False Friends - HTML Elements which are also Top Level Domains

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In linguistics, a "False Friend" is a word which looks similar in multiple languages, but means something different in each of them. For example the word "gift" in English means "a present", in German means "poison", and in Norwegian it means "married".

The Internet uses Top Level Domains (TLD) to organise information into hierarchies. This website uses .mobi - you may also be familiar with .com for commercial entities, or .de for German pages.

The World Wide Web uses HyperText Markup Language (HTML) to structure web pages. For example <footer> to display a footer, or <ol> for an ordered list.

There is absolutely no relationship between the two sets of entities. But, just for fun, are there any HTML elements which happen to be false friends of the TLDs?

Before we go any further, have a quick think. How many do you reckon there are? Are there some which spring to mind immediately?

Obviously, the first port of call is AI. Its mastery of all things means that we can get an accurate answer in a nanosecond.

Me: Which TLDs have the same name as valid HTML5 elements? ChatGPT:  As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, there are two top-level domains (TLDs) that have the same name as valid HTML5 elements:  .dev: This TLD corresponds to the <dev> HTML5 element.  .app: This TLD corresponds to the <app> HTML5 element. Please note that this information is based on the state of TLDs as of September 2021. There might have been updates or changes after that date, so it's always a good idea to check official sources or domain registrars for the most current information.


Right, let's compare the Element Reference with the Root Zone Database.

There are fifteen current HTML elements which have a match with a TLD. And a couple which are deprecated. Here they are:

๐Ÿ”Š <audio> .audio
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท <br> .br - Brazil
๐Ÿ—‚ <data> .data
๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท <hr> .hr - Croatia
๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ <li> .li - Liechtenstein
๐Ÿ”— <link> .link
๐Ÿ—บ <map> .map
โ˜ฐ <menu> .menu
๐Ÿ”Ž <search> .search
๐Ÿ‘‰ <select> .select
๐Ÿงฅ <style> .style
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉ <td> .td - Chad
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ <th> .th - Thailand
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท <tr> .tr - Tรผrkiye
๐Ÿ“น <video> .video

And the ones which are no longer valid HTML:

๐Ÿ–• <center> .center
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡น <tt> .tt - Trinidad and Tobago

Is that more than you expected? Less? Are there others which you think should be TLDs? Should HTML get a <uk> element post-Brexit? Have I missed any?

Comments in the usual box.

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2 thoughts on “False Friends - HTML Elements which are also Top Level Domains

  1. says:

    @Edent I asked bing chat and it made stuff up, like a span (Spanish culture), img (image sites), div (diversity and inclusion) and aero (for an actual plane).


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