Countries whose name in English has the suffix -stan; and
 other countries that have first-level divisions whose names in English have the suffix -stan.

The suffix -stan (Persian: ـستان‎, romanizedstân) is Persian[1] for "place of"[2] or "country".[3] It appears in the names of many regions in Iran, Afghanistan, and Central and South Asia, as well as in the Caucasus and Russia.

Etymology and cognates

The suffix -stan is analogous to the suffix -land, present in many country and location names. The suffix is also used more generally, as in Persian rigestân (Persian: ریگستان‎) "place of sand, desert", golestân (Persian: گلستان‎) "place of flowers, garden", gurestân (Persian: گورستان‎) "graveyard, cemetery", Hindustân (Persian: هندوستان‎) "land of the Indus river" (India).

Originally an independent noun, this morpheme evolved into a suffix by virtue of appearing frequently as the last part in nominal compounds. It is of Indo-Iranian and ultimately Indo-European origin: it is cognate with Sanskrit sthā́na (Devanagari: Sanskrit: स्थान [stʰaːnɐ]), meaning "the act of standing", from which many further meanings derive, including "place, location; abode, dwelling", and ultimately descends from Proto-Indo-Iranian *sthāna-.

The Proto-Indo-European root from which this noun is derived is *steh₂- (older reconstruction *stā-) "to stand" (or "to stand up, to step somewhere, to position oneself"), which is also the source of English to stand, German stehen "to stand", Latin stāre "to stand", Lithuanian stovėti "to stand", Russian стоять "stand", and Ancient Greek hístēmi (ἵστημι) "to make to stand, to set".

English state originates from the same root, through Old French estat, from Latin: status ("manner of standing, attitude, position, carriage, manner, dress, apparel" and other senses), from Latin: stāre. The word stadium likewise originates from the root, through Ancient Greek στάδιον (stádion, “a measure of length, a running track”).

The Indo-Iranian word has a Slavic counterpart in the form of Proto-Slavic *stanъ. In Russian, стан (stan) means "settlement" or "semi-permanent camp". In Polish, Belarusian and Ukrainian, stan means "state" or "condition". In Serbo-Croatian it translates as "apartment" in its modern usage, while its original meaning was "habitat". The Slovene word, "stanovanje", referring to an apartment or other closed space of living, is an obvious derivative of stan. In Czech and Slovak, it means "tent" or, in military terms, "headquarters". In Bulgarian, it means "a camp", usually associated with nomadic semi-permanent settlements or military camps. In Romanian, stână (a Slavic loanword) refers to a temporary or semi-permanent settlement used for sheep and herds of other domestic animals.

Also in Germanic languages, the root can be found in German: Stand ("place, location; estate"), and Proto-Germanic *stadi- "place, location" in German Stadt, Dutch: stad, Danish: sted, West Frisian: stêd and English stead, all meaning either "place" or "city".


Country Capital Currency Area km² Population Den. /km²
 Afghanistan Kabul Afghan afghani 652,230 31,575,000 43.5
 Kazakhstan Nur-Sultan Kazakhstani tenge 2,724,900 18,312,000 6.3
 Kyrgyzstan Bishkek Kyrgyzstani som 199,900 6,020,000 27.8
 Pakistan Islamabad Pakistani rupee 796,095 212,745,000 226.6
 Tajikistan Dushanbe Tajikistani somoni 143,100 9,050,000 55.9
 Turkmenistan Ashgabat Turkmenistan manat 488,100 5,660,000 10.5
 Uzbekistan Tashkent Uzbekistani soʻm 447,400 33,250,000 67.5

Some of these nations were also known with the Latinate suffix -ia during their time as Soviet republics: Turkmenistan was frequently Turkmenia, Kyrgyzstan often Kirghizia, and even Uzbekistan was very rarely Uzbekia.[4][5]

Native names

  • Armenia Hayastan (Armenia)
    • Haya- comes from legends that mention Hayk, the patriarchal founder of the Armenian nation. Names may have once included Haykastan.

Country names in various languages

English Name Persian name Turkish name Armenian name
Armenia Armanestân – ارمنستان Ermenistan Hayastan – Հայաստան
Bulgaria Bulgharestân – بلغارستان Bulgaristan -
China - - Čʿinastan – Չինաստան
Croatia - Hırvatistan -
England Engelestân – انگلستان - -
Georgia Gorjestân – گرجستان Gürcistan Vrastan – Վրաստան
Greece - Yunanistan Hunastan – Հունաստան
Hungary Majarestan مجارستان Macaristan -
India Hindustan هندوستان Hindistan Hndkastan – Հնդկաստան
Mongolia Mogholestan – مغولستان Moğolistan -
Poland Lahestân – لهستان -
(formerly Lehistan)
Lehastan – Լեհաստան
Saudi Arabia Arabestân-e Sa'udi – عربستان سعودی Suudi Arabistan -
Serbia Serbestân – صربستان Sırbistan -

Administrative divisions

Country Sub-national unit Capital Area km² Population Den. /km² Type
 Iran Golestan Gorgan 20,367 km² 1,777,014 87/km km² Provinces of Iran
Khuzestan Ahvaz 64,055 km² 4,531,720 71/km²
Kurdistan Sanandaj 29,137 km² 1,603,011 55/km²
Lorestan Khorramabad 28,294 km² 1,716,527 61/km²
Sistan and Baluchestan Zahedan 181,785 km² 2,775,014 15/km²
 Pakistan  Balochistan Quetta 247,190 km² 12,344,408 36/km2 Province of Pakistan
 Gilgit-Baltistan Gilgit 72,971 km² 1,800,000 19/km2 Autonomous Region of Pakistan
 Russia  Bashkortostan Ufa 143,600 km² 4,072,292 28.36/km² Republics of Russia
 Dagestan Makhachkala 50,300 km² 2,910,249 57.86/km²
 Tatarstan Kazan 68,000 km² 3,786,488 55.68/km²
 Azerbaijan Gobustan Qobustan 1,369.4 km² 37,137 27/km² Administrative divisions of Azerbaijan
 Kazakhstan Turkistan Turkistan 117,249 km2 2,685,009 23/km² Regions of Kazakhstan
 Uzbekistan  Karakalpakstan Nukus 164,900 km² 1,711,800 7.5/km² An autonomous republic within Uzbekistan
 Iraq  Kurdistan Erbil (Hewlêr) 78,736 km² 5,500,000 Autonomous region of Iraq
 Afghanistan Nuristan Parun 9,225.0 km² 140,900 15/km² Province of Afghanistan

Cities and counties

In Afghanistan

  1. ^ Various places share this name.

In Armenia

In Iran

  1. ^ Various places share this name.
  2. ^ In the Persian language, Shahrestan is also a common noun that means "county". It is in the names of the counties of Iran.

In Pakistan

In Tajikistan

In other countries


Proposed names



See also


  1. ^ MacKenzie, D. N. (1971) A concise Pahlavi dictionary, London, New York, Toronto: Oxford University Press
  2. ^ Johnson, Bridget. "'Stan Countries – What the Suffix 'Stan' Means". About.com. Archived from the original on March 30, 2013. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
  3. ^ Harper, Douglas. "-stan". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on January 1, 2014. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
  4. ^ Google Ngram Uzbekia, Kirgizia, Turkmenia, Tajikia
  5. ^ Becker, Seymour (2004). Russia's Protectorates in Central Asia: Bukhara and Khiva, 1865–1924. Routledge. p. 553. ISBN 1-134-33582-2. As early as June 1920, Lenin had toyed with the idea of dividing Russian Turkestan into three national regions: Uzbekia, Kirgizia and Turkmenia.
  6. ^ Lebanese solution
  7. ^ "Lojbnaistan". lojban wiki. November 4, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
  8. ^ Cowan, John Waldemar (1997). "1". The Complete Lojban Language (First ed.). Fairfax, VA, USA: The Logical Language Group. p. 3. ISBN 0-9660283-0-9.
  9. ^ Stuart, Keith (May 31, 2019). "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare returns to tread a moral minefield". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved September 25, 2019.
  10. ^ Allan, Chantal (2009). Bomb Canada: And Other Unkind Remarks in the American Media. Athabasca University Press. pp. 84–85. ISBN 9781897425497. soviet%20canuckistan%20arab%20canadians.
  11. ^ "Cavaquistão continua irredutível e a votar laranja ("Cavaquistan remains unyielding and voting orange") (in Portuguese)". Visão. October 6, 2019.
  12. ^ Carla Fernandes (2016). Multimodality and Performance. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4438-9465-4.
  13. ^ Dibyesh Anand (October 15, 2011). Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 34–. ISBN 978-0-230-36263-5.
  14. ^ "Govt blocks 18 sites to check hate messages". The Times of India. July 19, 2006.
  15. ^ Pizza, Murphy (2009). "Schism as midwife: how conflict aided the birth of a contemporary Pagan community". In Lewis, James R.; Lewis, Sarah M. (eds.). Sacred schisms: how religions divide (PDF). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 249–261. ISBN 978-0-511-58071-0. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 10, 2011. Retrieved May 25, 2011. [...] the Pagan community of the Minnesota Twin Cities, otherwise known by members as 'Paganistan.'

External links

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