One famous example in such respect is the name of Pakistan, which however was coined purposedly when it became an independent nation. It comes from an acronym formed from the names of the five northern provinces of the British India: Punjab, Afghan Province, Kashmir, Sind, and Baluchistan (see here). The i vowel was inserted for euphonic purposes. However, ...


It is simply a reduction of the common, unstressed element: the vowel is centralised, and the initial /h/ is lost. (Note that there are few English words with /h/ after a consonant, and apart from names they are virtually all compounds like offhand and uphill). A similar case is the /w/ in -wich and -wick, which in many place-names (but not all) has ...


There's a wiki list of geographic acronyms and initialisms for this (I should know, since I compiled it) but only a few (if any) qualify as being a replacement name for the longer term. Perhaps sometime in the future New Orleans may officially be changed to NOLA. And I'm unsure if Soweto (South West Townships) and Nemato (Nelson Mandela Township) were ...


De.wikipedia has an article Ortsnamen auf -au. Latin aqua meaning water is related with river names having the second part Ach, Ache or with place names ending in -au. Aue is flat grassy terrain beside a river.


I can think of other examples. The Hungarians are not Huns. The Bulgarians are not Bulgars. The Dutch are not Deutsch/Germans. The Hungarians and Dutch do not use these names when speaking their own languages, but will use them if they are speaking a foreign language like English.

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