why do some islamic countries end in 'stan'

Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbeckistan, tajikistan turkmenistan
Does ‘stan’ mean something signifigant in Arabic?

I believe it is a regional thing, not an Islamic one, since the home of Islam is in countries like Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, etc.

I CAN NOT believe I just blew my 1000th post on that response. Shit.

Here ya go:


HAHA, now you have to be my slave in the afterlife.

And to top it all off, I will now triple post -


Like in the other thread mentioned, Indians(Hindus) also refer to India as Hindustan where stan is literally, location.

The paragraph Rhum Runner quoted featured the following sentence:

"Pakistan" is a bit fancier, meaning "Land of the Pure."

The country’s name is also an acronym for several of its constituent regions, as well as a few neighbors. The “P”, for example, represents Punjab, while the “K” honors Kashmir. While I’ve heard that the “stan” simply refers to Baluchistan, this site claims that the “T” signifies the historical region of Tukharistan, while the second “A” is a nod to Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the first “A” reflects the fact that “[t]he real name of the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) is Afghania.” Only the “N” covers BaluchistaN. “I” represents Iran, while “S” stands for Sindh.


There are also the wannabe -stans, like Kurdistan and Khalistan (a would-be Sikh homeland).

And there are the musical -stans, like those from REM:


As I wrote in the other thread, it’s related to the English words stand, stay, and stationary. It’s related to the Latin stare ‘to stand, stay’ and Sanskrit sthana ‘stand, station’. Meaning a place to stay, an abode.

It doesn’t actually mean ‘land’ as some would-be etymologists have guessed. The Persian word for land is zamîn.

As a combining form in Persian, -stân or -istân is used in forming words that have to do with places; for example, a rose garden is gulistân, a graveyard is qabristân. Literally, the place where things stay.


I’d just like to point out that none of these countries are Arabic, and nor is Iran (whence Persian is derived).

The Persian language has very widespread influence of all over the eastern Islamic world.

From Bosnia through Turkey, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and Afghanistan, to Pakistan and India, the Persian language for centuries was the language of high culture and belles lettres. The Ottoman Turkish, Chaghatai (forerunner of Uzbek), and Urdu languages were all replete with tons and tons of Persian loanwords. The literary and poetic forms in all these countries imitated the Persian models. Even Hindi and other Indian languages use huge amounts of Persian loanwords to this day. This is why Pakistan has a name in the Persian language (which was coined as a play on words).

When Czechoslovakia separated into two countries in 1993 … Slovakia, all right, that sounds fine. But I never liked the name “The Czech Republic.” What a cumbersome name. Too many clunky syllables. I would like to propose a much snappier sounding name: Czechistan. It just rolls right off the tongue.

The suffixes “a” and “ia” are Western equivalents of “stan”. Hence Albania, Argentina, Bolivia, Bugaria, Colombia, Dalmatia…

I wish I could remember what it was Hindu Stan told his brother Hindu Bob.

Armenia, which is not a Muslim nation, is known in the native language as “Hayastan”, with “Hay” meaning “Armenian”.

Also, regarding Bosnia, I once saw the name “Khorvatistan” (Croatia-stan) used to describe part of that area when it was ruled by the Turks…I have no idea if that was a common name though.

You bastard… never have I had laughed so damn hard…

My chest hurts.

RHum runner is now your afterlife B**ch :slight_smile: Soooo funny.
Gonna have to go find me one now.

Try www.czechia.org