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Artifact Title: Real Life
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  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 values).
  • 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 alright, 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."
  • In Beijing, the Forbidden City, once the emperor's palace, is now open to anyone who can pay the 60-yuan admission fee.
  • Hell, the name of the country today is still the People's Republic of China despite the strict communism that name suggests being displaced by what they call "socialism with Chinese characteristics" (which bears a distinct resemblance to capitalism).
  • Toponyms with "gate" in them usually don't have gates anymore, and in some cases are just named for places that once did.
    • Likewise there are a lot of Chinese place names with "men", which also means gate and is usually just as nonexistent, in them.
  • 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.
  • 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 of any genre touring the US.
    • Parodied by The Onion: "House of Blues actually House of Whites".
    • This might be seen as a live-venue version of Network Decay.
  • Orange County, California, was so named because of the large amounts 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, essentially, 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 12 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 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).
  • 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.
  • 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, at least two malls in Michigan have access roads named for Hudson's, when in both cases, the store in question is now 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 in 2013.
      • 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.
    • Wall Street originally went along an actual wall. The wall is long since gone, but the name stuck.
    • 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.
    • 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 borders.
    • 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.
    • 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".
  • 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 orginally 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.
  • 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 where 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.
  • In many towns in Canada and Australia, you can find bars called hotels. 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 been 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.
    • 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."
    • Again back in China, Beijing Capital International Airport is still PEK, from when the city it serves was known around the world as Peking.
  • 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 "wen", 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 
  • Pittsburgh, PA is widely known as "Steel City" and has a football team called the Steelers, but the actual steel industry it thrived upon collapsed after The Eighties. It is better known now for medicine and glassworks.
  • India takes its name from the Indus River, a river which flows through Pakistan.
  • 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, but was the "Northwest" in the early 19th century since it was the northwestern corner of the U.S. (Northwestern University's name is thus an artifact title as well). 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 in at least three-quarters of a century, hasn't been able to exercise any authority over it since 1986, 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.

    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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • Any product or store named after a price expressed in an inflatory currency will be this if the name isn't changed.
    • Dollar stores, at least in the United States. Almost all of them now sell items that are much more expensive than $1.00 (or x for $1.00). Many of the stores call themselves 'Dollar (and up)' stores now, the 'and up' part being in tiny print. Which probably isn't the great advertising idea (everything we sell is more expensive than a dollar!), but the public is so used to seeing the dollar part and equating it with the inverse they're used to...
      • Funnily enough, Japan has managed to keep their equivalent fairly well. Almost everything in 100 yen shops costs 100 yen (or 105 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. 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.
  • 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 place where gay men had...uh...fun, 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.
    • The Logo in Futurama says 30th Century Fox - It's a century behind in-canon as well.
  • ITV stands for Independent Television, initially referring to its 'independence' from the publicly funded BBC (ITV was the UK's first commercial TV network). Nowadays of course, there are plenty of other non-BBC networks.
    • Since ITV as it is today was created through a merger of local companies, regional programming still brands itself with names like Meridian and Border, even though their namesake companies ceased to exist more than a decade ago. Thankfully, most of the channels had names tied to the region they broadcast, but the northwest is still called Granada out of tradition.
  • 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. For 35 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.) 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 they're still operated by the parent company, so the name is still appropriate.
  • 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.
  • 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. 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Knott's Berry Farm started off with the Knott family selling berries, pies, and berry preserves beside the farm. Eventually, a fried chicken restaurant was created, and grew so much in popularity that a ghost town and various other attractions were built to entertain guests as they waited for a table. Over time, the attractions grew so much that the Knotts began charging admission, and the attractions would eventually overtake the restaurant and farm itself.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 original store on Cape Cod is actually divided into separate shops. None of the newer ones are.
  • 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, KY, 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.

    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). 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.
  • 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.
  • So-called "smartphones" are usually not used as phones. 90% of the time you're using it to take a photo, surf the web, play a video game, use an app, email somebody, or something else that doesn't include calling people. You might as well call a Volvo with a CD player a portable music player. "Smartphones" are really just pocket computers with phone functions.
    • Arguably not an Artifact Title, because the phone features are essential to a successful product. Remove that and you're left with a PDA: not functional enough to justify cost and extra pocket space, and too small to compete with tablets.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Others 
  • How long has it been since Pepsi was marketed as a digestive aid containing pepsin?
    • It's been even longer since Coca-Cola contained coca.
      • Coke even got taken to court over it - though technically they charged the product.
      • Coca-Cola contains both a decocainized coca base and kola nut extract, though neither have much to do with the flavor. Both were thought to have medicinal properties at the time the syrup was invented. Neither has anything to do with why people drink the drink now.
  • 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.
  • See Network Decay for examples of television networks. For example:
    • The channel MTV (Music Television) hardly ever plays music these days. In fact the initials "MTV" now no longer stand for anything.
    • Likewise, its subsidiary VH-1, which once stood for Video Hits 1, stopped being a music-video network by the early 1990s.
    • G4 isn't gaming related anymore, aside from covering E3 each year and X-Play.
    • ABC Family's programming is increasingly less family-friendly these days; the most prominent examples include Greek and The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The "family" part has to stay, though, because when Pat Robertson first sold the channel to Fox (who later sold it to Disney/ABC), there was a demand from Robertson that the word "Family" be in the name permanently, regardless of the channel's owner. As a result, Disney was unable to rename the channel to XYZ and avert this.
    • Cartoon Network became this for a time when Cartoon Network and [adult swim] ditched much of their famed animated programming and attempted to put more emphasis on live action programming. They've since backed down from this and are showing cartoons again after the failure of CN Real, but they still heavily promote the few live-action shows they have.
  • 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 appropriate 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.
  • 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 (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.
  • The British radio station Hallam FM, which has expanded beyond the village of Hallam of Sheffield.
  • 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's been much more than a box with ice in it for decades.
  • The Rock in Rio festival had its name due to being in Rio de Janeiro. The last editions were in Lisbon (leading to a common joke in Brazil: since "rio" means river, it was Rock in Rio Tejo) and Madrid.
  • 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 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.
  • BBC Radio 4's Friday Night Comedy hour had a series in the run-up prior to the UK's 2010 General Election. The shows, presented on Mondays through Wednesdays, were still considered a part of the Friday Night Comedy hour. Lampshaded by the announcer saying that they were, confusingly, broadcast on Monday (or Tuesday or Wednesday) night.
  • 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 people is now considered backwards by the general populace.
    • Justified in that the association today advocates for all "people of color" (Hispanic, Asian, Native American, etc) rather than just African-Americans. The term "people of color" is still in common and acceptable use.
    • But "colored people" isn't.
    • The same thing could probably be applied to the United Negro College Fund ("negro" isn't as outdated a term as "colored", but it's still decades out of date).
  • There's a language family called Eskimo-Aleut despite the former name having become deprecated in the past few decades.
    • This isn't an actual example among linguists as the name is still relevant. Linguistically speaking (and ethnically speaking, unbeknownst to most people who think it is a slur) "Eskimo" is not interchangeable with "Inuit". All Inuit are Eskimos but not all Eskimos are Inuit. And some "Inuit" aren't fans of that term, either.
  • 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 Proctor and Gamble's in-house production company up until 2008.
  • Radio stations often change their call letters upon changing format and/or branding. Some radio stations have retained the call letters of a previous format, or in some cases owner. For example, WABC used to be owned by ABC but is currently owned by Citadel Broadcasting, and its Chicago sister WLS was founded by Sears, the World's Largest Store. But WGNA in Albany NY has them beat, as its call letters stand for a branding and format that has never been used on the station: Its original owner intended for it to be an FM sister to his religious station, with the call letters standing for Good News Albany. But it's been on air since day one as a country station, as the owner died and his family overturned his plans.
  • Despite the fact that more than half of all American households now receive cable TV, many UHF stations are still branded primarily by their over-the-air channel number rather than their cable number.
    • This is more likely because the various providers can't agree on which of their channels should carry the respective UHF channel. They still tend to be in the 1-12 range, just mixed up.
    • In broadcast TV, the channel's numbering is the same for digital as it was for analog thanks to virtual channel numbering, even though they had to broadcast on different frequencies before analog was switched off (so, say, channel 9's digital signal may have been broadcast on frequencies allocated to channel 23). After the switch off, most broadcasters switched their station so that the digital signal occupied the same space as the old analog one did, but channels 2 through 6 can't for technical reasons, so they all end up broadcasting on much higher frequencies but keep the old channel numbers.
  • 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 a "debit card" style plastic card.
    • 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 from 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • 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).
  • "The Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels is no longer a kid nor a heartbreaker. He's happily married, and if he wasn't, he's devoutly Christian now.
  • 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.
  • MI-5 and MI-6 were named because they were the fifth and sixth branch of the Directorate of Military Intelligence (hence the "MI"), which went from MI-1 all the way up to MI-19. Today all of the other sections have been disbanded or were absorbed into other organizations; and MI-6 is now officially known as the Secret Intelligence Service and MI-5 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" sort of took over the generic term (possibly because "useless unverifiable blather" was thought too derogatory).
  • 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.
  • Tae Kwon Do translates as "Art of the Hand and Foot" from Korean, but it gradually evolved to the point where it focuses mostly on kicking.
  • 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.
    • In the same vein, it's mostly older people today who use "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 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 over 30 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 this territory to Ohio in 1800, shortly after settlement began, though it remained popularly known as the "Western Reserve" for many decades afterward.
  • "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 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", an older word for "sodium".
    • 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.
    • 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.
  • The San Diego Comic Con is now host to all kinds of media, not just western comics.
  • American collegiate athletic conferences:
    • The Big Ten Conference became an Artifact Title in 1991 when Penn State joined to become its 11th member (acknowledged in the old logo which had the number 11 hidden in its negative space) - it expanded to 12 schools when Nebraska joined in 2011, and now has 14 after Maryland and Rutgers joined in 2014. There are no plans to change the name.
    • The Big 12 used to have 12 schools until 2011 when Colorado (to the then-Pac-10) and Nebraska (to the Big Ten) left and they didn't replace them (Missouri and Texas A&M also left the following year but they were replaced with West Virginia and TCU). Combined with the above, yes, there was a three-year period (2011–2014) where the Big Ten had twelve teams and the Big 12 had ten teams.
    • The Big East skirted this real closely. It started life in 1979 as a basketball conference with teams from Boston to DC - the only member west of the Appalachians was Pittsburgh. Then it added football in 1991 because of how lucrative the money was, but even then the teams added weren't that misnomering (the westernmost ones added were West Virginia and Miami). Then Notre Dame (Indiana) joined in 1995 (except for football, which it remains independent in). Three schools left for the ACC in 2004, so a bunch were added the next year including DePaul (Chicago) and Marquette (Milwaukee) (these two were non-football members - the farthest football-playing school added was Louisville). Then came the recent massive conference realignment starting around 2008, with the Big East as the tasty carcass because the other conferences had prestige. To stay alive, the Big East had to resort to inviting any and every decent football program willing to jump from conferences less prestigious than they, including SMU (Dallas), TCU (Fort Worth), Houston, Boise State (Idaho), and San Diego State (yes, as in California). Ultimately averted—the schools in question (except Houston and SMU) all backed out at the last minute, with TCU getting an invite from the Big 12 (which they'd wanted to join for a long time anyway) and Boise State and San Diego State deciding to stay in the Mountain West Conference (which by this point probably isn't less prestigious than the Big East in football, it just has less money), and the Catholic 7 (the basketball schools that didn't play FBS football) got sick of this whole mess and left on July 1, 2013, taking the Big East name with them. The remaining schools (those that didn't jump ship by this point) are now called the American Athletic Conference, which has the benefit of being geographically neutral.
    • The Atlantic Coast Conference through the 1990s and early 2000s only had members from the Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states; the furthest north was Maryland, and the furthest inland was Georgia Tech in Atlanta. In 2004-5, Boston College, Virginia Tech, and Miami joined. The name "Atlantic Coast" was still fairly reasonable... until 2013, when Pittsburgh, Syracuse, and Notre Dame joined the ACC. In 2014, this went Up to Eleven with Louisville joining the ACC. To reiterate, the Atlantic Coast Conference has teams from Indiana and Kentucky, both over 500 miles from the actual Atlantic coast.
    • The Big South Conference has predominantly had members from Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. You would expect this. You wouldn't expect it to have football-only members Stony Brook (on Long Island; now in the Colonial Athletic Association for football) or Monmouth (in New Jersey). I suppose they're both south of Canada...
      • In addition, the Big South is composed of some of the smaller schools in NCAA Division I (the top-tier). Probably added for Rule of Cool, and because there already is a general "Southern Conference" (which until recently had more members than the "Big" South, go figure).
    • The Atlantic 10 gets this for both number and geography: There are fourteen members, as far west as Dayton, Ohio and St. Louis, Missouri.
  • The Jockey Club, which regulates things like the naming of American thoroughbred race horses and keeps their pedigrees on file, has never had any jockeys in it and it's not a club. It is artifactual in that it takes its name from the English Jockey Club, which fulfills much the same function and was indeed started as a club for rich owners.
  • 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. 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • Dallas-area DJ Kidd Kraddick died in July 2013, but the supporting cast of Kidd Kraddick in the Morning continue to bear the title without the original star of the show.
  • Nickels (5-cent pieces in U.S. currency) haven't been made of nickel for a long time now.
  • 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 technology that made them possible in the mid-1950s when they were introduced, which used bars that 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory deals almost exclusively with outer space and rocketry. This is because when it was founded it 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 Native Americans the indigenous people of the Americas were once titled as "Indians" (the name is still used but has now since been considered informal in some regions, even offensive) even though they're not from India? Story goes way back to being covered when Christopher Columbus, upon arriving toward the continents believing he and his crew were at the Indian Ocean, with the intended destination being to reach the East Indies. Once the discovered continents were reached, Columbus referred to the inhabitants there 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 - the nebulae formed by the dispersing outer layers of lower-mass stars as they reach the end of their lives - received their name from Sir William Herschel in the 1780s, as he thought that they were sites of planetary formation. Planets are now known to form in protoplanetary discs, which are regions of condensing material surrounding many young stars and brown dwarfs, but the name was never changed.
  • 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.

     Military 
  • As traditions are rather important to military and naval personnel we see this very often. To take an example; the title of this folder; "military and naval". Today we refer to the word military in common usage as meaning "the armed forces". However, initially it referred only to land forces; the word itself came from "militia". Lord Nelson would have objected to being called a "military officer", he was a "Naval officer" thank you very much. And this is why.
    • The US Army's service Academy is the United States Military Academy.
    • Military Intelligence usually refers to Army intelligence.
      • A common joke is that "military intelligence" is in fact an oxymoron, which would make it an Artifact Title in a completely different sense.
  • Cavalry is kept as a designation for units in many countries even though they no longer have horses. Many of these units once did.
    • Though to be fair it also refers to the role that cavalry played; fast maneouver warfare.
      • Some British and Commonwealth Units plays this straight, keeping names which include "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."
    • Come to think of it, 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 tho its reason for use no longer existed.
    • For that matter, many of the later battleships actually reverted, to an extent, to the pre-Dreadnought concept of secondary guns (though mostly for anti-aircraft purposes, protecting against a threat that hadn't even been conceived of when HMS Dreadnought was designed).
  • 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.
  • 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.
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