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The suffix -stan (Persian: ـستان-stān) is Persian for "place of"[1] or "country".[2]

The suffix also appears in the names of many regions, especially in Central and South Asia, but also in the Caucasus and Russia; areas where significant amounts of Persian culture were spread or adopted. The suffix is also used more generally, as in Persian and Urdu rigestân (ریگستان) "place of sand, desert", Pakistan "land of the pure" and golestan (گلستان) "place of flowers, garden", Hindi devasthan ("place of devas, temple"), etc.

The suffix, originally an independent noun, but evolving into a suffix by virtue of appearing frequently as the last part in nominal compounds, is of Indo-Iranian and ultimately Indo-European origin: It is cognate with Sanskrit sthā́na (Devanagari: स्थान) – pronounced [st̪ʰaːna] – meaning "the act of standing", from which many further meanings derive, including "place, location", 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, Latin stāre, and Greek histamai (ίσταμαι), all meaning "to stand" and Russian стан (stan, meaning "settlement" or "semi-permanent camp"). In Polish, stan means "state" or "condition", while in Serbo-Croatian it translates as "apartment" in its modern usage, while its original meaning was "habitat". In Czech and Slovak, it means "tent" or, in military terms, "headquarters". Also in Germanic languages, the root can be found in Stand ("place, location"), and in Stadt (German), stad/sted (Dutch/Scandinavian), stêd (West Frisian) and stead (English), all meaning either "place" or "city". The suffix -stan is analogous to the suffix -land, present in many country and location names.


Country Capital Area km² Population Pop. den. /km²
 Afghanistan Kabul (3,476,000) 652,230 31,108,077 43.5
 Kazakhstan Astana (780,880) 2,724,900 17,053,000 6.3
 Kyrgyzstan Bishkek (874,400) 199,900 5,551,900 27.8
 Pakistan Islamabad (805,235) 796,095 182,490,721 226.6
 Tajikistan Dushanbe (679,400) 143,100 8,000,000 55.9
 Turkmenistan Ashgabat (1,031,992) 488,100 5,125,693 10.5
 Uzbekistan Tashkent (2,309,600) 447,400 30,183,400 67.5

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  1. ^ Johnson, Bridget. "'Stan Countries – What the Suffix 'Stan' Means". About.com. Archived from the original on 2013-03-30. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  2. ^ Harper, Douglas. "-stan". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. Retrieved January 18, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Jewistan: Finally Recognizing Israel as the Jewish State, Abstract, Connections@Illinois (University of Illinois)
  4. ^ a b Jewistan: Finally Recognizing Israel as the Jewish State by Francis A Boyle, Atlantic Free Press, October 21, 2010.
  5. ^ a b Francis Boyle, The Palestinian Right of Return under International Law, Clarity Press, 2011. Chapter 3.5 "The State of the Jews—Jewistan!" and The Palestinian Right of Return Under International Law at Google Books.
  6. ^ Pizza, Murphy (2009). "Schism as midwife: how conflict aided the birth of a contemporary Pagan community". In Lewis, James R.; Lewis, Sarah M. Sacred schisms: how religions divide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 249–261. ISBN 978-0-511-58071-0. Retrieved May 25, 2011. "[...] the Pagan community of the Minnesota Twin Cities, otherwise known by members as 'Paganistan.'" 

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