Istanbul Not Constantinople

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/karlsland_2.jpg

"Every gal in Constantinople
Lives in Istanbul, not Constantinople
So if you've a date in Constantinople
She'll be waiting in Istanbul"
The Four Lads, "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" (1953), re-popularized by They Might Be Giants on Flood.

Whenever there's a fantastic Earth, or a world like our own yet very different, it's a safe bet that the author has messed with the names. Renaming things and places after what they could have been called is a very effective way to bring a touch of the exotic into the mundane, be it in The Time of Myths (Hyperborea for Greenland, Avalon for England), After the End (Amazon Desert, Empire of Denver, Whatever States of America), Alternate History or in another dimension.

Popular choices are alternate etymologies (eg. Allemannia for Germany), older names (Yamato for Japan), alternate names (Albion for Britain or Columbia for the USA, but then you have to make up something else for Colombia and British Columbia), names in the local tongue (Sakartvelo for the country Georgia, Nippon for Japan, Gitchegoomee for the native American name of the lake that Americans and Canadians know as Superior), things from local mythology (Jotunheim for Norway), possible corruptions and derivatives (Drontheim instead of Trondheim, though this one actually happened), and just taking the easy route and swapping some letters around.

Best not to think about it too hard when characters from these different worlds meet, though. What are the chances, after all, that those two universes happen to have alternatively named or defined locations while maintaining a mutually intelligible language? (Pretty damn likely, actually)

The trope name comes from the song of the same name written by Jimmy Kennedy and Nat Simon — a huge hit for The Four Lads in the fall of 1953, then re-popularized in 1990 by the cover version performed by They Might Be Giants.

See also Fantasy Counterpart Culture. Please Select New City Name often provides names to choose from (and real life examples should rather go there).


Examples:

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

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

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

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

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

    Literature 
  • House of the Scorpion and The Lord of Opium: Mexico has been renamed Aztlán at some point between the present day and the time of the novels.
  • The Hunger Games: Panem is set in what was once called North America after a unexplained apocalypse. The characters are well aware of their history (for the most part) as Katniss knows that Panem was once called North America, and District 12 was in a place called Appalachia.
  • Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker series is set in an alternate North America. Many names remain familiar, but are in variant spellings, such as "Hio," "Irrakwa" and "Wobbish." All these are originally Native American words, and the familiar forms are transliterations by Francophone explorers. In this world, the Anglophones seemingly got there first, so the transliterations are a bit different. As for New Amsterdam, it never became New York.
  • In the Kushiel's Legacy series by Jacqueline Carey, the maps at the beginnings of the book show that it is Europe. The UK is named Alba, Ireland is Eire, Spain is Aragonia, Germany and the northern lands are Skaldia, Italy is Caerdicca Unitas - Venice, or a suspiciously Venetian city, is La Serenissima - the Balkans are Illyria, Greece is Hellas, Egypt and the Maghreb is Menekhet, India is Bhodistan, China is Ch'in, Japan is the Empire of the Sun, Jebe-Barkal is Ethiopia and a bit more, The Flatlands are The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, Vralia is Russia and Drujan and Khebel-im-Akkad are different parts of Ancient Persia. France is called Terre d'Ange (literally Land of Angels) but that's because it's the land of Mary Sues for backstory reasons.
    • Some more accurate than others. For instance, Alba is actually the Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland, not the UK in total, which would be Albion.
      • Perhaps it sounds OK in D'Angeline - analogous to the way many people in our world (often speakers of English as a second language) use "England" to refer to all of mainland UK, even though that only refers to the bit south of Scotland and east of Wales.
  • John Crowley's Aegypt Cycle approaches this obliquely: protagonist Pierce Moffett is obsessed as a child with the country of Aegypt—not the historical Egypt, but its fantastic analogue in Western myth. "Aegypt" is the Egypt of imagination that was credited as the homeland of the Gypsies, of Hermetic mythology, and of the countless mystical doctrines that people supposed to have originated there.
  • In So You Want To Be A Wizard, the main character reads in her wizard's manual about "alternate earths where the capital of the United States was named Huictilopochtli or Lafayette City or Hrafnkell or New Washington".
    • For that matter, it isn't specified whether all of these are actually Washington, D.C. under different names. The capital could be located elsewhere.
  • Thomas Hardy set all his novels in his native region of southwest England but with most placenames changed; he called it Wessex.
  • Job: A Comedy of Justice: Robert A. Heinlein has a lot of fun with this as the two protagonists get shunted from alternative earth to alternative earth.
  • In another Heinlein book, The Number of the Beast, Hilda wonders if they crossed over into the universe where the fourth planet is named Barsoom instead of Mars.
  • The Conan the Barbarian books and related materials, set in what was constructed to be a feasible vanished age. Scandinavia is not called Jotunheim, but it's called Vanaheim and Asgard, which isn't better. Robert E. Howard claimed things to be the other way around: the different mythological names of people and places he mentions were 'corrupted' over time, becoming the myths we know of today. Some other examples are:
    • Acheron is the Roman Empire, a large Empire ruling over large areas that, after its fall, remained with certain cultural influence over the former provinces.
    • From Europe: Aquilonia will be a cross between the Byzantine Empire and Italy (it's the name of a French region though, althoug Aquilo in Latin means "north wind".Argos is Ancient Greece. Brythunia is Britain (culturally, geographically is located in what is now Poland). Corinthia is Athens. Hyperborea, Russia and Finland. Zingara is Spain, a similar country is Zamora, another Iberian-like country and the native land of the Gypsies.
    • From the Americas: Barachan Islands are the Caribbean with their own pirate island; Tortuga and the Picts are like a version of the Native Americans.
    • From Asia: Hyrkania is Mongolia. Turan is Central Asia and Turkey. Vendhya is India. Shem is the northern Middle East (Mesopotamia and Palestine for example) whilst Ophir is Arabia (both names come from the Bible). Khitai is China (is the name of one of the prehistoric Chinese dynasties). Meru is Tibet (Meru is the name of a sacred montain in Tibetan Buddhism). Iranistan is Persia, of course, and Koth is the land of the Hitites.
    • From Africa: Stygia is Egypt, the name is the same of one of the rivers of the Greek Underworld. Zembabwei is Zimbabwe. Punt is Somalia and the Wadai tribe kindgom is base in real life Wadai tribe of Chad.
  • Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm is set in an alternate Britain named Branion, with a similar map. Since the series focuses on nobility, many of the original names can be determined from the titles. For example, the heir to the throne is the Prince of Gwyneth (Wales) and Duke of Kraburn. If it wasn't obvious from the map that Kraburn is Cornwall, Kraburn has a major port named Halmouth (Falmouth). The second in line to the throne is the Duke of Yorbourne, which from the map clearly represents York. Other countries include Gallia, Danelind, and Tiberia (home to the Pontiff of a Catholic-analogue religion).
  • Nation by Terry Pratchett is set in a version of the South Pacific called the Great Southern Pelagic Ocean. "Pelagic" means "open sea". The map at the front of the book also features the "Reunited States".
  • In The Big One by Stuart Slade, Halifax Nova Scotia is renamed Churchill, in reaction to the Lord Halifax-led political coup that sues for peace with Germany and touches off the events of the series.
  • The His Dark Materials series executed this very impressively, using many alternate etymologies and extending to objects in addition to lands. Includes Anglia (England, although England, English and "Brytain" instead of Britain are also mentioned. Scotland also exists but it's not addressed whether it's the same country as England in that universe), Muscovy (Russia), Nippon (Japan), skraelings instead of Inuit, the Peaceable Ocean, and The Country of Texas in New Denmark. This also applies to objects such bas atomcraft, naphtha lamps, gyrocopters, anbaric lights ("electric" comes from a word for "amber"), and chocolatl (which is closer to the original Aztec word). Scandinavia is not Jotunheim, (it's called the Scandinavian Empire instead!) and the Svalbard archipelago is still the Svalbard archipelago (but it's an independent kingdom controlled by armoured bears). Lapland is also mentioned as possibly independent with a population of witches.
    • The Spanish translation also uses Latvia instead of the Hispanic name "Letonia".
    • The "Country of Texas" did actually exist: Texas used to be a Mexican territory, which later became an independent country; the USA annexed the Country of Texas shortly after that.
      • Muscovy existed as an independent country before Russia as we know it today existed. The series also features Tartars, who are strongly implied to have their own country as well. Evidently Russian unification was rather less successful in the alternate Earth.
    • Also, since in this world America was apparently not only found, but also made widely known by Vikings, it is called New Denmark.
  • Airborn is an Alternate History where the biggest change is the rise of airships as the major form of long-distance transportation. The history only diverges from ours in the early 20th century or so, but one of the changes is the renaming of Vancouver (supposedly the airship capital of the world) as Lionsgate City.
    • Several other places have very minor name changes, such as the Pacificus and Atlanticus oceans, Europa, and the Republic of Colorado.
  • Kim Stanley Robinson's The Years of Rice and Salt, where the plague killed off most of the Christian population of Europe, leading to Arabic/Chinese/Japanese/etc place names such as Yingzhou for North America, al-Alemand for Germany, Skandistan for Scandinavia, Nippon for Japan and so on.
  • Charles Stross' Merchant Princes features alternate versions of our earth, which people with a certain genetic trait can travel between.
    • In the first world encountered, North America was colonized by a Germanic people who worship the gods of Norse Mythology; England and Christianity never became dominant in America and might not exist in that world at all. Most of the action that world takes place in a feudal culture corresponding geographically to what is New England in Real Life and most place names are in some Conlang that seems like a mix of German and Scandinavian.
    • In another world protagonists visit later in the series, North America was colonized by the English like in Real Life, but history happened differently in at least two ways: The American Revolution failed or didn't happen at all, but another revolution in Great Britain did succeed. So North America is ruled by a Vestigial Empire ruled by an English king who doesn't rule anything on the east side of the Atlantic. Boston is called New London in this world.
  • Harry Turtledove
    • The Case of the Toxic Spell Dump: This Magitek novel is set in Angels City, on the coast of the Peaceful Ocean, and just north of the Barony of Orange. On the East Coast of the Confederated Provinces are the District of St. Columba and the city of New Jorvik. Other countries mentioned include Alemania and Persia, as well as a Hanese restaurant.
    • His more traditional alternate history novels feature this too, mainly for objects — nukes become "exploding-metal bombs" (in the World War/Colonization series) or "superbombs" and "sunbombs" (Timeline-191), suicide bombers become "people bombs," the Molotov cocktail is the "Featherston Fizz," and the Army's heavily armored frontline combat vehicles are "barrels," not tanks. A laser is called "skelkwank" in the World War/Colonization series (having been borrowed, along with invention, from the Race).
    • And when the superbombs go off, they produce a "toadstool cloud".
    • Speaking of nukes, element 92 is still named uranium, but while the USA names the next two elements neptunium and plutonium as in Real Life, the Confederate States Of America goes the other direction and calls them saturnium and jovium. (Britain calls element 94 churchillium.)
    • London, Ontario, is renamed Berlin by the occupying US authorities; Roanoke, Virginia, is called Big Lick (justified in that that was the original name before the N&W Railroad renamed the town); and Hawaii is British-ruled and still called the Sandwich Islands.
    • His War Between the Provinces series is basically a retelling of The American Civil War in the West from Chickamauga on, only with the map reversed (the rebels are in the north), the colors reversed (because indigo is a major rebel product) and with names either given alternates or horrid puns. General Rosecrans is renamed "Guildenstern." Chickamauga is renamed "The River of Death," and Lookout Mountain, "Sentry Peak." Georgia becomes "Peachtree," and Selma, Alabama is renamed "Hayek."
    • Harry Turtledove and Richard Dreyfus do this in The Two Georges with Boston, Oregon (rejected in real life by a coin flip; you probably know the city as Portland).
  • Piratica tweaks the name of every country out there, as well as the nationalities (we get things like "Canadee").
  • Done cleverly in Gene Wolfe's Soldier of the Mist series where places in the ancient world are identified by the literal meaning/folk etymology of their names. For example, Boetia is Cowland, Athens is Thought, and Sparta is Rope in the "Silent Country".
  • The Lord Darcy mysteries are set in the Angevin Empire, an Anglo-French superpower in a world where Richard The Lion Heart's heirs kept their royal status into the 20th century. The basic geography is the same, but many regions' names have evolved differently. For instance, New England is all of North America (with Nova Borkum in place of NYC), and Mechiceo is an Angevin duchy.
  • In the series Stravaganza, there is an an alternate universe version of Italy known as Talia. Likewise, the UK equivalent is Anglia. There are also various city-states throughout Talia with Italian-esque names with similar meanings to their counterparts (ie, Venice = Bellezza, Florence = Giglia, Siena = Remora).
    • Remora is mentioned to have been founded by Remus, thence the name. See the below example.
  • Christopher Stasheff's A Wizard in Rhyme series stars a grad student from "our" world transplanted to an alternate medieval Europe. He lands in France, called "Merovence" after the Merovingian dynasty that once ruled there. Other nations are likewise renamed using historical influences: Spain is Ibile, Austria is Allustria, etc.
    • And Rome is Reme because in this universe, Remus won.
      • This is its own subclass of this trope. Practically everyone who makes "Earth, but with magic" makes "Remus won." the turning point. So Reme, the Reman Empire, etc.
      • Terry Pratchett's Strata as well.
  • The Chrestomanci books have a fair few. World 12A in Charmed Life has Atlantis (North America); in Conrad's Fate the Series 7 worlds have Ludwich instead of London, the Thames is the Little Rhine, the Low Countries are Frisia, and Moscow is Mosskva. Though in Series 7, Britain is part of continental Europe...
  • Tanith Lee does this quite frequently in her work. The Secret Books of Paradys are set in an alternate Paris, while The Secret Books of Venus are set in an alternate Venice. She also refers to the "Remusan Empire" in Cyrion.
  • Dan Simmons has a few of these in his duology Illium and Olympos. Thousands of years have changed Ulan Bator in Ulanbat, and a mishandle black hole has made Paris into Paris Crater.
  • In the Poul Anderson novella Eutopia, the various names of North America are used as shorthand for their respective alternate universes. The home universe of the dimension hoppers is called Eutopia, since in their history the Ancient Greeks colonized North America.
  • Arthur C. Clarke renamed Sri Lanka "Taprobane," (one of the island's many other names) and moved it 500 miles south to put it on the Equator for his novel "The Fountains of Paradise."
  • Michael Pryor's The Laws of Magic series takes this approach to a faux-Victorian era Europe - England is Albion, Germany is Holmland, France is Gallia (and its capital city is Lutetia) and so on.
  • In Patricia C. Wrede's Thirteenth Child, America is Columbia, and the three systems of magic are Avrupan (European), Aphrikan (African) and Hijero-Cathayan (Indian-Chinese, actually two systems but apparently combined due to similarity. Mind you, I might be wrong about the Hijero=Indian bit, but both China and India are economic superpowers right now.).
  • Michael Moorcock uses this trope a lot in his alternate-universe and time-travel stories. One in particular, the empire of Granbretan (Great Britain) in the Hawkmoon books, is used as a Take That! against certain aspects of his birthplace.
  • Poul Anderson, in his essay "Uncleftish Beholding", played with this trope and produced a lengthy essay on atomic theory written in what English might be if it had never borrowed words or structures from non-Germanic linguistic sources.
    At first it was thought that the uncleft was a hard thing that could be split no further; hence the name. Now we know it is made up of lesser motes. There is a heavy kernel with a forward bernstonish lading, and around it one or more light motes with backward ladings. The least uncleft is that of ordinary waterstuff. Its kernel is a lone forwardladen mote called a firstbit. Outside it is a backwardladen mote called a bernstonebit. The firstbit has a heaviness about 1840-fold that of the bernstonebit. Early worldken folk thought bernstonebits swing around the kernel like the earth around the sun, but now we understand they are more like waves or clouds.note 
  • Cryptonomicon, which takes place in a world just a little bit different from ours, calls Japan "Nippon", which is, more-or-less, the Japanese name.
  • A non-alternate example in Mikhail Akhmanov's Dick Simon books. After the discovery of the Ramp, entire cities are moved off-world onto other habitable planets. US and Canada end up on a world they call Columbia. Colombia is not mentioned by name (probably because it's spelled and sounds the same in Russian), but, presumably, it went with the other South American nations to planet Latmerica. The other settled planets aren't as creative. Russia ends up on planet Russia, while European countries simply call their new world Europe (or, possibly, Europa).
  • In John Flanagan's Ranger's Apprentice, this is used rather stylishly, for example: Araluen = England, Gallica = France, Celtica = Wales, Hibernia = Ireland, Picta = Scotland, Teutlandt = Germany, Arrida = North Africa (Tripoli or Egypt), Skandia = Scandinavia, Nihon-Ja = Japan, Iberion = Spain, Toscana = Rome/Italy, the unnamed Temujai country = Mongolia (Genghis Khan's name was Temijin), Indus (briefly mentioned in Book 10) probably = India, etc.
  • Tom Kratman's Caliphate has Europe morph into the European Caliphate in the 2100s. As a result, many places' names were corrupted if not outright changed. Like Baya for Bavaria, Grolanhei for Grosslangheim, Affrankon for Franconia, Slo for Oslo, among others.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko's Seekers of the Sky has, among other things, a still-thriving Roman Empire (now called simply the State). Thus, many city names hail from the days of Rome (e.g. Budapest is Aquincum, London is Londinium). God's Stepson (this world's version of the Pope) has his seat in a city called Urbis, which simply means "city" in Latin and is implied to be Vatican. The capital of the State has been moved to Lutetia (i.e. Paris). Russia was never able to throw off the Mongol yoke and its current capital is still Kazan' (Moscow is not mentioned). What is now Israel in our world is called Judea in the duology. Interestingly, the trope's name does not apply. Since the Ottoman Empire is still going strong, its capital is still called Istanbul. Languages are also called slightly differently: Latin is called Romanian, Hungarian is called Magyar, Turkish is called Ottoman, Spanish is called Iberian, French is called Gallic, Hebrew is called Judeic.
    • Surprisingly, this is averted with Vienna (which should probably still be called Vindobona) and Lyon (which Romans called Lugdunum). Both of these are mentioned by their Real Life names.
    • Despite the fact that Budapest is called Aquincum, it still has three main districts called Buda, Óbuda, and Pest.
  • Vladimir Vasilyev's The Treasure of the Kapitana takes place in Days of Future Past. For some reason, many places have had their names reverted to their Greco-Roman variants. For example, Great Britain is known as Albion with the capital at Londinium and a rebelion brewing in Eboracum (York), while the Crimean Peninsula is known as Taurida (with Galeta [Yalta] as a major port city), Portugal is called Lusitania, and Germany is known as Almain (the English name for Germany until the 16th century). The Black Sea is referred to by the people of Albion as Euxine Sea (in Real Life, the British referred to it in this way until the 19th century). However, some places retain their modern names, such as Southampton (there was a Roman fortress settlement of Clausentum in the area).
    • Surprisingly, Istanbul itself does not fit this trope, as it still retains its current name instead of an earlier one (e.g. Byzantium, Nova Roma, or Constantinople).
  • Max Gladstone's Craft Sequence is implicitly set on a version of our Earth with a very different history. Many very similar places exist on it In Spite of a Nail (although many places are also NOT recognizable as counterparts to anything real.) A few do stand out as clear examples of this trope— the city of Shikaw, situated on a very large lake, is one obvious example.
  • In Stephen King's work, we find the fictional metropolis of Harding, which is apparently a stand-in for either Chicago or Detroit. It appears in The Running Man and his unpublished novel Sword in the Darkness.

    Live Action TV 
  • For no explained reason, London is "Londinium" in the Adam West-era Batman. And its police headquarters is New Ireland Yard.
    • DC Comics at the time (and mostly to this day, at least for US cities) didn't generally use real city names; apparently, this carried over to TV as well.
    • According to another episode of the Batman series, Gotham's (ie, New York's) neighbouring state is New Guernsey. Which is New Jersey named after a different Channel Island.
      • And a different breed of cow.
  • Albion pops up in Merlin, though since it's Arthurian legend-based, it's justified.
  • The alternate Earth of Fringe uses almost identical place names, except that some are spelled differently.
  • A mild example in Charlie Jade, where one of the realities refers to the South African city of Cape Town as "Cape City".

    Tabletop Games 
  • 7th Sea has thinly veiled Renaissance-Enlightenment pastiches: Avalon (the British Isles), Montaigne (France), Vodacce (Italy), Eisen (Germany/the remnants of the Holy Roman Empire), Castille (Spain), Ussura (Russia) and Vendel (a combination of several Nordic and northern European states). There's also The Crescent Empire (the Middle East), Cathay (East Asia) and an island chain to represent the Caribbean.
  • Damnation Decade, a Green Ronin d20 System RPG based on tropes from 1970s sci-fi TV and movies, renames everything: America gets the slight change to Americo, Gordon Lightfoot and Edmund Fitzgerald get their names swapped, and then it gets weird (Richard Nixon becomes "Stanton Spobeck," for one).
  • Tribe 8 may be the weirdest example. The game takes place After the End when a bunch of monsters have descended from the sky and humans are organized in tribes around "Fatimas", avatars of the Goddess. The game takes place in the land of Vimary... which was once Montreal (founded in real life under the name Ville-Marie).
  • Castle Falkenstein: Most of Europe - sorry, "Europa" - has the same names and borders as in our reality, but South America is Antillea, and the Atlantic Ocean is the Atlantean Ocean, among other things.
  • Early Gamma World products were full of real-world place names that'd been altered, elided, rendered phonetically, or just plain screwed up After the End.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Though they haven't seen use since the unification of Terra ten millenia or so before the game's setting, there are occasional mentions of places like Albyon, Jermani, the Yndonesic Bloc and Nova Yoruk.
  • The world of Warhammer is based on the real world, especially Europe, although it's not quite as direct as most examples under this trope. The Empire is based on the Holy Roman Empire, while Bretonnia is mainly based on France with strong Arthurian influences, including plenty of references to the magical island of Albion (which makes little appearance itself although it obviously corresponds to Britain geographically). Norsca is Scandinavia, Estalia is the Iberian peninsula, the deserts of the Tomb Kings take up most of north Africa, while the jungles of Lustria further south match central Africa, although the geography this far from the main area of interest is much less fleshed out. Cathay, Nippon and Araby are referenced as having their lands in the correct directions but are rarely actually shown on maps. Kislev and Tilea, representing eastern Europe and Italy respectively, are probably the only two major areas which have purely fictional names rather than being based on real ones (although Italy does lend its name partly to Estalia instead).
  • Fading Suns: The Empire's capital of Byzantium Secundus was originally named New Istanbul.

    Video Games 
  • The 2027 mod for Deus Ex features the Russian Confederation.
  • The Quest for Glory series. Features Spielburg (Germanic town), Mordavia (Transylvania), Silmaria (Greece), Shapeir (Middle East), and Fricana (Africa). Scandinavia is called Jotunheim, but has the justification of having actual Jotuns.
  • Dragon Quest III's world map is based on the real world map, with locations having similar names to their real world counterparts. For example, Portoga is Portugal/Spain, Baharata is India, Isis is Egypt and Zipangu is Japan, among others.
  • In the same vein is Golden Sun, whose world map is extremely similar to Earth except it needs some continental shifts. A lot of the names harken back to old names, like prehistoric super-continent names, for the areas.
    • Dark Dawn continues the tradition and just gets gratuitous and/or lazy with it. The Japan-analogue people got relocated to a new chain of islands, which they named Nihan. You know, a slightly-mispronounced Nihon? To say nothing of Champa and Ayuthay.
  • The Korean MMOG Sword of the New World: Granado Espada (Gratuitous Spanish) plays in a fantasy, monster-overrun version of America, which was named after the two explorers Granado and (drum roll, please) Espada. This isn't too bad since real-world's America is named after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci.
    • Bilingual Bonus: "Distinguished Sword".
      • So would that make it "Sword of the New World: Distinguished Sword"?
      • It would be more like Bilingual Genius Bonus. "Distinguished" is an archaic yet still valid meaning for "Granado;" nowadays we native Spanish speakers use it almost exclusively to talk about loose grain. The grammar is all wrong, though; if you want to use "Granado," you would say "Espada Granada."
    • It also doesn't help that two of the main cities are named after real-life cities: Port of Coimbra is from Coimbra, Portugal, and the City of Auch is from Auch, France.
  • Possibly an example in Freelancer, which takes place in the future. The ships, and then the factions that sprung up from those ships, are the Liberty [USA], Bretonia [United Kingdom], Rheinland [Germany] and Kusari [Japan]. The fifth ship, the Hispania [Spain], broke down along the way and was lost. You can find it, if you're so inclined.
  • Pokémon seems to take place on an alternate Earth, as the game maps for the first four generations are based on actual Japanese regions (though Hoenn was rotated). The exception is the Kanto region, named after the region that encompasses, among others, the prefectures of Tokyo and Gunma.
    • In the fifth generation, the Unova region is based not on a portion of Japan but on New York City and the surrounding area.
    • The Orre region, from the Gamecube games, is also probably based in an alternate America, specifically in Arizona.
    • The sixth generation region, Kalos, is based on France, complete with analogues for the Eiffel Tower and Versailles; regardless of which language you play in, characters will still use quite a bit of French.
    • The seventh generation is based on Hawaii.
    • Generation One took a far more Earth All Along approach to things; one of Mew's Pokedex entries mentions it being from South America, while Arcanine's Pokedex entry states that it's a legend in China. Lt. Surge was even stated to be an American military veteran (his title even being "The Lightning American").
      • Games from Generation Four onwards somewhat resumed this approach; whatever language you play in, certain NPCs (implied to be foreigners) will speak entirely in a different language with no translation provided (indeed, the different names each Pokemon has depending on the language used are all simultaneously canon, like how real languages have different words for the same animal). Generations Five and Six even have a Show Within a Show dedicated to talking about either the Japanese Pokemon names, or the Japanese language in general and what you would say in Japan.
  • The Grand Theft Auto series has examples of these in most of its versions: The State of San Andreas (California and Nevada), containing the cities of Los Santos (Los Angeles), Las Venturas (Las Vegas), and San Fierro (San Francisco), there is also Liberty City (New York City) and Vice City (Miami).
  • Warrior Kings is heavily revisionist (but not in a "this is how it should have gone" way), with the Catholic church becoming a military and political state rivaling Rome and the real Holy Roman Empire. To be more clear, most of mainland Europe is ruled by the Empire (The Catholic Church). Germany is denoted as Gallicus. England is Angland, the pagan warlords in the islands to the north (Svalbard?) are in Skane, despite the real Skane being in southern Sweden.
  • Valkyria Chronicles has 'Gallia' (the Netherlands). And, just like Castle Falkenstein,it takes place on the continent 'Europa'.
    • Switzerland might be a better fit: it's implied all Gallians have militia training, and they have a history of neutrality in continental conflicts between The Empire and The Federation.
      • However, the landscape looks very Dutch. Except for the massive pit mine and the sandy desert.
      • Mind you, the sandy desert is only there because of a certain cataclysmic historical event that doesn't have a counterpart in our world.
      • And according to a map in the trailer, Gallia is located somewhere around Latvia or Lithuania in this counterpart universe.
      • The in-game map does seem to have a lot of Dutch town names scattered around the larger map for no real reason.
  • Civilization IV has a mod - Rhye's and Fall of Civilization (also for expansions)- that has a dynamic naming system for cities so what at first is Constantinople will become Istanbul when captured by the Turks. (Side note - It actually has Davao and Washington D.C. in the right places - 2x2 tile squares.)
    • In Civ 3, if you founded enough cities to exhaust the list of names associated with that civilization, the game would start over with "New London" etc., but instead of "New Istanbul" you'd get "Not Constantinople".
    • Inverted in in Civ 5. Since the Ottoman Empire and the Byzantine Empire are both playable civilizations, it's entirely possible for a world map to feature Istanbul and Constantinople. And since they're both the capital cities of their respective empires, it will happen whenever both civs are on the board.
  • Fable is set in Albion which is one of the oldest known names for England.
  • Fallout 2 has New Reno. However, for the most part this trope is averted, with names like The Boneyard (Los Angeles in Fallout) or the original city names (Washington D.C. in Fallout 3).
  • Valkyrie Profile has its own version of Japan named Yamato.
  • Sonic Unleashed has pretty much the Earth itself but with different names, such as Apotos for Greece, Holoska for Alaska, Empire City for New York, and Chun-Nan for China.
  • This comes up at least once in Assassin's Creed: Revelations given the setting (i.e. Constantinople itself), naturally. Specifically, the game is set shortly after the Ottomans occupied the city. Most still call it Constantinople, but offhand references are made to some young people starting to call the city Istanbul.
  • An earlier version of the Total War engine allowed for cities to be renamed by scripted events. One such case was when an Islamic faction would take Constantinople from the Byzantines. It would be renamed Istanbul. Start with Empire: Total War, the engine no longer allows for this, which is why St. Petersburg is already on the map while Sweden is in control of the territory (it originally was a tiny village called Nyen).
  • Sakura Wars is set in Japan during the Taishou period. Because it's Alternate History, however, the first character of "Taishou" is written with an extra stroke.
  • In both Crusader Kings II and Europa Universalis IV, when a certain nation or culture controls certain provinces (or in Crusader Kings II, even larger titles, like kingdoms and empires), their names will change to a linguistically appropriate counterpart, such as the province of Finland becoming Suomi when held by a Finn or Constantinople becoming Konstantiniyye when Turkish or the empire of Britannia becoming Pyrdain when held by most Celts, and this may also be done manually to provinces and cities. Additionally, with the Customization Pack DLC for Crusader Kings II, it becomes possible to manually rename entire duchies, kingdoms, and empires.
    • The Art Of War and El Dorado DLCs for EUIV added a custom client state creator and custom nation creator, respectively, allowing players so inclined to make an Istanbul for any given Constantinople.
  • Terranigma has "Scandia" for Scandinavia in the localization due to Character Name Limits, though this is an actual older name. Also most of the names of real world cities are replaced with fictional ones such as "Freedom" for New York, "Nirlake" for Chicago, and "Loire" for Paris.

    Web Comics 
  • Sorcery 101 takes place in an alternate universe, wherein the territory that is our United Kingdom is called Terra, China appears to be called Sipan and the USA and Canada are a single country known as the UPH.
  • Fan Dan Go is set in an alternate England known as Anglise. Its capital city is Londinium, and the city of Lonchester is rather larger than the Real Life Lancaster.
  • Out There does this quite often - the main action takes place in Portstown (Boston), with occasional sojourns to Los Vicios (Las Vegas) or Oceanic City (Atlantic City). It is a bit jarring to see Boston called "P'Town," especially since in Real Life it's a nickname for Provincetown.
    • Also, Wally Green plays for the Arch City Starlings (St. Louis Cardinals).
    • Creator R.C. Monroe has explained that he does this because, if he used the actual cities, he believed that people who are actually from those cities would notice inconsistencies between the real-world city and the fictional city. If he used fictional city names, that would no longer be a problem.
  • Girl Genius is set in an alternate "Europa," but uses this trope inconsistently. Gay Paree is still "Paris," but the political geography has nothing whatever in common with Earth's, and Albia...refers to Queen Elizabeth I, not the kingdom of Britain.

    Web Original 
  • Decades of Darkness:
    • To start with, New England is a much more extensive term, extended to New York and New Jersey after those two states join their eastern neighbors in seceding to form the Republic of New England. Later, it grows to encompass Michigan and the Canadian Maritime provinces.
    • Knoxville, Tennessee is renamed Columbia after the US moves its capital there after Washington, D.C. is burned down again. The original city was named for the Bostonian Henry Knox, which would not do for a country that had fought and lost two wars in twenty-five years to the secessionist Yankees.
    • Equador is in northern Brazil rather than the west coast of South America, a puppet state under the old Brazilian royal family created by the Americans after their invasion of Brazil.
    • Colonial cities and provinces across Africa, Australia, Asia and the Americas have different names. The Canadian province of Alberta is named Caroline after a different British royal, Liberia is located in our world's Namibia, the American film industry is based in the Acapulco suburb of "Hanseltown", the Australian state of Victoria is named Macquarie (Queen Victoria having instead been born a boy in this world; the Victorian era is instead known as the Edwardian era), and likewise, the city of Victoria, British Columbia is instead called Edwardsville. The last one is later renamed Brigham after the US, following its defeat of Canada, props up an alt-Mormon vassal state on Vancouver Island, while it conquers the rest of British Columbia and renames it New Caledonia.
    • Inverted, however, in one very important instance. The government of His Majesty, the Tsar of All the Russias, would like to make perfectly clear that it's Constantinople, not Istanbul.

    Western Animation 
  • Motorcity: The titular refuge is the remains of old Detroit buried underneath the newer, shinier Detroit Deluxe. The trope comes into play when one remembers that the most popular of Detroit's nicknames was "The Motor City".
  • In an episode of Samurai Jack, both Jack and the owners of a house he is a guest at refer to Tokyo by its old name, Edo. (Justified, of course, as both he and them are from the time period before its name was changed.)


"Even old New York, once was New Amsterdam"
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IstanbulNotConstantinople