Clinton impeachment to advocate for "censure, and move on" as a punishment. It's moved on to many other causes since then.
  • In Canada, Kentucky Fried Chicken had a deal named "Toonie Tuesday", where one could indeed buy 2 pieces and fries for a toonie ($2 coin), after tax. Then it was $2 before tax, requiring more than the toonie to pay for it, then it was $2.22 + tax, and escalated to nearly $3 before the name was retired.
  • Similar to Northwestern University and the "Pacific Northwest", the West National Reporter System is a collection of legal case decisions that dates back to 1876, before the United States did much of its western expansion. Now, "West" has nothing to do with this; the reporters are the product of the West publishing company, named after its founder, John B. West. The artifactual nature of the reporters is this: West produces/has produced six reporters of federal casesnote  and seven regional reporters of state court cases. The regional level features five directional names (ex. Southern Reporter) and two oceanic ones (ex. Atlantic Reporter). The only one accurately named today is the Southern, with possibly the Atlantic and South Eastern Reporters also getting a pass. For example, Illinois cases are in the North Eastern Reporter, which is fine, until you learn that Michigan cases are in the North Western Reporter. Nearly all of Michigan is very clearly east of Illinois.note  Other modern-day headscratchers are Kentucky and Tennessee in the South Western Reporter and Kansas and Oklahoma in the Pacific Reporter, of which the former didn't make sense even then (the reason is that the Pacific was a catch-all, which is why the 1907 admittee Oklahoma ended up there). If you're so inclined, take a look at the map.
  • The Busch Gardens theme parks are no longer owned by Anheuser-Busch, and the namesake beer brewery in the Tampa park was closed in 1995 and subsequently demolished (there is still a brewery adjacent to the Williamsburg location).
  • The March of Dimes Foundation was a private charity founded by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 to combat polio by enlisting people to solicit small donations (aka "dimes") door to door (the "march"). The funds raised both cared for afflicted persons and funded research into a vaccine, which was accomplished in 1955. With the disease all but eradicated the organization decided to refocus their mission on birth defects (and more recently, prematurity), instead of disbanding. Ignoring the lost connection to polio the name now exists an artifact since the donation amount was never indexed to inflation and the method of collecting donations door to door by local chapters has largely been replaced.
  • The Russian government's official news agency is called Itar-Tass—an acronym for two agencies that were combined early in the Soviet era. The "T"'s stand for "telegraph" and the "SS" in "Tass" is from the Russian term for the Soviet Union, making its name refer to a technology no longer used for disseminating information and a country that no longer exists.
  • Both the London Underground and the New York Subway, the two largest such transit systems in the world, have plenty of stations and lines that run aboveground (and, in outlying regions of New York, are actually elevated above said ground).
    • Then London had to really confuse things by creating the London Overground as well.
  • The London Underground's Circle Line is now more like the Tight Spiral Line, as it has terminals.
  • Since the 1991 disestablishment of the Normal Schoolsnote  in France, the name of the Higher Normal Schoolsnote , where some of the secondary schools teachers were trained, became essentially this trope.
  • The National Rifle Association, founded after the Civil War to promote improved rifle marksmanship, now includes and advocates the interests of owners of all types of firearms, including pistols and shotguns. And while the NRA remains involved in marksmanship training, its main focus has shifted to political advocacy of gun rights.
  • In the Middle Age, in England, High Treason referred to treason against the King and/or the State and petty/petit treason to treason against a lawful superiornote . With the merging of the offenses of petty treason and Murder, the title of the offense of high treason became an Artifact Title.
    • Averted in Canada where there is the offense of treason (discretionary life sentence) and high treason (mandatory life sentence) refers to aggravated cases of treason.
  • In its final years at the Turn of the Millennium, the long-running Las Vegas show Splash had this. The title originally referred to its aquacade centerpiece, which used a tank that held about a dozen swimmers. Not long after Cirque du Soleil's much larger-scale "O" opened down the street, the tank and swimmers were dropped in favor of an ice rink; The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas not only pointed out the reason for the change, but how silly it was to retain the original title "even though there's nothing left to splash".
  • Newark Academy was founded in 1774 in that New Jersey city. 190 years later, it moved west to Livingston, but has kept the name.
  • AARP stands for the American Association of Retired People. These days, membership consists of pretty much everybody over the age of 50, while retirement usually doesn't start until 65.
  • People still refer to those they pay rent to for space they use as "landlords" even though in many cases no actual land is involved (often just sections of a building whose underlying land is never rented) and are often not only not even titled aristocrats (the term persists even in nations where an official aristocracy never existed) but aren't even individual people.
  • The subdivisions of some court systems, usually appellate ones, are in some jurisdictions called "circuits". This comes from an earlier era when the judges on the circuit, along with their support staff and even some lawyers, would travel together once or twice a year to the various courts over which they had appellate jurisdiction (usually in a geographically defined area) and hear whatever cases had been appealed to them. Nowadays, they still sometimes travel to the courts to hear cases, but as often as not the lawyers arguing the case go to the court's main building and there is no "circuit", as in a predefined itinerary, anymore.
    • This use of "circuit" is especially artifactual when applied to some of the circuits of the U.S. Court of Appeals. The District of Columbia Circuit hardly needs to travel, and the Federal Circuit (also based in D.C.) has subject-matter jurisdiction rather than geographical jurisdiction so it doesn't need to travel.note 
  • People still call the shiny silvery metallic stuff they wrap things in tinfoil, even though it's been made of aluminum for at least a generation.
  • A cable company will often refer to the converter box they provide as a "set-top box", since they were typically placed atop the TV set upon installation. The flat-panel TVs commonplace today are too thin to put a cable box on top.
  • The style of beer known as India Pale Ale, usually abbreviated to IPA, was invented by a Liverpool brewery supposedly to withstand the long sea voyage to India. It's made and consumed all over the world now, sometimes in the same place it's brewed.
    • In a twist of this, IPAs brewed in America are becoming quite popular in Britain now. They can often be distinguished by being redder in colour. This means that British manufacturers in turn are coming up with "American Style" IPAs.
    • Furthermore, some American breweries produce India Pale Lagers — by now "India Pale" is just a synonym for "highly hopped."
  • Nickels (5-cent pieces in U.S. currency) were a temporary case, being made of silver and copper during World War II, nicknamed "war nickels". Nowadays they're 25% nickel.
  • Copying documents and designs with cyanotype technology is something that went out of wide use over half a century ago. The word "blueprint" doesn't seem to be going anywhere.
  • Frozen hot chocolate is actually a fairly popular drink in many places, and it's famously served at New York's Serendipity 3 restaurant, where it's considered the highlight of the menu. Obviously, it's not really accurate to call the stuff "hot" chocolate if it's frozen, but calling it "frozen chocolate" would be even more misleading, so...
    • Then again, chocolate itself is etymologically this. With most proposed etymologies having it derive from "xococ" meaning bitter or "chokol" meaning 'hot' and "atl" meaning 'water'. Chocolate originally referred only to a drink but now it generally means a solid. So we have frozen hot "hot water" which can't be called frozen "hot water" because that would imply it's a frozen solid.
  • Some older people (including Peter Griffin, on a Family Guy episode) still refer to TV remote controls as "clickers". This derives from the battery-free technology that made them possible in the mid-1950s when they were introduced; bars inside the remote made an audible clicking sound on a certain frequency that the TV recognized as commanding a certain action, usually just on/off or a channel change. They haven't used those bars for a long time now. Even so, "clicker" is still a better-sounding name from a grammatical point of view because "clicker" describes an actual object, whereas "remote control" is an abstract compound noun (and "remote" is a repurposed adjective, which is even worse). But most people still call it a "remote-control" or a "remote" - or, in some regions, a "channel-changer."
  • Older commentators and some diehard fans still sometimes refer to the top part of ice hockey uniforms as a "sweater." Years ago, when all hockey was played on ice outside, they were indeed made of material that could and did keep you warm. Nowadays, with many games played indoors, they're usually made of light mesh and are more deserving of being called "jerseys".
  • The first portable backcountry toilets, the kind used on most multiday guided river-rafting trips or similar expeditions, had no seats, soon earning them the name "groovers" for the marks their rims left on the buttocks and rear thighs of anyone using them. Seats were soon added, but the name has stayed.
  • Many U.S. states have a law-enforcement agency with statewide jurisdiction known as the highway patrol. Quite often their officers and employees do a lot more than enforce traffic laws and respond to disabled vehicles—they investigate major crimes in areas well off the roads that do not have adequate police forces of their own, conduct background checks on high-level government employees and process forensic evidence, much more like the agencies known as "the state police" in other states.
    • And many states, the local offices of the state police or highway patrol are still referred to both inside and outside the organizations as "barracks", even though troopers no longer live there.
  • It's probably a safe bet that none of the women in the Daughters of the American Revolution are old enough to actually be daughters of anyone who remembers the Revolution firsthand.
    • In fact, since the organization was founded in 1890, it was artifactual from the beginning. Then again, "Daughters" was undoubtedly being used in a metaphorical sense, since the organization is open to females who can prove descent from someone who directly aided the American independence effort.
      • Likewise for the Sons of the American Revolution, which was founded one year earlier.
  • NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory deals almost exclusively with outer space and rocketry. This is because when it was founded in 1936, the term "Jet" Propulsion referred to all forms of non-propeller aerospace engines, not just gas turbine based jets as later became the case.
  • So why were Native Americans, the indigenous people of the Americas, once called "Indians" (the name is still used, but has since been considered informal in some regions, even offensive), even though they're not from India? The story goes way back to Christopher Columbus, who believed he and his crew were on the Indian Ocean, with the intended destination being the East Indies, when he landed in the Americas. Once there, Columbus referred to the inhabitants as "Indios", Spanish for "Indians". Although the mistake was soon realized, the popular name for Native Americans has since stuck.
  • "Ready salted" crisps, the UK version of "original" potato chips. So called to distingush them from unflavoured crisps with a packet of salt inside, which was the standard practice until the 1950s. This now only exists in the form of Walker's Salt & Shake.
  • Then of course there's the Nazi Party, or National Socialist Workers' Party. Hitler purged the Party's socialist elements soon after taking power but never bothered changing the name.
  • Glasses are often made of plastic these days, but glass ones still exist.
  • Planetary nebulae are not planets, nor sites of planetary formation, despite what Sir William Herschel may have thought when he coined the term. They're the ejected outer layers of old, low-to-intermediate-mass stars.
  • Typefaces were originally distributed in the form of cast-metal letter blocks in the various sizes and faces. While they still could be done that way if the printer in question wants it, almost all type today is designed and distributed digitally. Yet the companies that develop and distribute them are still known as "foundries."
  • When was the last time you put gloves in your glove compartment?
  • It's getting less common, but you still hear the standard Western men's formal matching business attire referred to as a "three-piece suit" even though third piece, the vest, hasn't been routinely worn since the 1980s at the very latest and now seems like a rather retrograde affectation.
  • The U.S. Geological Survey was created in 1879 to, as its name suggests, inventory public lands and their mineral resources. It's gone on to become best-known for its maps, which are pretty much the official maps of the entire country. And its responsibility and expertise now includes hydrological data as well.
    • In the same vein, the U.K.'s counterpart in the mapping department, the Ordnance Survey, was established to make military maps for better use of artillery in Scotland after the Jacobite Rebellion.
  • The Lincoln County Process is a step in the production of almost all Tennessee whiskeys, in which the whiskey is filtered through (or steeped in) charcoal before being placed into barrels for aging. The process was named after Lincoln County, the location of many distilleries in the 19th century. However, over time, most of the distilleries closed, moved, or fell within the boundaries of Moore County (which was created in part from land that had been in Lincoln County). Today, none of the distilleries that use the Lincoln County Process are in Lincoln County. On top of that, the only distillery that's actually in Lincoln County doesn't use that process.
  • In Saskatoon, and other Western Canada cities, there was a touring trade Exhibition where farmers, inventors, artists, and traveling merchants would exhibit their products for other farmers and interested investors in the area, that happened to have a few rides and games for the children. Now, "The Ex" is all about the festival, rides, food, and games, and while the "exhibition" is still there, it's far from the central focus of the event.
  • Bank Street College of Education, in New York, hasn't been on Bank Street since the 1970s.
  • The Royal Dublin Society in Ireland after it ceased to be a Commonwealth nation and became a republic circa 1949.
  • While the San Diego Comic-Con does still have an emphasis on comics, it's really a convention celebrating geek culture in general these days.
    • This is true for nearly every "geek convention" that happens anywhere. Whether it's advertised as a convention celebrating comics, movies, anime, video games or furries, you're almost guaranteed to find all of the above fandoms represented there.
  • The US ten-dollar bill is still sometimes called a "sawbuck"; this dates back to an earlier design which featured a prominent Roman numeral "X", which resembles a sawhorse as seen from the end.
  • When cars still largely used carburetors, BMW (among other brands) would stick extra badges and numerals onto their car's to indicate that it had a fuel-injected engine. BMW still adds the "i" badge for fuel injection to almost all their vehicles despite every passenger car in the US and most of Europe having been fuel injected for over two decades - the last carburetor-equipped passenger vehicle being the Jeep Grand Wagoneer running a 40 year old AMC V8 engine in 1991.
  • Automakers that make the car's engine displacement part of the model name have suffered heavily from artifact titles, namely BMW and Mercedes-Benz. Previously, if one had, say, a Mercedes C63, it would have a roughly 6.3 liter engine, give or take 0.1 liters. The 2015 model year C63? Four liters. Advancements in technology allow manufacturers to drop displacement (therefore increasing theoretical efficiency) and maintain the same power, but they refuse to change the name of the car model lest people think that it's slower because the numbers are smaller, and to maintain brand continuity.
  • The day a buyer actually takes possession of a car is referred to as the "delivery date". This hearkens back to the early days of car dealerships, when they were usually storefronts downtown with a display model or two—and no other cars. After a buyer had negotiated the model they wanted and whatever customizations they wanted, the dealership would order the car to be shipped from the manufacturer via trainnote . Thus the "delivery date". Nowadays, with many dealerships having large lots with dozens of models, most buyers are usually "delivering" their new cars to themselvesnote 
  • The United States still has a coin called the penny, even though its money system uses cents and not pence, the British unit from which the name "penny" is derived.
  • The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia is neither liberal nor democratic, it's a populist nationalist party. However, back in Soviet times they did advocate something more liberal and democratic than the Communists.
  • It would seem that the Canadian House of Commons—named for the corresponding body in Britain—is one of these, because Canada, unlike Britain, has no aristocracy (save the Royal Family, who live in Britain anyway) and thus has a Senate rather than House of Lords. However, this is actually an aversion: "Commons" in the phrase "House of Commons" (both in Britain and Canada) doesn't refer to a distinction between "commoners" and "nobles" but actually refers to (settled) communities—because each MP in both Canada and Britain represents all or part of a particular town, city, or other populated region, which has been true since each was established,[[note]]In the British body's case, its institutional predecessor, the English House of Commons, formed because the elected representatives of the urban boroughs and "knights of the shire" elected to represent the rural counties met separately from the lords who held their seats by right. The meeting became known as the "commons" because that was a word used back then to mean "places where people live". and is still the case today. The implication of the term is not "House of Commoners" but "House of Communities."note  The official French name of the Canadian body, Chambre des communes (which, over-literally translated, means "Chamber of Towns") makes this much clearer.
  • By the same token, the presiding officer of the lower house in many Westminster-system legislative bodies throughout the English-speaking world (and in some outside it) is called the "Speaker" of that house. This was because the original Speakers of the English House of Commons in the 14th century also had the responsibility of communicating to the sovereign the results of the Commons' deliberations, as well as presiding over those deliberations. This slowly became less and less the case, especially by the mid-17th century as the Speaker came to be seen as more responsible to his fellow M Ps than the crown. When the title was used in 1787 for the presiding officer of the U.S. House of Representatives, who had no king to have to report to, it became artifactual.
  • The gallons by which fuel is priced in Britain are still referred to as Imperial gallons (to distinguish them from smaller US gallons), although the British Empire no longer exists and most of the former Imperial countries now use litres.
  • "Concession stands" in sports/concert venues and movie theaters get their names from originally being concessions in the legal sense: the venue gave a third party the space within its property to operate their business (when movie theaters got tired of vendors selling stuff outside). While quite a few do still operate under that arrangement, the term is still used widely for snack bars (such as those at movie theaters today) that are operated by the venue itself.
  • The Chinese Completely Different Title for the Jeep Cherokee is Ziyouguang, or "Light of Liberty." It comes from the fact that the Cherokee was named Jeep Liberty in the US for most of the 2000s, until 2012.
  • This can sometimes happen with religions as well. Protestants started out as dissidents and protestors against aspects of the Catholic Church they objected to. While some of them had a serious conflict with the Church, they never expected they'd be seen as starting their own denominations (there's a reason it was called the Reformation at the time). And, in fact, many Protestant churches are pretty much the Christian establishment in their countries, the ones who get protested against.
    • By 1961, when the merger that led to the creation of the Unitarian Universalist Association happened, the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church already hadn't been based around the Christian theologies that had been their namesakes for a long time.note 
  • The coarse gravel that railroad tracks are usually laid on is called "ballast" because it was the same type of gravel stored in the holds of ships to even their weight out.
  • Likewise, overheated wheel bearings on North American railroads are still referred to as "hot boxes" even though the journal boxes from which the term comes have been out of use since the mid-20th century.
  • The term "commuting" for your regular daily trip to and from work (if you do it that way) comes from some of the first rail passengers to use the train for that trip, back in late 19th-cerntury Britain. They were so called because the railways offered them a "commuted" fare, i.e. a discount when they bought a week's or a month's pass.note . The term evolved to become a reference to those who took that trip, and then was nounified into the trip itself. While railroads in metropolitan areas still keep the original sense by offering this same volume discount to suburban residents working in cities, and so do many bus lines, it doesn't really apply to those who drive to work.note 
  • Ships that depart, whether civilian or military, are still referred to as having sailed, and their departure as their "sail time", about a century after the last commercial or military ships that used wind power in any way put into port for the last time.
  • Starbucks Coffee's unusual drink-sizing system has a twofer. Bizarrely, their smallest drink size is "Tall", while their medium-sized drinks are "Grande", literally meaning "Large". There's actually a reason for both: their smallest size (8 oz.) used to be called "Short", and the next size up (12 oz.) was "Tall"; with "Tall" being the second-smallest size on the menu, it made sense to call the next size up "Grande". You can still order a "Short" drink at almost any Starbucks location, but it's no longer listed as a size on the chain's menus, making the other sizes look rather nonsensical by comparison.
  • As The Other Wiki states, the "punch list" of remaining undone items drawn up near the end of a construction project (at least in the US) gets its name from the original practice of punching a hole in the paper as the items are completed. You could still do it that way, but these days other, more conventional methods of recording the completed work are preferred.note 
  • The Southern Poverty Law Center was founded in the early 1970s as a legal clinic to assist poor African-Americans in the South. Today it's better known for taking on racist hate groups like the Klan and monitoring their activities, sometimes well outside the South.
  • The division of particles into leptons ("light particles"), baryons ("heavy particles") and mesons ("medium particles"). When the muon was discovered, it was initially classified as a meson (because it was heavier than the electron, and lighter than the proton or neutron); today it is known to be a heavier counterpart of the electron, and classified as a lepton. The tauon (also a lepton) and some mesons are in fact heavier than protons or neutrons. Nowadays, leptons are defined as fermionic elementary particles (spin 1/2) which do not strongly interact - i.e. electrons, muons, tauons, and neutrinos; mesons as particles consisting of a quark and an antiquark; and baryons as particles consisting of three quarks.
  • Inverted by the U.S. Interstate Commerce Commission. Despite its grandiose name, it was for most of its existence strictly a railroad focused agency.
  • The Rally Dakar has not been held on even the same continent as Dakar since 2009. The 2008 edition (which would have been held in Africa) was canceled due to fear of terrorism and the rally has been held in South America ever since.
  • In the U.S., casting a vote is still sometimes referred to as "pulling the lever", although those old-style lever voting machines have been gradually phased out as the 21st century has gotten underway and replaced by more modern electronic machines; the last ones were used in New York in 2015.
  • The building that houses the switching equipment for many telephone exchanges is referred to as the Central Office, from the days when the operators actually went to work there. Nowadays it's all automated and the only human presence is whenever maintenance people come in.
  • "Flaming" has come to modify "homosexual" and "gay" in the sense of "extremrly flamboyantly so", leaving behind the extended metaphor that led it to be used first for "faggot".
    • In some cases now it's being used outside of the gay context, i.e. "flaming liberal".
  • The word "plumbing" derives from the Latin word "plumbum" which means lead (just look at a periodic table next time you see one). In most developed countries no plumbing has been made out of lead in decades and even in the poorest countries no new lead pipes are laid.
  • Manhattan College moved its campus from the Upper West Side of Manhattan to the Riverdale section of The Bronx in 1922.
  • The Mc10:35 is an Open Secret menu item consisting of an Egg McMuffin and McDouble put together. It was so named because the chain switches most restaurants from breakfast to lunch at 10:30 AM, thus meaning that it was only possible to get both items around 10:35 if any Egg McMuffins were left over from breakfast. However, ever since the chain began offering certain breakfast items all-day, including the Egg McMuffin, it is now possible to make a Mc10:35 anytime after 10:30 AM.

     Military 
  • Cavalry is kept as a designation for units in many countries even though they no longer have horses. Many of these units once did.
  • Some British and Commonwealth Units have names including "Dragoons", "Horse" "Lancers" etc. Not to mention "Rifles" for some infantry units, despite the fact that all infantrymen now use rifles.
  • The 101st Airborne of the US Army is now mostly an Air Assault unit. i.e. helicopter-borne forces.
  • Guards Units were initially just that; the King's bodyguard. In most countries that role now is mostly purely ceremonial with them being otherwise normal army units. In some, there is no longer a King.
  • While U.S. Army and Marine recruits still largely wear only boots in boot camp, given that they sleep and eat in permanent structures it could hardly be called a "camp" anymore. This might be one of the reasons why only the Navy and Marine Corps still call it "boot camp" instead of "basic."
  • All the U.S. military installations that take the title "Camp This" or "Fort That." The camps have lots of permanent buildings, and the forts don't have unbroken fortified perimeters.
  • The U.S. Navy's Shore Patrol, that service's military police, has some posts well inland (like naval hospitals).
  • Describing a large Battleship as a Dreadnought. This was inspired by HMS Dreadnought built in 1906 as the ship in question was so revolutionary a design with its size, armour protection, steam turbine propulsion and an all big gun main armament it was nothing like the then state of the art "Battleships". The name Dreadnought as a term for the new type of capitol ships became so popular that that earlier battleships started to be described as pre-Dreadnoughts. As Technology Marched On and pre-Dreadnought battleships vanished from the seas the more general purpose name Battleship crept back into use to describe the most heavily armed and armoured fighting ships. However some navies and many official publications, particularly in the UK, stuck with the name Dreadnought, even though its reason for use no longer existed.
  • The SKS rifle takes its name from the Russian for "self-loading carbine system." However it was more widely used, popularized by and strongly associated with, the Chinese Army, who designated it as the Type 56.
  • The rank Lance Corporal is something strange. Originally it meant the lowest non-commissioned officer (NCO) who was not part of a "lance", i.e., a small unit of soldiers. Today, the lance corporal is more than likely in a squad and not an NCO (at least outside the UK or Australia/New Zealand).
  • The U.S. Navy's SEAL Team Six, most famous for having taken out Osama bin Laden, might be seen in its original incarnation as a invocation of this trope. At that time, during the Cold War, they were the only elite unit trained to do the things they did, but to make the Soviets think there were others, they were given the "Six". It became a straight version of the trope when the name was kept after 1991 although the deception was no longer necessary and the truth about the name became more of an open secret.
  • The U.S. Army's Corps of Engineers is still the unit that does all the engineering work for the Army. But, that name doesn't cover the fact that, due to the Army's jurisdiction over all inland waterways, the COE accumulated enough hydrologic knowledge to become the federal agency that regulates wetlands protection, reviewing all civilian projects that might affect them.
  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a/k/a NATO, was founded as a military alliance by the victorious Allies on the Western Front after World War II, in case the Soviet Union decided to take advantage of the situation and bring all of Europe under their hegemony as it already had on the Eastern Front. At first the geographical delineation of the name made sense—it included the US, Canada, Iceland, Britain, Norway, Denmark, West Germany, the Low Countries, France (which has since withdrawn), Spain and Portugal. Italy was a bit of a stretch, but they bordered on France so we can give them a break. But in the late 1940s, US president Harry Truman got Turkey and Greece to join, making the name artifactual. With many of the former Warsaw Pact countries and the Baltic States now members, it's gotten a rather long way from the Atlantic.
    • And many of NATO's member countries have all sent troops to, or provided support for, the war in Afghanistan, a landlocked country in Central Asia.
  • The position of batman in the military (an officer's personal servant or personal assistant) gets its name from the pack saddles known as "bats", which it was originally the batman's job to pack and unpack for the officer. The name has been kept long after the horses were put out to pasture.
  • The land fighting force of the Soviet Union was known as the Red Army until after World War II, years after the distinction between it and the White Army that had opposed it during the Civil War needed to be made.
  • The Swedish Livregementets husarer (Life Regiment Hussars, a guards unit), first formed in the early 16th century, now consists of an airborne rapid-response battalion and a high-tech intelligence battalion using drones instead of horses for reconnaissance. That is, they have the same roles as they have had for half a millennium, but they can't be called proper hussars any more.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ArtifactTitle/RealLife