Here are a few more Japanese lens names:
- Konica called their lenses "Hexanon"
- Konica also had a cheaper line of "Hexar" lenses
- Nikon used to call their lenses "Nikkor"
- Some Minolta lenses were called "Rokkor"
- Minolta also had some named "Celtic"
- Asahi (Pentax) lenses were called "Takumar"
- Fuji (as noted in question) uses "Fujinon"
- Olympus calls theirs "Zuiko"
- Canon just calls theirs "Canon"
- Takumar is apparently named after Takuma Kajiwara, who was the brother of the founder of Asahi, the (original) parent of Pentax.
- Zuiko apparently comes from a couple of the characters in the name "Mizuho Optical Research Laboratory".
- Rokkor comes from the name of a mountain near Osaka, Japan.
So that mostly just widens the question a little bit--where did "ar", "or" and "on" suffixes come from?
I'd guess the answer is that they were mostly inspired by the names of some of the German lenses that dominated when Japan was entering the camera/lens market.
- Goerz Dagor
- Leica Summicron
- Leica Summitar
- Leica Elmar
- Zeiss Biogon
- Zeiss Biotar
- Zeiss Distagon
- Zeiss Tessar
- Voigtlander Skopar
- Voigtlander Skopagon
- Schneider Xenar
- Schneider Xenon
- Rodenstock Imagon
- Rodenstock Heligon
There are at least a few dozen more that I haven't listed here, but you get the general idea--when the Japanese got involved these suffixes were all in fairly wide use.
The earliest German lens using the "ar" suffix seems to be the Ziess Unar, from the 1890s (but possibly the Goerz Frontar, which is from around the same time frame). I haven't been able to find much about where the "ar" suffix came from in either of those cases. Goerz had quite a variety of names, and I think that element of that name just happened to get copied.
In the Zeiss line, shortly after the Unar came the Protar. Those were then "bred together"1 to produce the Tessar. By then, it was starting to form a pattern for Zeiss lenses.
From there, the spread of names is often fairly easy to trace--for example, the Leica Elmar and Schneider Xenar are basically Tessar clones.
The "on" suffix seems to go back to the Goerz Hypergon. Like the Frontar, I haven't been able to find a real source for that name.
The "or" suffix probably comes from the Goerz Dagor. "Dagor" is apparently an initialism for "Double Anastigmatic Goerz Optical Refractor". The Dagor design was extremely successful, and has formed the basis of an immense number of lens designs since.
I'd guess the "ca" for cameras probably comes chiefly from Leica (which, if I recall correctly, is more or less a contraction of "Leitz Camera".
There were a lot of other cameras around at the time, of course, but Leica was clearly the one to beat (or at least imitate) at the time. For that matter, there's a fair argument that it still is.
- Zeiss Article on the Tessar
- Zeiss Article on the Distagon, Biogon, Hologon
- Goerz History
- Almost literally--a Tessar is basically the front elements of an Unar with the rear elements of a Protar.