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Shandong, a Chinese province, is sometimes known as Qilu, after the Zhou dynasty states of Qi and Lu.

However, its name is further shortened as Lu. For example, Shandong cuisine is known in Chinese as Lu cuisine. Why use Lu, and not Qi?

Out of its namesakes, Qi seems to be the more important one. It was a major state throughout the Zhou dynasty:

Compared to Qi, Lu was always a minor state. The only advantages it has over Qi are:

  • Its rulers descended from a cadet branch of the royal House of Ji. Qi's rulers descended from the Zhou Prime Minister Jiang Ziya, although both states were equal in noble rank, that of Duke (公).
  • It was the home of Confucius, and thus had outsized cultural significance

Wikipedia claims the last point was the reason for choosing Lu, although this statement is unsupported. Or was it for another reason? Is it more common in Chinese to abbreviate using the second character?

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