It's Istanbul Not Constantinople.
What do we call Pretoria, South Africa now? Tshwane
I can't keep up with them all. I grant that new African countries would have new names, or re-use old ones. I get that Yugoslavian subdivisions got renamed. That figures. Likewise with the former USSR districts, regions, and states.
Recent events in India underscored that some of their better-known towns just flat changed their names without asking us:
Calcutta to Kolkata.
Madras to Chennai.
Bombay to Mumbai.
Lots of geographic geekery to be found here about name changes.
But here's a question I've had for a while, which I've never had a satisfactory answer to:
Why do we still call Bangkok "Bankok," when everyone in
8 million residents there call it that. It's short for "Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara Yuthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit," which could really cost you to utter, when the meter's running on the cab you just hailed. ______________________________________________________
Click above to embiggen.[ate.][(ify.)]Speaking of a practical use for knowledge of geographic name changes, my wife picked up a Replogle 12 Inch Starlight Globe fairly recently, at an auction. She seemed surprised at how happy this little $5 purchase made me, and said "I'm sure that it's not anywhere near current." Almost 11 years of marriage, and this woman still doesn't really know me fully. Of course it's not current! That's its charm! I was tickled to find that it didn't have a visible copyright date near the legend in the S. Pacific (where they put pretty much all the legends on globes, right?). Finding out when the map or the globe was made is half the fun of an old globe. Usually the answer is most easily found in Africa, specifically toward the south of that continent. But I started with the Middle East:
Let's check west Africa-- Western Sahara was still Spanish Sahara. Guinea-Basseu was still Portuguese Guinea. These do nothing to help me-- they still went by those old names in the early 1970s. Togo was no longer French Togoland, which put it later than mid-1960. Benin was still humorously named Dahomey, but that would last until 1970. Equitorial Guinea was still called Spanish Guinea. The Gambia got indepenence in 1965, but never changed its name.
Well, it's time to cheat, and go down to south Africa:
South West Africa hadn't yet re-invented itself Namibia, which they did in 1968. Aha! South Rhodesia hadn't yet changed its name to Zimbabwe in 1964.
And the clencher: Northern Rhodesia was a British protectorate from 1963 to 1964, when it became Zambia. (Well, it was also a British protectorate from 1924 to 1953, but we've already established that this globe's not that old.)
So, neat globe from the early Johnson administration. 1963. The world was really changing back then.
As I noted up above, it still changes even now, as well. Hour by hour.