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Afghanistan, Kazakhstan — How many “stans” are there and what does it mean?

Pakistan, the site of so much suffering lately, means “land of the pure” in Urdu and Persian. Part of this meaning is also found in the names Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. What is it?

If you guessed the meaning of the suffix –stan, you’re correct.

The suffix –stan is Persian and Urdu for “place of,” or “where one stands.”  It is found in the names of seven countries: Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In most of these titles, the first part of the name refers to an ethnic group that lives in the nation: the Afghans (or Afghanis), the Kyrgyz, etc . . .

There are countless regions within other countries, or toponyms, whose names end in –stan, such as Tatarstan, a republic in central Russia..

The Proto-Indo-European root sta means “stand.” In Russian, stan means “settlement” or “semi-permanent camp,” and in other Slavic languages it means “apartment.” The root is also found in Germanic languages for words meaning “city.”

Incidentally, the name Stanley, or Stan for short, has nothing to do with –stan. Stanley derives from the Old English for “stone field.”

The suffix is not just found in the names of established places. -stan has a rich history of being part of proposed names, fictional names, and forgotten names. Dravidistan is name for a proposed Indian country that would encompass Tamil Nadu and other southern states. Berzerkistan is the invention of “Doonsebury” creator Gary Trudeau. In the comic strip, Berzerkistan is a fiction republic run by a genocidal maniac.

Frangistan is one of the historical -stans. During the Crusades, Muslims of the Middle East called Christians Franks. So, Frangistan was a term that was used to refer to Western Europe, “Land of the Franks.”

We’ve mentioned some of the -stans. How many can you name without looking it up?

RESCUED TURNED RESCUER A YEAR AGO, THOMAS C. RANCICH, A NAVY SEAL, WAS RESCUED FROM THE WATERS OF THE PERSIAN GULF WHEN THE HELICOPTER HE WAS IN CRASHED. THIS YEAR, HIS TRAINING HELPED HIM SAVE THE LIFE OF A LITTLE GIRL.(LOCAL) website navy seals training

The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA) September 4, 1997 | Doucette, John-Henry Byline: JOHN-HENRY DOUCETTE, CORRESPONDENT From three floors up, Lt. Cmdr. Thomas C. Rancich could see only a diaper and two legs sticking out of the small pool in the hotel lobby. He began to run.

The 2 1/2-year-old girl was floating upside down in the lobby of the San Antonio Hyatt Regency Hotel. Rancich, a 35-year-old Navy SEAL based in Norfolk, was in Texas for a training conference. He had been returning to his hotel room on Aug. 21 when he heard screams and changed his plans.

He had to run down three flights of stairs. By the time he reached the water, the girl had been pulled out. She was bleeding from her mouth and nose. The skin around her lips was blue and her face was blanched as white as the soaked dress she wore. Her brown eyes, though wide open, looked dead.

“I know CPR,” Rancich said.

The five people around the child stepped back.

“You got her,” one of them said.

No pulse or breath.

He went to work.

A year ago, it was Rancich who was pulled from the water.

The SEAL was on a helicopter operating off the carrier Enterprise as it steamed in the Persian Gulf on Oct. 25. Rancich remembers watching a member of his SEAL unit sitting between two aircrewmen in the helicopter. The man was laughing. The next thing Rancich recalls was hitting the water.

The Sea Hawk lost altitude suddenly and, at 150 knots per hour, plowed into the glassy waters of the gulf. The helicopter shattered.

Rancich does not remember that part. People later told him he was swimming and talking. He believes he was in shock, relying on the instinct of his survival training. He started remembering when he came to the surface, then felt the sun, his life vest inflating around his cheeks and stinging saltwater in his eyes. website navy seals training

“Sir. . . Sir. . . Are you OK?” “I don’t know,” Rancich replied. “What happened?” “We crashed,” the man answered. “I’m going to get a head count.” The experience seemed surreal to Rancich, probably because he’d received a sharp blow to the head. A small boat reached the scene with impossible speed. A helicopter from the Enterprise was overhead almost immediately. Rancich remembers someone being hoisted up.

And shouts in the water.

“What’s the count?” “Ten,” came a reply. “Missing two.” “Where’s the chief?” “I saw him over there.” Rancich tried to get back to his own helicopter. It was gone. His helmet had been torn off and he had broken ribs, but he was alive. Three of 12 men were dead.

“These guys are messed up. We’ve got to get ‘em back to the boat.” “Easy, easy. These two can’t climb. Bowhook, connect to the forward fall.” “Hoist away.” “Stretcher bearers!” “This one goes first.” “I’ve got you, sir.” Rancich was saved.

In San Antonio, he breathed into the girl’s mouth. He held her in the crook of his arm as he gave her half-breaths of air. It struck him how small she was in his arms. It was as though she weighed nothing.

Then the mother was there. She was hysterical.

“Come on, Comille!” she cried. “You can do it!” Rancich breathed.

“Do you know CPR?” the mother asked frantically. “Do you know what you’re doing?” It didn’t seem like a good time to answer.

After four minutes of CPR, the girl vomited water in his face. At first he was disheartened. Rancich thought he might have been just blowing air into her stomach and pushing it back out, but then he felt her chest move. He gave her two more puffs and then heard her make a little wheeze.

The girl seemed to come back to life. She coughed and cried.

Spectators in the lobby and along the balconies cheered.

Rancich, like the time he swam free from the submerging helicopter, did not hear anything until the crisis was over. Then he heard the girl, the crowd and everything.

“It sounded real good to me,” Rancich said.

“Can I hold her?” the mother begged.

“Absolutely,” Rancich told her.

Rancich flew back to Norfolk the following day.

Comille’s family called him to say she was fine – sitting down to a big bowl of ice cream.

His wife and sons threw him a “Hero Party.” He had ice cream, too.

Now he is back on the job in Norfolk, working on anti-terrorism for Commander in Chief Atlantic Fleet.

“It’s been a big year,” the SEAL said. “I’ve come full circle from being dragged out of the water to helping someone else.” He laughed and added, “People don’t know whether to sit next to me or stay away.” CAPTION(S):

HUY NGUYEN The Virginian-Pilot Lt. Cmdr. Thomas C. Rancich…

Doucette, John-Henry

83 Comments

  1. Walter -  November 2, 2012 - 8:17 am

    “Make a new plan, Stan” – Simon and Garfunkel
    “Get on the bus, Gus”

    Reply
  2. Phlondar -  March 29, 2012 - 9:38 am

    My Asstan

    Reply
  3. rexbanner -  March 21, 2012 - 7:15 pm

    Istanbul has nothing to do with the word “stan”. Instanbul is a Turkified version of the name “Constantinople” (i.e. Constantinopolis) which means “city of Constantine”).

    Reply
  4. Mrinal,Kolkata -  June 18, 2011 - 9:24 am

    There could not be any language which is the mother of all languages.Because Different Language group have been constructed in different Zone and environment.[Stan] is a word from the hypothesised language Proto Indo -Europeon Language from which Snaskrit,Latin,Greek these oldest form of a cirtain language has been created

    Reply
  5. Behesht -  March 19, 2011 - 1:40 pm

    1. The root of -(i)stan is the verbal root stâ- (or sthâ-) which means to stay/stand, and as you can see it is related to words in other indo-european languages.

    2. Sanskrit sthan is not ancestor of Persian (i)stan, since sanskrit is not ancestor of Persian, because the ancestor language of Persian language is ultimately (unrecorded) proto-iranian which was not child, but sister, of (unrecorded) proto-indian. Major difference!

    3. Sanskrit is not ancestor of any other language family but modern Indic (Indian) languages, and those languages are in a separate branch on the IE language tree. It’s most adjacent branch is that of Iranic (Iranian).

    3. -(i)stan in country names is from Iranian (Iranic) languages (Persian included), not Indian languages (Sanskrit included). The reason is obvious; 1. Iranic speakers lived in central asia, and 2. Iranian empires and kingdoms ruled central asia before the arrival of Islam. And anyone that investigates the remnant literature from pre-islamic (and post-islamic for that matter) Iranian languages one will notice the extensive usage of that word and suffix, and not just for names related to locations but also time: “zemestân” (“winter”, literally “cold-season”), “tâbestân” (“summer”, literally “hot-season”).

    4. Why would I use my sisters leg to walk when I in fact have my own ?

    5. The arab terrorist (salahadin). Repeat after me: “Khuzestan”, a province whose oldest citizens are non arabs (me included). What do you want, I will not hand my land over to you stupid thief.

    Reply
  6. ! -  November 6, 2010 - 1:46 pm

    When Iran was greater world empire among the world Iranian selected this method for Naming other areas …
    Even Iranians still use the same way for call other regions
    e.g they call Britain ” englistan”…

    Reply
  7. MV -  October 12, 2010 - 10:19 am

    HINDIUSTAN – THE LAND OF HINDUS (INDIA)

    basically, persians also called India as Hindustan.

    India has many names. But officially it has three names:

    (i)BHAARAT (named after ancient King Bharat, in Mahabharata – the longest epic in world)

    INDIA

    HINDUSTANN

    Reply
    • Capri -  May 18, 2014 - 2:46 pm

      The suffix stan means place or land in almost all Indo-European languages not just in Farsi (Persian) and it is used by the Kurds,Balochs, Hindus and in swedish language it means town such as gamlestan which means old town. The persians have nothing to do with the wide spreading of the suffix in Eurasia at all, and they don’t use it in the name of their own country like Persianstan or Iranstan.

      Reply
  8. Muhammad Abdurrahman -  September 4, 2010 - 8:29 pm

    @ Bilal, wasn’t Istanbul Constantinople before?

    Reply
  9. Mark V -  August 27, 2010 - 10:49 am

    Josh: @ Oleg leave your slang terms in Moscow. nobody’s interested in racist russki here.

    I disagree! you can learn alot about people by learning what/why they hate.
    He was not using it derogativly, it was informative and even cautionary.

    Reply
  10. hi -  August 27, 2010 - 10:27 am

    Don’t forget Serbistan- a region in the old Ottoman empire that is in modern day Yugoslavia, Bosnia, and Croatia

    Reply
  11. Brian Dorman -  August 26, 2010 - 6:48 pm

    There is a small region in NW Austin call Brianstan. I have lived in the microkingdom for about a year and a half now.

    English is the national language of Brianstan.

    Brianstan has no military but has a thriving economy. We tend to live very peaceably here.

    Reply
  12. Dr. Sadiq -  August 26, 2010 - 2:10 pm

    stan simply means … peace of land or place for certain community or group of people … where they can live according to their own set of rules or belief’s … whether religious or lingust in nature

    Reply
  13. jacob -  August 26, 2010 - 11:33 am

    Continuing from Crystal clear, Communist and Ray Butler on Aug. 25th.We shot a film, Eeta {bamboo}for Indian State T.V.in 1989 in the Kerala- Tamil Nadu region.The music [singing]of the locals is the absolute same as the singing by the Aboriginals in North West Australia ,in a film by a British Cultural Anthropologist in the early ’90s.The exact tune with a complete absence of words.
    If u push N W Australia towards the Indian Sub Continent it would go right into Madras state{India}.
    Just adding to possible origins of Mothers.

    Reply
  14. Hoshang -  August 26, 2010 - 7:49 am

    Dear ttt,

    According to historical sources, and due to their long-standing relations (including their hostilities!), Turkish has borrowed heavily from Persian (and maybe also Kurdish), this is why when they call Bulgaria by the name Bulgaristan, the suffix -stan is a borrowing from an Indo-Iranian language, it is not Turkish. This can also be applied to other Central Asian Turkic peoples who use this suffix.

    Reply
  15. Hoshang -  August 26, 2010 - 7:41 am

    In fact KURDISTAN is a name that designates a geographical spot between South Anatolia in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, and Syria.The land is divided among these 4 countries.KURDISTAN is inhabited by KURDS, and Indo-Aryan people who speak KURDISH, an Indo-Iranian language from the Indo-European branch. It is closely related to PERSIAN, BALUCHI, PASHTO, and OSSETIC, but also distantly related to HINDI, GUJARATI…………etc.

    Reply
  16. R.D. Bhardwaj -  August 26, 2010 - 1:18 am

    By now, most of the people know as to what is meaning of “Stan” i.e. a piece of land or place. Pakistan may have derived its name to mean a land or place of pure people, but now the entire world is also aware of one more fact that for last some decades, particularly since 70s, it has turned into a breeding ground of extremists and terrorists and Pakistan export terrorists to some of the countries, which are some what soft in their approach to extinguish them, like India. But, the sooner the people in power there realise one more fact that the scare resources they employ to train terrorists and equip them with arms and immunitions etc., the same should be better utilised for creating employment for the million of their unemployed youth. By doing so, they can better utilise their manpower for the betterment of their nation and also achieve some turn around in economic and social spheres of life. It is only thru peace, harmony and employment that one can make progress and prosperity. It is equially true about countries as well. Rather than creating disturbances and upheaveals in its neibouring country, if adopt a policy of friendship and harmony with India, it will also lead to their economic development and bring a good name for their country as well.

    Reply
  17. sergio -  August 25, 2010 - 10:26 pm

    Hayastan!

    Reply
  18. chubbychops -  August 25, 2010 - 7:44 pm

    Thank you all. I have been enlightened.

    Reply
  19. SalahAldin Mahdy Hantousch -  August 25, 2010 - 9:20 am

    Again, we cannot bury history, and as of my memory and knowledge, the name Baghdad derived from the name of the farm which belong to Mr. DAD. And here is how it went. I believe the 2nd Khalifah of the Abbaseyeen Empire, and I believe his name was Abu Jaafar Al-Mansour, who decided to build a capital city for their empire, was looking for the cleanest and most clean air area, so, he ordered every butcher to place a piece of fresh Lamb leg meat and hung it to a tree or so in many different farms, that a wild animal could not eat it, and after few days past, he sent his inspector, to inspect the quality of the meat, and they all found that the piece was hunged in the farm of Mr. DAD was the less contaminated, so they decided to build the center of their city which named after Mr DAD by BAGH-DAD, and the word BAGH means farm or fruits garden, don’t know for sure what happen to Mr DAD, did he accept an offer with an advise by the great chief of the Khalifah’s Army, and I believe his name was Abu-Muslim AlKhurasany, or some stories stated that Mr DAD was eliminated with his entire family, so no body will claim for any real estate.

    Reply
  20. passerby -  August 25, 2010 - 9:00 am

    it’s basically the same with the suffix “-land”, obviously meaning land or place of. you got england, ireland, greenland, iceland, scotland, deutschland and nederland just to name a few.

    Reply
  21. Bat-mite -  August 25, 2010 - 8:54 am

    Allikenstan?

    Reply
  22. SalahAldin Mahdy Hantousch -  August 25, 2010 - 8:48 am

    I want to add some additional information, and per my memory and knowledge as was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and lived in many region in Europe, and currently in the USA for the last two decades.
    There a region we used to call it Arabistan, which is some body mentioned above by Khusestan/or Khosestan, which is the province in between southern Iraq/Iran borders, in which the Othman/British empire hand it to Iran for some political agreement issue’s, but most of the residences who lived there are Arabic language spoken, I personally new and met many of them.
    Main City there is Abadan, Khurmshahar/Mohammarah, and so forth, we can not burry history, ther is alway a great wind to removing the accumulating sand on it.

    Reply
  23. hksche2000 -  August 25, 2010 - 8:47 am

    Latin, stare, sto, steti, statum (to stand), is the immediate etymologic root of German, stehen, stand gestanden and derived Substantives describing locations where people stand/stay like:
    Stadt, Stad, Staette, Stand etc. Sanscrit sthan possibly (likely?) is the common precursor for both Latin, German, English et al. derivatives for standing.

    Reply
  24. DOW | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  August 25, 2010 - 8:06 am

    [...] some smiles bring — based on “hocus-pocus” — Though the language is Greek URDU Ur don’t unerstan Rupert FOX Wall Street — the Journal has conservative focus. — [...]

    Reply
  25. Michael Dadona -  August 25, 2010 - 8:05 am

    Thanks for sharing this article and I learned new thing about TOPONYMS. None to add from me as there were many commentators already forwarded theirs.

    Reply
  26. Salahaldin Mahdy Hantousch -  August 25, 2010 - 8:01 am

    There is a region in between southern Iraq and Iran called Arabistan, that province was belong to Iraq in the time of Othman Empire before World War I, then the British empire hand it to Iran in part of some agreement, details you could find by diggibg the history of that region and the main reason Iraq, and Iran war started on 09/04/1980.
    Again, Arabistan is a district or part of land/state, most the people who live there are Arabic spoken, and I knew many many of them, met them in Iraq, Yugoslavia/Old Yugoslavia, Austria, Germany, Holland, and her in the U.S.A.

    Reply
  27. frank black -  August 25, 2010 - 7:41 am

    “round there; calistan ways. hey hey”… (s8

    Reply
  28. Odette -  August 25, 2010 - 7:28 am

    Istanbul comes from Constantinopolis, “the city of the” Byzantine emperor Constantine

    Reply
  29. Melanie -  August 25, 2010 - 7:12 am

    That’s weird that ‘paki’ is considered a racial slur in other countries (not that I know of in the US) but that it’s root means pure

    Reply
  30. Ray Butler -  August 25, 2010 - 6:49 am

    I was always led to believe that Sanskrit _derived_ from the prehistoric Indo-European language root, but was not, itself, that root.

    Describing any Middle-Eastern or Subcontinental language as “the ‘mother’ of all languages” is silly. Humanity had spread around the globe long before this particular language branch arose. Aboriginal Australians, for example, would beg to differ!

    Reply
  31. cyrus -  August 25, 2010 - 6:39 am

    Dalghozistan: ( figurative) a lawless state like afghanistan and somalia

    Reply
  32. Farhad -  August 25, 2010 - 5:59 am

    “Norestan” is located in Afghanistan. “Nor” means light, so the land of light.

    Reply
  33. Communist -  August 25, 2010 - 5:59 am

    It appeared in Sanskrit via Dravidian language as stha, means a place for sitting, and sthan means place where one born and live. There are a lot of words which directly came via Avastan, and Indo-Arian languages such as; Isfahan (Assipa-Dana) means a place where horses are in abundance; Mardan (Mirda-Dana) means white place. The word tha is cognate with Stha, such as “sath-arl” means thighs where you make sit someone. Stha travelled to other languages, such as Old High German, Old Norse, Arminian, so on and so forth. It purified to present form of word as “stan.” There is an other words which have similar means as Thana, Dhana (a place where sand is in abundance). This word now a days common among various nations in central Asia, Afghanistan and West South of Sub continent.
    There should be no battle at etymology of words. It is comman heritage and no body can claim that he or she constructed language (s). The language is spoken/utilized by human being, thus it is common legacy of all human societies.

    Reply
  34. crystal clear -  August 25, 2010 - 5:10 am

    If supposedly sanskrit or persian or hebrew et al are the mothers..Of all languages! … can you please explain 1. Australian Aboriginal languages dating back at least 60 000 years, 2. African Tribal languages.. 3. the languages of the peoples of the Americas.. and lastly.. did Homo Erectus have language? I believe they did, even as it was not in a recognisable form from a modern perspective.. er.. I think what you are meaning to say is mother of written language. Please be careful about your loose (or rather, narrow) definition of language.

    Reply
  35. Josh -  August 25, 2010 - 4:58 am

    @ Oleg leave your slang terms in Moscow. nobody’s interested in racist russki here.

    Reply
  36. Joey Bloggs -  August 25, 2010 - 4:35 am

    I can think of many:

    Australiastan= Land of the Australians
    Americanstan= Land of the Americans
    Chinesestan= Land of the Chinese
    Russianstan= Land of the Russians
    Englishstan= Land of the English

    I can think of many but there are too many to list!

    Reply
  37. WILL -  August 25, 2010 - 4:34 am

    I can think of many:

    Australiastan= Land of the Australians
    Americanstan= Land of the Americans
    Chinesestan= Land of the Chinese
    Russianstan= Land of the Russians
    Englishstan= Land of the English

    I can think of many but there are too many to list!

    Reply
  38. nervy -  August 25, 2010 - 4:03 am

    Other interesting tidbit worth mentioning here and concerning Poland is that for many nations throughout Middle East Poland historically goes by the name “Lehistan” (Turkish), “Lahestan” (Persian) or “Lehastan” (Armenian).

    Reply
  39. cgg -  August 25, 2010 - 3:59 am

    How Pakistan Got Its Name
    Dateline: 05/17/99
    The name of the country Pakistan has a fascinating history – it is essentially an acronym!
    Prior to 1947, the country now known as Pakistan was a British colony. In 1947 the United Kingdom granted independence to the region under a new name, Pakistan. The name had been developed by a group of students at Cambridge University who issued a pamphlet in 1933 called Now or Never. They came up with the term “Pakistan” as “composed of letters taken from the names of our homelands: that is, Punjab, Afghania [North-West Frontier Province], Kashmir, Iran , Sindh, Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and Balochistan. It means the land of the Paks, the spiritually pure and clean.”
    Although the suffix “stan” means country in Hindi and Persian, the students were able to fit the names of homelands to make an appropriate country name.
    http://geography.about.com/library/misc/blpakname.htm

    Reply
  40. nervy -  August 25, 2010 - 3:48 am

    The funny thing for us Poles is that “stan” in Polish means “state”, also the “state” hiding in “United States of America”. Therefore we get this uncanny connotations with USA wherever we here the name of one of the Asian -stan’s :).

    Reply
  41. Nitin -  August 25, 2010 - 3:09 am

    Actually i thought that Stan was taken from Sanskrit (ancient Indian language), Stan (or Sthan) means place, so Pakistan mean pure place.. Afganistan means place of Afghan.
    India is also called Hindustan means place of Hindus.

    Reply
  42. Sudhir Dikshit -  August 25, 2010 - 2:48 am

    @Madhav, Persia or modern day Iran, existed before Islam. Languages transcend boundaries of religion.

    Reply
  43. Dimo -  August 25, 2010 - 1:58 am

    Constantinople = Constantine + Polis
    Nothing to do with any of the -stans.

    Reply
  44. subhan -  August 25, 2010 - 1:48 am

    Bradistan – the local name for bradrord uk

    Reply
  45. Siddhartha Das -  August 25, 2010 - 1:42 am

    Rajasthan, in India, means Land of the kings…

    Reply
  46. aman -  August 25, 2010 - 12:37 am

    “Sthan” Sanskrit word which means “Place”. It is similar to “Stan” in Persian and Urdu. Not sure where is origin of the word. No point debating on it.
    “Hindustan” is name often used for India. But interestingly “Hindu” is not a Sanskrit word but it is Persian word.

    Reply
  47. Stan the Man -  August 24, 2010 - 11:59 pm

    Here in South Africa in the dark days of apartheid the white government created “Bantustans”. (Bantu – a member of any of several Negroid peoples forming a linguistically and in some respects culturally interrelated family in central and southern Africa.). These supposedly autonomous “states” (e,g, Transkei, Ciskei, Bophutatswana, Venda) were an attempt to show the world that South Africa was “alright”! I have allways wondered who coined the name “Bantustan”.

    Reply
  48. Lily -  August 24, 2010 - 11:57 pm

    I find all the above exchanges utterly fascinating (except for repeats). Indeed, Sanskrit is not the mother of all languages (thank you, Ray): in linguistics, it derives from “Indo-Iranian” which split in “Indic” and “Iranian”. “Indic” gave way to Sanskrit, Gujarati, Hindustani, Panjabi, etc. “Iranian” provided Avestan, Scythian and Old Persian, hence today’s Farsi, Kurdish, Baluchi, and so on. Obviously, those languages were/are somewhat inter-mingled and have borrowed vocabulary from one another. Also, Sanskrit is not the oldest language and Persian is not a “Muslim language”. Persians wrote on tablets in cuneiform script centuries before the advent of Islam in 622 AD. They were, and many still are, Zoroastrians, and their holy book is the Avesta, written, of course, in Avestan…

    Incidentally, on the matter of pejorative implications, in Farsi, when the suffix “stan” is added to a geographic name, it conveys a state of subordination to the area, like a non-independent, surrogate, “vassal state”. When the Islamic mullahs “occupied” Iran, the country was said to have become “Iranestan” – I won’t go into details. Sorry for having blabbered for so long.

    Reply
  49. gg -  August 24, 2010 - 11:52 pm

    No “Kabrasthan” ??

    LOL

    Reply
  50. Kamil K. -  August 24, 2010 - 11:49 pm

    Lechistan – traditional Turkish name for Poland.

    Reply
  51. F -  August 24, 2010 - 11:03 pm

    Madhav…..you need an education! Language does not denote a persons religion. And Persians were Zoroastrians before they were Muslims.

    Reply
  52. Siamak -  August 24, 2010 - 9:57 pm

    Pashtunistan

    Pashtunistan , Pakhtunistan or Awghanistan which later on changed by Persians to word Afghan meaning “land of the Pashtuns” or “Pakhtuns”)is the present day of Afghanistan [1] the inhabited region by the Pashtun people since ancient time

    Reply
  53. anindita -  August 24, 2010 - 9:47 pm

    :)

    Reply
  54. anindita -  August 24, 2010 - 9:46 pm

    Kabrastan which means graveyard in Hindi and Urdu.

    Reply
  55. tommy -  August 24, 2010 - 9:40 pm

    In Thai language (which is heavily influenced by Bali and Sanskrit), “Stan” is a prefix meaning “venue” while the derivative form “Stantee” means place.

    Reply
  56. ttt -  August 24, 2010 - 9:26 pm

    turks call Bulgaria Bulgaristan

    Reply
  57. Karekar Gautam Anant -  August 24, 2010 - 9:21 pm

    I forgot to mention something,Sthana or a place can also be found as ”thāna” in Pakrit.

    So place names ending with ‘thana’ or ‘than’ also need to considered.
    eg: Thana or Thane in Maharashtra,India

    Reply
  58. Karekar Gautam Anant -  August 24, 2010 - 9:09 pm

    About ”Sthan”,

    ”Sthāna” means a place for sure in Sanskrit,whereas vernacular Prakrit version of it is ”Stana”,which is prevalent in many modern Indian languages which are Prakrit based (whereas Sthāna is more common in Dravidian languages).

    The word Afganistan,comes from the Sanskrit term ”Upagaṇasthāna”,corrupted form of ”Upagaṇa” is Afgan,”upa” could mean near,toward,under,above,in,on(depnding on the context),”gaṇa” could mean a group,team,batch etc.

    Whereas the term Hindustan has partial Sanskrit/Prakrit roots. Same is the case with Pakistan.”Pak” means sacred in Persian or Arabic,but in Sankrit/Prakrit it means ”to cook”.

    @Amir

    Rajasthan or ”Rajasthāna” could mean the land of the kings,or warriors.

    @Madhav

    Both Avestan(mother of modern Persian) and Vedic Sanskrit have same
    roots..

    BTW term Sanskrit itself means refined,purified or artificial,and was never a spoken languages unlike vedic Sanskrit and Prakrit.When I say Sanskrit I mean Classical Sanskrit only.

    Reply
  59. Aigul -  August 24, 2010 - 8:02 pm

    Greetings to everybody from Kazakhstan!

    Reply
  60. Captain Video -  August 24, 2010 - 7:30 pm

    Not Con(stan)tinople.

    Reply
  61. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  August 24, 2010 - 7:01 pm

    @Maaz

    The ‘Mwt’er of all languages is–

    A. The archaic Sumero-Egyptian, from which archaic Hebrew devolved by natural-assumption, e.g. as above, the land of Nod/Nwd was weary land below the mountain range where rocks ever tumbled down,– Yet archaic Hebrew calls it, the land of exile: that being the assumption because after Cain killed Abel he was there ‘exiled’…!

    HOWEVER,–

    B. Having said so much, scholars identify Sumerian (and so implicitly Egyptian) as “language isolate”– meaning, Scholars, don’t know where that language originated… And, it blended with the local languages.

    C. So, Ergo, The ‘mother’ of all languages remains a mystery of world semi-tribal-civilization long-preceding even the primordial gods. Or, maybe it’s a genetical-natural (cf the proto-linguistic development).

    Ray.

    Reply
  62. Maaz -  August 24, 2010 - 6:44 pm

    @samrat Sanskrit is not the mother tongue of all languages. That would be either Arabic, Aramaic or Hebrew.

    the name of the country is Pakistan not pakisthan, and also it is Pakistani not Pakis.

    “SARAIKISTAN”

    Reply
  63. kmuthuswamy -  August 24, 2010 - 6:28 pm

    I object to Samrat’s calling Sanscrit as the mother of all languages.

    Reply
  64. madhav -  August 24, 2010 - 6:20 pm

    Hindusthan- Land of Hindus,Pakistan – A Pure Land,Afghanistan – Land of Afghans,Uzbekistan-Land of Uzbeks, etc etc,But Sthan/Stan (Suffix/word)its origin is from The world’s Oldest language Sanskrit,Not persian or any other Muslim Language.

    Reply
  65. Bilal -  August 24, 2010 - 5:53 pm

    Tom, I don’t think the ‘stan’ in istanbul means ‘land.’ I could be wrong, but I heard that Istanbul comes from istanopolis, which means something like ‘to the city’.

    Reply
  66. tom -  August 24, 2010 - 4:57 pm

    I(stan)bul.

    Reply
  67. you are so predictable -  August 24, 2010 - 3:45 pm

    Are there any natural resources in the -stan regions that enable to enhance the living of the peoples there like some countries in Africa? Or how human resources are viewed in terms of getting them out of their predicament.

    Reply
  68. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  August 24, 2010 - 3:09 pm

    (P.S. Yhw Shw was earlier Khan Shw Khonsu’s familiar name later Apsu… Later Lords were fashioned after him, Yhwh: after he was killed by Enki Cainan ca Adam Geb’s 497th, Then Mrs. Yhw Ti-aMwt Tiamut aka Tefnwt was killed by Enki’s son Mered-uk Marduk ca 2 years later… A long story.)

    Ray.

    Reply
  69. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  August 24, 2010 - 2:59 pm

    SIDEBAR – STANLEY:

    As I figure it– comes from the familiar name of Gilgamesh: that being, Izdubar (cf story of Atrahasis Khasisadra) … which goes approximately like this–

    Izdubar ‘Izhdubar’ ‘Ishidwn bar’ ‘Shidwn bar’ Sidon bar (Heb. son-of) ‘Shdwn bar’–
    Today’s Shtan or Shtanley-bar…
    Gilgamesh!

    2. Izdubar (Sidon Stanley) lived on the east of the Arabia steppe below the Persian range where boulders used to roll down supersonic and smash the landscape, (sonic-booming down the hill, cutting swaths through the forest, boiling fish in the stream, pinioning birds in flight),– where previously Yhw sent Cain to live after he’d killed Abel, in the land of Nod Nwd (Sum. weary/wearied land: because of the stoniness)….

    Ray.

    Reply
  70. Oleg -  August 24, 2010 - 2:47 pm

    In Russian slang there is one more – “Churkistan”: Churki – an insulting common term for uzbeks, tadjiks, etc. + -stan, a common part in names like Tadjikistan, Uzbekistan, etc.
    The word describes all countries of that region or any single of them without having to be precise.
    Caution: it is an insulting term!

    Reply
  71. samrat~ -  August 24, 2010 - 2:41 pm

    The word “stan” is actually derived from the mother tongue of all the language “Sanskrit”..In sanskrit it is pronounced as “sthan” which simply means place…place where Hindus lives “Hindusthan” place where Pakis lives “Pakisthan” and where Afghan lives “Afghanistan” and so on..

    Reply
  72. Bonnie A. -  August 24, 2010 - 2:08 pm

    Thank you for the sanskrit entry, I was waiting for that!

    In Swedish too, the -stan ending tends to denote “town” or “city,” being in fact short for, or a contracted form of “stad” + “en” or, “staden,” meaning “the town,” or “the city.” Vist Stockholm or Gothenburg and you will find neighborhoods called “Gamlastan,” Gamla/gammal (old)+ Staden (the city)= The Old City, or Old Town. Fun!

    Reply
  73. Mark V -  August 24, 2010 - 1:55 pm

    Gadgetstan – A town in World of Warcraft inhabited by the Mechanically-minded Goblins.

    Reply
  74. Lydia -  August 24, 2010 - 1:46 pm

    Armenia, when said in Armenian, is pronounced Hyasdan. So, place of the Armenians.

    Reply
  75. Nalin -  August 24, 2010 - 1:45 pm

    You missed the most important point here

    The etymological origin is from the Sanskrit wortd ‘Sthan’ which simply means ‘Place’.

    Reply
  76. Talia -  August 24, 2010 - 1:10 pm

    This was a wonderful and informative post! I’ve always wondered what ‘stan’ meant and where it comes from. Thanks for the information. :)

    Reply
  77. Amir -  August 24, 2010 - 1:08 pm

    I can add:
    Hindustan (Land of Hindus, Old name of India)
    Baluchestan (Land of Baluches, Name of a province in Iran and Pakistan)
    Rajistan (Name of a region in India)
    Khalistan (Holly region for Sikhs in India)
    Khuzestan (Name of a privince in Iran)
    Kurdestan (Land of Kurds, Name of a province in Iran and a region in Iraq)

    Reply
  78. STAN | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  August 24, 2010 - 12:48 pm

    [...] all URDU to us — single lingual maniacs still “STAN” in the back of the bus. — If we [...]

    Reply
  79. hi -  August 24, 2010 - 12:46 pm

    Kurdistan!

    Reply
  80. Pezvak -  August 24, 2010 - 12:23 pm

    Hendostan = India – Land of Indian – Persian language (Farsi.
    Sistan and Baluchestan = Iran Province has a share border with Pakistan and Afghanestan.
    Khosestan= The southern province of Iran – Has a share border with Iraq.
    Kurdestan – Province of Iran and Iraq and Turkey – Land of Kurd (ethnic group).
    Lurestan – Provice of Iran – Land and Lures (ethnic group).
    Tabarestan = Old province of Iran – now is Mazandaran and Gilan – North of Iran the shore of Caspian Sea.

    Reply
  81. BERE -  August 24, 2010 - 12:12 pm

    KURDISTAN IN THE MIDDLE OF TURKEY

    Reply
  82. Silverchild -  August 24, 2010 - 11:53 am

    Yunanistan = Greece/Hellas.

    Reply

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