This is a revival of my original proposal posted back in December 2015, now with new sources to support it.
Currently on this wiki, the terms Land, World and Realm are used interchangeably and with no real consistency to distinguish the differences between the terms. Realm is also used on this wiki to denote a region of Fairy Tale Land. I propose a realignment of these terms for consistency with what is presented on-screen and by statements from interviews with the writers.
Realm: This is the collective terminology for Lands and Worlds. Realm has been used interchangeably on-screen with Land and World, mainly in speech. Wish Realm (a land) and Dark Realm (unknown) are also used by this wiki to denote two realms that do not yet have on-screen names.
Land: These are the traditional realms such as FTL, LWM, Wonderland, etc. They can be travelled to with the use of standard portals such as Magic Beans and Rabbit Holes. Lands are culturally and ethnically diverse, with kingdoms and countries to divide them. Lands can typically be distinguished by their names: Fairy Tale Land, Wonderland, Land Without Magic, etc.
World: These realms are distinct from lands in that they exist for specific purposes and are not normal realms that people can live and develop in, i.e. Netherworld is between life and death, Underworld is limbo for the dead, etc. Conventional portals do not work for these realms, more complex methods are generally required. Worlds also typically have world in their names.
Your current terminology is wrong on many levels. Wonderland is a world as the same title as the Underworld. The show is not making exception for it.
Plus, "Land" has been used for the three kind of locations: the big ones (our current worlds), the regions (our current realms), and the small kingdoms. That's why we chose to not use it. From all the words we have, "Land" is definitely the more confusing.
"Realm" has been used also on-screen to describe these regions. We would never use it if it was not. Elsa used it a lot to describe Arendelle. Anna too. Merida used it for DunBroch. And pretty sure Arthur also used it Camelot. And no, we can't use "regions", this term is not canon.
"World" has only been used to talk about the BIG locations, like Oz or Wonderland. That's why we chose this one. Way easier for everyone. If we say "World", we know immediatly what kind of place it is. Contrary to "Land".
I just think your suggestion is making everything much more complicated than it is already.
Plus, we already discussed many times this in the past, and our discussions always ended in the same way. Even you, you suggested this more than one time. We really need this FAQ page cos discussions are being rehashed everytime.
Plus, I'd like to correct some facts about your exposition:
"Currently on this wiki, the terms Land, World and Realm are used interchangeably and with no real consistency to distinguish the differences between the terms." -> wrong, we use this terminology since a moment and we are all used to it; we ARE consistent. If people are using wrongly the terms, then it is their fault, because we are very clear about how we call these places.
"With what is presented on-screen and by statements from interviews with the writers." -> also wrong, the writers are not even sure themselves about this terminology, that's why they keep changing the words. We can't base our work on facts which are not real.
At the end, nothing changed and the conclusion is the same: this terminology can't (and prolly won't) be 100% perfect, as the writers are not clear with themselves. Out current system is very clear, and we follow it quite good for now. Because of the many different ways this show used to call locations, I do think we are good and quite consistent. Without forgetting that, whatever we do, it won't be perfect.
I would like to note two main points that you may have missed.
1. "Land" and "World" can still be used interchangeably as they are on-screen and on this wiki. But a slight difference between these terms does exist and it should at least be recognized.
2. Primarily, the term "realm" is used as an umbrella term for lands and worlds. Yes, the difference between "land" and "world" is contradictory at times, but using one collective term, "realm", to cover both circumvents this. Current usages on this wiki include "Template:Realm", "Wish Realm" and "Dark Realm".
Many on-screen examples are used on-screen for this usage of "realm", just a few key examples are below:
Mr. Gold, 2x22: "True love, Miss Swan, the only magic powerful enough to transcend realms and break any curse." - specifically, he is using FTL and LWM as an example, but it applies to all worlds as magic exists everywhere
Belle, 3x18: "Why on Earth, or any realm, would I help you?"
Season 5: The Underworld is frequently referred to as "Hades' realm" or "this realm".
Mr. Gold, 6x10: "There are realms of dark magic beyond even my reach" - in this case, realms = worlds, not places within worlds
I'm not trying to create a "perfect" system, but I am aiming to simplify and streamline terminology with what is seen on-screen.
As for the current usage of "realm" for EF, Arendelle, etc., my explanation above notes that while being significant locations within FTL, they are each vastly different, so using a single term like "realm" would itself be confusing.
P.S. Merida did not use "realm" to describe DunBroch, she used "land" or "kingdom", and she used the same for Camelot. Also, being "pretty sure" that it would have been used for Camelot is contradictory as in the past for various discussions, and just above, you yourself have stated that we can really only go on canon information, not assumption.
So, are we just arguing semantics? Because (in-show) all three terms have been used interchangeably. Snow used kingdom, realm, land for her "kingdom" within the Enchanted Forest alone (I believe). As seen with Wish Realm (and in the Camelot storyline), Snow and David were Queen and King (and David Prince) of the Enchanted Forest, despite the Enchanted Forest being a region with other kingdoms.
I think we use whatever terminology the show uses at certain points. For example, Rumple when talking to Robin asked, "How will you like to take a little trip? Another realm, a land called Oz." When talking to Regina, he called Wonderland, a land and a world in the same sentence.
I think we do a decent job. With these "regions" generally called realms (with most not having a name), it's okay. If anything, Realm is used for any separate entity, whether kingdom, region, or world. We can't use realms to mean all three as it gets confusing. So, World, Realms --> Kingdoms/Locations is fine. There's no need to use the universal term of Realm or Land (which is confusing because World fits far better).
This is a few confusing article, the words are so interchangable it is almost impossible to choose. Realms, Kingdoms, Lands, Regions and Worlds have no distinct characteristics on the show and as it has been mentioned not everyone can agree what defines each.
As far as I am concerned, the terms define different areas depending on the "world" you are in. Lets take Fairy Tale Land. This is a planet similar to our Earth and has several continents on it. Enchanted Forest (Misthaven), Agrabah, Arendelle, Camelot and The Empire. Now Arendelle and Camelot are the names of the specific kingdoms in those countries (We have evidence on the show that this is most likely) We call the countries Arendelle and Camelot simply because this is the only thing we get told by the show. We know Arendelle has several other nearby kingdoms such as Hans, Weasleton etc and we have only ever seen a single kingdom in Camelot so we can assume there may be other smaller kingdoms in the area such as Prince Johns kingdom from Robin Hood etc, Dunbroch is probably still part of the country known as Camelot but is ruled by its own royal family and is divided by sea. (similar to the isle of man in the UK)
Lands is a term to describe all areas of a country or can be used to describe a specific kingdom, i.e the land of Arendelle or the land of Agrabah, or the Kingdom of Snow and David or that of Prince Thomas and Ella. Same as the world Realm, this can be used to describe a land or specific kingdom. These two words are the most general and can be used to describe most places in the Fairy Tale Land. I think Realm is a little more specific then Land in the sense realm describes a magical land, or area. It rarely is used to describe the LWM. Storybrook is prob the only Realm within LWM as it is a magical area created by the curse and is not officially part of the LWM.
Kingdoms are specific areas rules by specific people and usually are a few towns/villages with a larger city like area which houses a castle/palace. We have several kingdoms in each country, Mistaven: King Leopolds, Queen Evas, King George, King Midas, Prince Thomas, Prince Philips, King Stefans, Prince Erics, Princess Rapunzels King Xaviers, Sir Maurices and Sir Gastons. Agrabah: Princess Jasmines and Jafars. Arendelle: Arendelle, Prince Hans, Wealston, Southern Isles and Northern Isles and Camelot: Camelot, DunBroch, Prince Johns (maybe). How the Empire is split I have no idea lol.
The whole of the land is what we should call a world, as it can be split into seperate areas. Despite the name having the word Land in.
Places like LWC, Wonderland, Oz, LWM, LoUS, Wish Realm, Dream World and Dark Realm are all worlds despite having the word Land in them. These are specific places that can be split up into different countries and or kingdoms. I.e LWC is prob similar to our earth, Wonderland is split into different kingdoms run by Queen of Hearts, Red Queen, White King and there is prob kingdoms for Spades, Diamonds and Clubs. Oz is split into North, East, South and West with different rulers for each etc.
Places like Neverland, Mount Olympus, Underworld, Netherworld, Worse Place, Kansas, Victorian England, 1920's England, 19th Century France, World behind the Mirror and Kansas are Lands. These are rules by a single kingdom or ruled by a single person or entities. I.e The Shadoow, Zeus, Hades, Queen Victoria etc. These are areas that are not split up into seperate countries or kingdoms.
I think I may have confused a few people and if I did I am sorry. These is how I define the lands and the worlds and the kingdoms.
Oh and a point I would like to make is that people seem confused about how David was given the role of knight of the Enchanted Forest and not the title of a knight from his own kingdom. Arthur does mention that a few of his knights are kings and princes of other kingdoms, though he does not mention which kingdoms. Knights from the Enchanted Forest would make sense and it seems logical that the knights he is referring to would hail from the forest as it is very close to Camelot. but it seems unlikely given the title he gives David. We know he has only 8 seats is it? Or close to 8 (I can not remember) One seat for himself, one for Lancelot, one for Percivil and one for Kay, so only four seats left, we also don't know how many are for these kings or princes and how many of the seats left belong to other Camelot knights. Does this mean the knights he is referring to hail from other kingdoms in the other countries, from Arendelle or from Agrabah? Possibly but again seems unlikely given the distances of these other countries. Could he be referring to kings and princes of other kingdoms in Camelot? such as Prince John or Sir Hiss (Or whatever his real name would be as chances are he would not be a snake lol) this to me makes the most sense. Am I making sense? I hope I am lol. If not I blame it on being tired. :)