It's pretty common knowledge where the word hamburger comes from. It's named after Hamburg, a city in northern Germany. This is similar to how Frankfurters were named after Frankfurt and wieners were named after Vienna; in this case, the term was applied because Germans from the area brought their style of soft seasoned meat to America, where it became known as Hamburg meat for a while until Charlie Nagreen used that to make the first real hamburger in 1885. That's fascinating, but what's most interesting to me is the subsequent rebracketing: so many people thought that hamburger included the prefix ham-, because both words included some kind of meat, so they abbreviated it to burger, a term that really shouldn't exist given the origin.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic. This year, I graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Government and Linguistics. There, I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society and wrote a thesis on Serbo-Croatian language policy, magna cum laude. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy philosophy, trivia, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.