I was perusing my 1996 Oxford World Atlas (that’s as closely as I can recall the title from work), and I noticed that the body of water that I think of as the “Persian Gulf” is labelled on all maps as simply “The Gulf.” No other body of water that I could see was given this distinction.
Thinking I was losing my mind, I looked in the index under “Persian Gulf.” The entry was “Persian Gulf: see The Gulf”.
This doesn’t seem to be universal. For example, see this map, dated 2000, which has the body labeled “Persian Gulf.”
Can anybody hazard a guess as to why this one body of water has managed to rise above its mundane original name? I mean, yeah, it’s an important place, but I’m still puzzled.