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Above: Original theatrical poster (2000)
Below: Home media release (2013)

Retronyming is the concept of modifying an object's name because the original name has changed its meaning.

When applied to a movie, TV show, video game, etc., it usually consists of adding a "1" after the title of the first part of a series (in the case of Numbered Sequels), or something akin. In Real Life, this often applies to technology that has branched out from a single product. For example, the term "landline phone" didn't need to exist in 1985; there were home phones, work phones, and pay phones, but there was no need to specify that it was a hard-wired connection, because almost nobody knew of any other kind.

Happens frequently when Title: The Adaptation is involved. Things designated as "Classic", "Original", "Vanilla" or "1/I" are very common examples. The Original Series is a subtrope. Franchise-Driven Retitling is another subtrope. Also note that when it comes to creative works, this tropes refers to "official" retroactive renaming, not Fan Nicknames for the work.

The Other Wiki has an extensive article including a link to a growing list of examples.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Japanese subtitle of Dragon Ball Z: Dead Zone, Ora no Gohan o Kaese! ("Return My Gohan!"), wasn't used until the film's home video release.
    • Many of Toei's initial film versions of their popular tokusatsu and anime franchises often got new titles when further film versions of the same franchises were made.
    • In-Universe, Super Saiyan 2 wasn't named until chapter 474 of the manga, 64 chapters after it first debuted and 109 Chapters after the concept was first mentioned. Until then, it was generally referred to as "beyond Super Saiyan", which didn't do much to distinguish it from the "jacked up" form of Super Saiyan 1, Ascended Super Saiyan.
  • The first major antagonist in the Fist of the North Star manga was Kenshiro's old rival Shin, who engraved the seven scars on Kenshiro's chest and captured his fiancee Yuria. At the time Shin was established to be the sole master of the Nanto Seiken style, much in the same way Kenshiro was the sole successor of Hokuto Shinken, with not a hint of any other students or branches in existence. After Shin was killed off, other practitioners and sects of Nanto Seiken were gradually introduced, with Shin himself being revealed to be just one of the school's six grand masters known as the Nanto Roku Seiken (Six Sacred Fists of Nanto), with the other masters being trained in avian-themed styles (Suichōken or the Waterfowl style, Kōkakuken or the Crimson Crane style, Hakuroken or the White Heron style and Hō-ōken or the Phoenix style),note  but Shin's own brand of Nanto Seiken was never given a name in the manga. A 1986 guidebook titled Hokuto no Ken Special: All About The Man eventually revealed that Shin trained in Nanto Koshuken or the "Lone Eagle" style.
  • In the U.S., the Great Teacher Onizuka series became a huge hit for Tokyopop, the company distributing it. As GTO was a Sequel Series following one of the main characters from Shonan Jun'ai Gumi, when Tokyopop translated the original, it was retitled GTO: The Early Years. Other Japanese adaptations have done similar retronyms, such as its Live-Action Adaptation adding the subtitle Young GTO!.
  • The first season of Sailor Moon was simply called Sailor Moon, while every following season got a letter or subtitle (Sailor Moon R, Sailor Moon S, Sailor Moon SuperS, and Sailor Moon Sailor Stars). Season 1 is usually referred to as Sailor Moon Classic to distinguish it from the rest. In addition, the entire original anime series is now sometimes called Sailor Moon Classic following the premiere of the Sailor Moon Crystal reboot.
  • Wagnaria!! (originally WORKING!!) was spun off from a webcomic with a different cast. When it came time to print the webcomic in physical volumes, it was retitled Web-ban WORKING!! (WORKING! Web Edition) and later WWW.WORKING!! to differentiate the two series.
  • The original English releases of the first four Digimon anime were released under the blanket title Digimon: Digital Monsters, modern rereleases tend to make use of the original Japanese titles Digimon Adventure, Digimon Tamers and Digimon Frontier to differentiate between the alternate continuities.
    • Digimon Adventure and Digimon Adventure 02 are more likely to be marketed under the old Digimon: Digital Monsters than the latter two series, and in cases where the name Adventure actually is used, 02 isn’t always given a separate title.
  • Kageki Shoujo!, the original two-volume series, was later renamed Kageki Shoujo! The Curtain Rises (or simply Kageki Shoujo! Zero in its home country) in order to refit it as as a prequel to its longer running sequel and similarly titled Kageki Shoujo!!.
  • Inverted: Farewell, My Dear Cramer was refitted with the name Sayonara Football: Farewell My Dear Cramer after it became clear that it was a sequel to Sayonara Football.

    Comic Books 
  • The very first Sin City story was titled just that... Sin City. The series caught on, resulting in future stories containing secondary titles (i.e. Sin City: A Dame To Kill For). Even when the original story was first collected in a trade paperback format, it retained its original title. Word of God gave it the nickname The Hard Goodbye and that's what Fanon called it when discussing this particular story. When the movie came out, the collected editions added this title. Likewise, this particular sequence in the movie shares the same title. It resulted in a slightly awkward line, however. Every story name drops its own title but this one never contained the line "the hard goodbye" since that wasn't its original name. The line was added to the dialogue in the movie.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Mirage) had a few of these, but when IDW reprinted vol. 3, they renamed it Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Urban Legends, both to differentiate it from the rest of the series, and as a reference to its (original) status as Canon Discontinuity.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The first Star Wars film was originally known as just Star Wars; the subtitle Episode IV: A New Hope was inserted into prints for the 1981 re-release (the first after The Empire Strikes Back). Even afterwards, the film was marketed as simply Star Wars (and its two sequels solely by their subtitles, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) until the release of the Prequel Trilogy. Even the 1997 Special Editions retained the old style.
    • Before the release of the Prequel Trilogy, the Original Trilogy was known simply as the Star Wars Trilogy.
  • The home media releases of Raiders of the Lost Ark retroactively retitled it Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark on their packaging, in line with the titles of the sequels. The title at the start on the movie was left unchanged though.
  • When Disney brought TRON and The Muppet Movie to Blu-Ray, the cases of both flicks had the subtitle "The Original Classic", so people could distinguish them from TRON: Legacy and the 2011 The Muppets movie.
  • Pitch Black had the "Chronicles of Riddick" moniker attached to subsequent rereleases, after the sequel and the Escape from Butcher Bay video game established it as the series's umbrella title.
  • TV broadcast prints of State Fair started using the title It Happened One Summer when the 1960s remake came out. Eventually, the critical and financial failures of the remake lessened the chances of mistaking the older movie for it, so this retronym became discarded.
  • The original Back to the Future film is sometimes called Back to the Future Part I, especially when it's being discussed within the context of the overall Back to the Future trilogy. Of course, this is just a backwards extrapolation of the titles of Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part III.
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior was originally released as Mad Max 2 in Australia, and as The Road Warrior in America where the first film was almost completely unknown. Years later the two titles tend to be joined together with "The Road Warrior" as a subtitle, to match the names of the sequels Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome and Mad Max: Fury Road.

  • In-universe example: it is a plot point in one Encyclopedia Brown mystery that the First Battle of Bull Run would not have been called such until after the second.
  • In-universe inversion: in A Song of Ice and Fire, reigning monarchs in Westeros not named after an ancestor are optimistically styled "the First of His Name" (as in, "King Robert Baratheon, the First of His Name") under the assumption that their dynasty will both continue to rule and name future monarchs after them. It's not looking good for either Robert or his "sons", Kings Joffrey and Tommen of the Houses Lannister and Baratheon, the First of Their Respective Names, to be commemorated this way.
  • Starship Troopers has Rico's narration call military sailors on the ocean "wet navy", to disambiguate them from the Space Navy that operates the starships; other SF authors have used this as well. No term is established for what ordinary ground soldiers are called to separate them from mobile infantry. "Sitting ducks" comes to mind.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • The first series was called simply Warriors (or Warrior Cats, depending on where you live). After several other subseries came out, all under the same series name (e.g. "Warriors: The New Prophecy"), fans started calling the first series "The Original Series" or "The First Arc". It was later officially rebranded as The Prophecies Begin, though the fan-nicknames are used just as often.
    • The manga trilogy featuring Graystripe originally didn't have a trilogy name (such as "Ravenpaw's Path", etc) like the others - the volumes were just titled "Warriors: The Lost Warrior" and so forth, which caused a lot of confusion. The boxed set of the three, and later the full-color re-release, named the trilogy Graystripe's Adventure.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • This is quite common when it comes to reality TV shows getting more seasons, usually this is just done by putting a '1' on the end (like The Amazing Race), but certain shows have done differently to match later season themes, usually by adding the place onto the end where the show was filmed.
    • The first season of Survivor has since been named Survivor: Borneo.
    • The first season of The Real World has since been renamed The Real World: New York.

By Series:

  • 7th Heaven: From 1998 to 2000, episodes from Seasons 1 & 2 aired on The WB under the title 7th Heaven: Beginnings.
  • After it became clear that future seasons would follow an anthology format (meaning that every year would focus on a new cast in new situations) and have subtitle names, the first season of American Horror Story was given the subtitle Murder House.
  • Avonlea: In 1996, when Season 7 began airing on Disney Channel, episodes of the first six seasons began airing on weeknights under the title The Avonlea Saga.
  • The designs and characters from the original Batman (1966) TV series are now officially marketed under the Batman '66 brand.
  • Doctor Who episodes from 1963-1989 are now frequently referred to as "classic" Doctor Who, to differentiate from the revival since 2005.
    • Lampshaded in "Twice Upon a Time". One of the guest characters is a time-displaced World War I captain. At one point, the Doctor calls him "an officer from World War I", to which the captain immediately questions the "I" only to be replied "spoilers".
    • It took a while for fans to figure out what to call the reboot pilot movie starring Paul McGann (at least when small children were around): its only title on screen was Doctor Who, creating a need for a means of distinguishing it from the 1963-89 series and other Who properties, and producer Philip Segal did not help matters by grudgingly suggesting that if fans really wanted a name for it they could use "The Enemy Within" (which no one did). Eventually everyone settled on calling it Doctor Who: The TV Movie, and it is now so marketed (though the title sequence still has only Doctor Who).
  • The black-and-white 1950s series of Dragnet is syndicated as Badge 714 to avoid confusion with the later (and probably more notorious) color series of the late 1960s.
  • Later reruns of Good Morning Miss Bliss were renamed Saved By The Bell: The Junior High Years after the success of Saved by the Bell. Also an example of Edited for Syndication as the original opening titles were removed and replaced with ones that matched those of Saved by the Bell, and featured new opening narration from Mark-Paul Gosselaar in character as Zack Morris.
  • In the first Kamen Rider TV series, Takeshi Hongō was not known as Kamen Rider No. 1 until Kamen Rider No. 2 (Hayato Ichimonji) was introduced.
    • The 1979 series, simply titled Kamen Rider (as was the main hero Hiroshi Tsukaba) was originally going to be a Continuity Reboot; after that plan was scrapped, the previous Kamen Riders showed up to help out and they gave Hiroshi the sobriquet "Skyrider". The show itself kept its name for the initial TV run, but reruns and home releases renamed it New Kamen Rider. This title was changed again to Kamen Rider Skyrider to avoid confusion with the movie Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue (the Japanese word for "new" is also "Shin"). As for Hiroshi himself, these days he tends to just be called "Skyrider", as opposed to "Kamen Rider Skyrider" or anything like that. And on the subject of Shin Kamen Rider: Prologue, the "Prologue" gained new weight in distinguishing it from the 2023 film Shin Kamen Rider, named as such because it's part of the Shin Japan Heroes Universe.
    • The earlier TV shows in the franchise became known as the "Showa Kamen Rider Series" in 2001 when Kamen Rider Kuuga kicked off a new series of shows dubbed the "Heisei Kamen Rider Series".
  • In his 1975 book about TV game shows, Norm Blumenthal (the producer of the original Concentration) joshingly billed the original NBC version of The Match Game as Match Game '62 (as the reboot used an abbreviated year in their title).
  • The original Megazord from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers later became known as the "Dino Megazord" to distinguish it from all the other Megazords in the Power Rangers series, although the name was mainly used for the 2010 reissue of the toy.
    • In France, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers was broadcast as just "Power Rangers" back in the franchise's early days, forcing Netflix France to add "Mighty Morphin" to the title as a distinguishing subtitle.
  • When Goodson-Todman brought The Price Is Right back for syndication and CBS in 1972, it had the word "New" affixed to the title to distinguish it from the Bill Cullen show. The word "New" was dropped in June of 1973, yet the 1994 syndicated edition used "New" in listings for the show as it was horse of a different color in contrast to the daytime show.
  • Within the Ultra Series, the Ultraman from Return of Ultraman was given several nicknames, such as the "New Ultraman" or "Ultraman the 2nd", to distinguish him from the original Ultraman (who, as an aside, has no official distinctive name to this day, forcing fans to label him with nicknames along the lines of "the original Ultraman") until he was officially named "Ultraman Jack" in the 1984 Ultraman Zoffy movie.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series has only ever been referred as just Star Trek in its own title sequence. The Original Series became a commercial moniker once Star Trek: The Next Generation came out, and the various tie-ins, encyclopedias, technical manuals, chronologies, series bibles, Fan Speak, etc tend to refer to the different shows by a three letter acronym for ease of discussion, with The Original Series being (TOS), The Next Generation being (TNG) and followed by (DS9), (VOY), (ENT) and so on.
    • Some level of distinguishing was required in fandom much earlier when Star Trek: The Animated Series came out in 1973, and this series is now also retronymed as TAS in line with the others. Routine distinction of TOS as such would likely have intensified if Star Trek: Phase II had gone to series (would fans have referred to it as Phase I?) instead of becoming the first movie. As it turned out the universal use of The Original Series and TOS was not a thing until 1987 and the widespread use of the handy TNG abbreviation, whereupon TOS very quickly arose as a deliberate backwards emulation.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978) is now marketed as Battlestar Galactica: The Original Series, especially when shilled alongside Galactica 1980 and Battlestar Galactica (2003).


    TV Tropes 

    Video Games 
  • Akalabeth: World of Doom was titled Ultima 0: Akalabeth in the Ultima Collection.
  • Angry Birds was renamed to Angry Birds Classic when made into a free game.
  • Colossal Cave Adventure — originally just called "Adventure"; called what it is now so as not to be confused with other games, including the Atari 2600 classic.
  • The first Battletoads game for the Game Boy was not a port of the NES original, but an entirely new game. When the NES game was later ported to the Game Boy, it was retitled Battletoads in Ragnarok's World.
  • The first game in the Command & Conquer series was given the subtitle "Tiberian Dawn" after the release of Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun, to help differentiate them from the Command & Conquer: Red Alert sub-series — though some of the documents on the official disc already referred to "Tiberian Dawn", suggesting it may have been an internal project name that got promoted to subtitle later on.
  • The first Criminal Case game was originally called "Criminal Case", but was later called Criminal Case: Grimsborough once Criminal Case: Pacific Bay got released.
  • When the first Expansion Pack for Guild Wars (titled Factions) came out, the campaign of the base game was named Prophecies.
  • The canceled first version of Resident Evil 2 was retitled Resident Evil 1.5 to distinguish it from the actually released game.
  • Mission: Thunderbolt was rereleased as JauntTrooper: Mission Thunderbolt.
  • The PSP version of Star Ocean is known as Star Ocean 1: First Departure.
  • The original The Legend of Zelda, originally a Famicom Disk System title, was re-released in Japan as a regular cartridge under the title of Zelda no Densetsu 1. However, the game itself had already referred to itself with the "1" in the ending sequence of the second quest.
  • Sierra's 1990 Updated Rereleases of the first King's Quest and Space Quest games were referred to as King's Quest I and Space Quest I, respectively.
    • The first King's Quest was titled King's Quest and King's Quest: Quest for the Crown. The VGA remake was titled King's Quest I: Quest for the Crown.
    • The VGA remake of Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was titled Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards.
    • The first Quest for Glory, after changing its title from Hero's Quest, was titled Quest for Glory I: So You Want to Be a Hero in both EGA and VGA versions.
    • The first Space Quest was released with the subtitle Chapter I – The Sarien Encounter. The VGA remake was titled Space Quest I: Roger Wilco in the Sarien Encounter.
  • The Sam & Max: Freelance Police episodic videogames Sam & Max Save the World and Sam & Max Beyond Time and Space were originally called Sam & Max: Season One and Sam & Max: Season Two.
  • EarthBound (1994) (Mother 2) was the first game in the Mother series to get an American release, although a prototype for an unreleased localization of the original Mother eventually surfaced titled "Earth Bound" (note the space). When said prototype was eventually released as a ROM image online, some fans created hack that changed the title to EarthBound Zero. It was eventually released as EarthBound Beginnings on the Wii U Virtual Console (with the title screen just saying "Earth Bound").
  • After Fate/Grand Order entered Arc 1.5: Epic of Remnant, the first arc received the subtitle Observer on Timeless Temple.
  • Final Fantasy:
  • The original beatmania IIDX was called just beatmania IIDX, but starting in beatmania IIDX 9th Style, the first game to have song folders by, among other things, debut versions, its folder is labeled "1st Style".
  • Atari's very first console was originally sold as the Atari Video Computer System or VCS. It was only after they launched their succeeding console, the Atari 5200, that they rebranded their original platform as the Atari 2600 (based on the product code they used for the console, CX-2600).
  • Similarly, the first version of the Amiga was only retroactively called the Amiga 1000 following the release of the Amiga 500 (a cut down version aimed for home use) and the Amiga 2000 (a more upgradable model aimed at serious users). Future model numbers got a bit more confusing.
  • An inversion: the original PlayStation was once commonly referred by the print media as the PSX, a holdover from its development days back when it was called the "PlayStation eXperiment". Sony later used the PSX name for a Japan-only DVR device that also played original PlayStation and PlayStation 2 games, much to the confusion of people who still used the PSX abbreviation when referring to the original PlayStation, which is nowadays commonly referred to as the PS1 (or just PS in official Sony documentations) (a name which would have been confusing during the PS2 era due to the Updated Re-release of the first console, called "PS one").
  • The second Game Boy Advance game in the Fire Emblem series was the first to be released outside Japan. Those releases simply called the game "Fire Emblem" with no subtitle, but more recent Western marketing materials covering the history of the series named it Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, which is a translation of the original Japanese title (Rekka no Ken).
  • The first Ultima was titled Ultima, and later titled Ultima 1 - The Original, and Ultima I - The First Age of Darkness.
  • Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 5 was renamed to Maximum Tune 5 (no "Wangan Midnight" part) for the North American release. Within the game, prior Maximum Tune games are renamed in the same format (as shown in soundtrack labels) despite having been released in the region with the Wangan Midnight parts of their respective titles intact, and Wangan Midnight R gets renamed to just Midnight R.
  • The base game of Shovel Knight originally had no subtitle, even as additional expansions staring other characters started to come out. When Yacht Club Games announced the Treasure Trove, they also gave the base game the subtitle Shovel of Hope.
  • The Capcom games Commando and Mercs were re-released on the Wii Virtual Console under the "Wolf of the Battlefield" branding, a literal translation of the two games' Japanese title Senjō no Ōkami, although the actual games don't use this title.
  • The 2014 Updated Re-release of the 1996 FPS Strife is retitled The Original Strife: Veteran Edition to distinguish it from the 2015 MOBA Strife which was first announced in 2013.
  • The 1995 PlayStation game ESPN Extreme Games was retitled 1Xtreme for its Greatest Hits re-release, both to bring it in line with its sequel 2Xtreme and because the ESPN license had expired. The game continued to be sold under its original title in Europe, however.
  • Shin Nekketsu Koha: Kunio-tachi no Banka, the Kunio-kun game that featured the First Appearance of River City Girls's protagonists, was released in English 27 years later as River City Girls Zero following the latter game's popularity.
  • The "Combat Evolved" in Halo: Combat Evolved was originally a Tag Line tacked on by Executive Meddling much to the displeasure of Bungie, who internally called the game just "Halo" (as stated in a retrospective Edge article) and left the title as such on the main menu, the spine on the keep case, and the instruction manual. By the time 343 Industries took over the Halo series, "Combat Evolved" turned out to be highly convenient in distinguishing this first game from the series itself so it got promoted to official subtitle in rereleases (case in point: the interface of the Compilation Rerelease The Master Chief Collection always calls the game "Halo: Combat Evolved" instead of "Halo".).
  • When the first Escape Velocity was ported as a total conversion to the third game, Nova, the port (outside the actual game) used the name that had already been established in the community for when it was necessary to distinguish Escape Velocity the game from the series as a whole: Escape Velocity Classic.
  • The PlayStation 5 and Windows remake of The Last of Us was retitled The Last Of Us Part I to bring it in line with The Last of Us Part II.
  • Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy is sometimes referred to as "Jak One". This is derived from the legacy skins of Jak in Jak X: Combat Racing, where the Jak II and Jak 3 versions of him are named after the games they appear in, with TPL Jak being called "Jak One". This establishes a Running Gag where the main sequels are all numbered differently, using a word, a Roman numeral and an Arabic number.
  • Pikmin (2001) was formally retitled Pikmin 1 when it received an Updated Re-release on the Nintendo Switch alongside its sequel.
  • LISA was given the subtitle The First in order to match its RPG sequel, LISA: The Painful.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
Art and Humanities
  • Digital art and traditional art.
  • Acoustic instruments, only called such after the corresponding electric instrument (guitar, bass, violin etc.) was invented.
  • Describing an album as being available "on vinyl" came into use when CDs became the mainstream music medium. Since digital downloading and streaming has became commonplace, albums can also have a "physical (media) release", as opposed to being digital-only. The same is true of home video, VHS and DVD, and physical vs. streaming video.
  • Analogue clocks and digital clocks.


  • Before the introduction of mini skirts, everything knee-length or below were simply called skirts. Now hemlines below mini skirts are called midi- or maxi skirts.


  • Any food with "original flavor" included on the label.
  • After the failure of New Coke, the original soft drink was brought back as "Coca-Cola Classic".
  • Black Licorice. Traditional licorice candy got its name and flavour from the root of the licorice plant. The introduction of other licorice "flavours" have led to traditional licorice being known as black licorice due to its color. While these other flavours, such as red licorice, are manufactured in a similar manner to black licorice, they are flavored differently and have nothing to do with the licorice plant.


  • The Napoleonic Wars - known as 'The Great War' in its own time, that title was taken by World War I.
  • World War I was known as "The Great War", "The World War", or "The War to End All War" until the sequel came out. Perhaps ironically, it was still occasionally called "The First World War" before the second world war happened, because it was truly the first war of its like in history at that time, not because anyone was sure there'd be a second. (Though given what Ferdinand Foch and a number of people said about the Treaty of Versailles, at least a few people were sure there would be a second.)
  • Monarchs and popes who are the first to use their given name aren't referred to as "the first" during their reign and don't receive a regnal number until another monarch takes up the same name as "the second." Elizabeth I of England, for instance, was simply Elizabeth until 1952 when Elizabeth II acceded the throne. Among English and British monarchs, Stephen, John, Anne and Victoria still have no regnal number.note  When Pope Francis became pope in 2013, he was the first pope to choose an unused regnal name in over a millennium and will not become Francis I until another pope takes up that name.
    • Except, weirdly, for Pope John Paul I in 1978, who did specifically designate himself as "John Paul the first". Even though at the time there was no immediate prospect of a John Paul II.
  • Virtually all the classical Roman emperors used several regnal names, and almost never used regnal numbers. Until well into the Byzantine era, the giving of a single name (and regnal number if necessary) was almost always retrospective.
    • True of the Romans in general, contemporaneously and in retrospect. For example, since daughters received only the family name, a girl would be known as (say) Julia until the arrival of a second daughter, in which case she would retroactively become Julia Major and her younger sister Julia Minor.
    • Likewise, Roman politicians very often had the exact same name as their fathers or uncles and other ancestors further back. Nicknames were sometimes used to demarcate father, son, or both (e.g., Q. Caecilius Metellus, father and son, were distinguished retrospectively after the son rose to prominence by the nicknames Numidicus and Pius). Otherwise Roman historians fall back on adding the year in which the person held the consulship—in this case, Q. Caecilius Metellus (cos. 109) and Q. Caecilius Metellus (cos. 80)—or another magistracy if the consulship was not attained.
    • Literary figures with the same name but separated across time tend to be retroactively distinguished by means of the Major/Minor principle, routinely if somewhat misleadingly translated into English as "the Elder" and "the Younger". The most best-known applications are Cato Major and Minor (the former also being known as Cato the Censor); Pliny Major and Minor; and Seneca Major and Minor.
  • With personal names, an individual doesn't gain a generational suffix (e.g. "Sr.") or Roman numeral until they have a child who is the junior or second (II). Similarly, a junior doesn't become the second until there's a third (III).
    • The mother of Queen Elizabeth II was also Queen Elizabeth. After her daughter became queen, the senior Elizabeth changed her official style to Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
    • George H. W. Bush was known as just George Bush during his presidency. He became George H.W. Bush when his son George W. Bush ran for president, and was subsequently elected.


  • The first two Super Bowls were known at the time as the AFL-NFL Championship Game. The catchier name came about when one of the team owners saw his child playing with a rubber toy called a Super Ball.
  • Likewise, "WrestleMania" can refer to the yearly WWE event; so when talking specifically about the first one, just billed "WrestleMania" at the time, fans and even WWE call it "WrestleMania 1" or "the First WrestleMania".
  • March Madness referred to high school basketball for decades, until it became commonly associated with the NCAA tournament in the 1980s.
  • The first UFC event was originally billed simply as, "The Ultimate Fighting Championship." Likewise, the second and third event were billed as "Part 2" and "Part III." After they began giving the events individual names with UFC 4 ("Revenge of the Warriors"), Parts 1-3 were retroactively subtitled "The Beginning," "No Way Out," and "The American Dream," respectively.


  • Corded phone and landline.
  • Terrestrial radio (which would've been an oxymoron if "satellite radio" hadn't been invented).
  • Analog broadcasting (only called such after digital broadcasting became conceivable).
    • Similarly, there's black-and-white television (compared to color), broadcast TV (compared to cable/satellite), and standard definition (compared to High Definition).
      • Which is interesting, as the first electric televisions were called "high-definition" to distinguish them from earlier mechanical televisions, leading to this odd plaque.
    • Linear television (once streaming services such as Netflix and Prime Video became a more popular and convenient way for people to watch programs at whatever time/place they wanted).
  • Still photography ("still" wasn't necessary until video cameras became common in American homes).
  • Snail Mail (once e-mailing was invented).
    • Earlier, surface mail in contrast to air mail.
  • "Internal combustion engine" appears to be a near-future example. The term is creeping up in technical conversations as electric cars, hybrid drives, and alternative fuels become more common. Internal combustion was on the other side of this when it was the new technology; up until then all "engines" in common use were external combustion steam engines.
  • Incandescent light bulbs. Technically, that's always been their proper name, but no one ever called them that before the introduction of fluorescent and LED bulbs because there weren't any other kinds available.
  • Tech products don't become the "first generation" version until a second generation is released, such as the first iPhone in 2007, which was simply the iPhone until its successors were released.
    • The iPod was originally called just that. While other models branched out, the core iPod line was still called iPod, until the arrival of the Video iPod. Then, when the iPod Touch came out, the Video iPod was renamed to iPod Classic (likely because other models could now play videos).
  • Manual anything, when a power/electric/automatic/etc version is introduced.
  • CRTnote  computer monitors were simply "monitors" until LCD monitors became widespread. Likewise, CRT televisions were just called “televisions” before flatscreen TVs came out.
  • Composite cables were simply marketed as AV cables until enhanced-definition televisions were launched to the consumer market during the late '90s with component video inputs.
  • Local (or offline) multiplayer after online gaming was popularized.
  • Dial-up internet access after the rise of DSL and cable-based internet services.
  • People began calling the VCR (Video Cassette Recorder) a “VHS Player” sometime after it was replaced by the DVD player and then the Blu-Ray player. After the format defeated Betamax, VHS cassettes were usually just called video tapes, but the emphasis on “VHS” had to be made again after they became obsolete.