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 was spread or adopted, or due to the inhabitation of Indo-Iranian peoples. 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", as well as Pashto تون (tun, "habitat" or "homeland") and Russian стан (stan, meaning "settlement" or "semi-permanent camp"). In Polish, stan means "state" or "condition", while in Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian it translates as "apartment" in its modern usage, while its original meaning was "habitat". In Czech and Slovak languages, 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|
- Golestan Province
- Khuzestan Province
- Kurdistan Province
- Lorestan Province
- Sistan and Baluchestan Province
- Gobustan Rayon, Azerbaijan
- Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan
- Kurdistan, Iraq
- Nuristan Province, Afghanistan
- Rajasthan, India
Cities and counties
- Parchestan (several)
- Shahrestan, also Shahrestan is an equivalent for the word "county" in Persian language. For more details see Counties of Iran.
- Arabistan – the name of the Arabian Peninsula and other meanings
- Arbayistan – a Sassanid Persian satrapy in Late Antiquity
- Asorestan – the province of Babylonia under the Sassanid Empire
- Balawaristan – an historical name of Gilgit-Baltistan (Pakistan) that has regained some prevalence in recent years
- Balochistan/Baluchistan – a region in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan
- Baloristan – a region of Northern Areas of Pakistan
- Baltistan – a northern region in Pakistan
- Bantustan – an Apartheid-era South African black 'homeland' (the term coined by analogy)
- Cholistan Desert – a desert region in Pakistan
- Dardistan – a region in northern Pakistan
- East Pakistan – the historic name for pre-independence Bangladesh
- East Turkestan or Uyghurstan – a region dominated by the Turkic-speaking Uyghur people, located in northwest China
- Frangistan – a term used (by Muslims and Persians in particular) during the Middle Ages and later historical periods to refer to Western or Christian Europe
- Hazarastan – the Hazarajat, homeland of the Hazara people in central Afghanistan
- Hindustan – land of the Indus River. Today it refers to the Republic of India.
- Iryston – native name of Ossetia. An ethnolinguistic region located on both sides of the Greater Caucasus Mountains, largely inhabited by the Ossetians.
- Kabulistan – a historical regional name referring to the territory centered around present-day Kabul Province of Afghanistan
- Kafiristan (land of the infidels) – historic region in Afghanistan until 1896, now known as Nuristan. A similarly-named region exists in north Pakistan.
- Kohistan – several regions of this name exist
- Kurdistan – Kurdish region
- Lazistan – Persian name of "Lazica", an ancient Georgian monarchy in western Georgia.
- Lezgistan – ethnolinguistic region in southern Dagestan and northern Azerbaijan
- Moghulistan (Mughalistan) – a historical geographic unit in Central Asia that included parts of modern-day Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Xinjiang
- North Waziristan – northern part of Waziristan region in Pakistan
- Pashtunistan – the area of Afghanistan and North-Western Pakistan historically inhabited by the Pashtun tribes
- Quhistan – a region of medieval Persia, essentially the southern part of Greater Khorasan
- Registan – historic site in Samarkand, meaning "place of sand"
- Russian Turkestan – Turkestan in the Russian Empire, later Turkestan Autonomous SSR
- Sakastan or Sistan – region of Afghanistan and Pakistan where Scythians or Sakas resided in the 2nd century BCE
- Saraikistan – a proposed region in southern Punjab province of Pakistan
- South Waziristan – southern part of Waziristan region in Pakistan
- Tabaristan – a historical region along the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea
- Talyshistan – ethnolinguistic region in the SE Caucasus and NW Iran
- Tokharistan, Tocharistan or Tukharistan, also known as Balkh or Bactria – the ancient name of a historical region in Central Asia, located between the range of the Hindu Kush and the Amu Darya (Oxus)
- Turkestan or Turkistan – ethnolinguistic region of Turkic peoples and languages, encompassing Central Asia, northwest China, parts of the Caucasus and Asia Minor
- Waziristan – a region of northwest Pakistan
- Zabulistan – a historical region in the border area of today's Iran and Afghanistan, around the city Zabol
- Jewistan – a pejorative moniker evoking the term "Bantustan", proposed by Professor Francis Boyle as a replacement name for the state of Israel.
- Khalistan or Sikhistan – a proposed country created from areas within India with a Sikh majority.
- Maronistan – a proposed name for Maronite state in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War.
- Adjikistan – a fictional central Asian country in the videogame SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault.
- Aldastan – a fictional central Asian country consisting of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, from Command & Conquer: Generals.
- Avgatiganistan – a pun of 'Afghanistan', it means 'Fried eggs' ('Avga tiganista') in Greek. Fictional country by author Eugene Trivizas.
- Azadistan – a fictional kingdom from the anime Mobile Suit Gundam 00, It means "free land".
- Bazrakhistan – a fictional former Soviet republic in the movie Act of War (1998) starring Jack Scalia.
- Belgistan – fictional Middle Eastern country in the anime Gasaraki.
- Berzerkistan – a fictional republic run by genocidal terrorist godhead and President for Life Trff Bmzklfrpz, in the comic strip Doonesbury.
- Derkaderkastan – fictional Middle Eastern country in Team America: World Police.
- Franistan – fictional country referred to in the television show I Love Lucy.
- Helmajistan – fictional area from the anime Full Metal Panic!.
- Howduyustan ("how do you stand?") – fictional country from Uncle Scrooge comic book stories.
- Iranistan – an oriental region of Hyborea (Conan the Barbarian stories).
- Istan – a fictional island state in the online role-playing game, Guild Wars Nightfall.
- Kamistan (Islamic Republic of) – a fictional Middle Eastern country featured in the television series 24.
- Kazinistan – an ideal state imagined by John Rawls in The Law of Peoples, in which there is a system of law, legal representation for all groups, and a respect for basic human rights, but not full democracy.
- Kehjistan – the state of the eastern jungles in the game Diablo II.
- Kerakhistan – a fictional Middle Eastern country featured in the tabletop miniature wargame Battlefield Evolution.
- Kreplachistan – fictional country in the movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.
- Paristan or Pari-estan – a fairyland in the folklore of Middle East, South Asia and Central Asia.
- Pokolistan – a fictional country in DC Comics.
- Richistan – a fictional country in the book Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich by Robert Frank.
- Serdaristan – fictional country in Battlefield: Bad Company.
- Takistan – a fictional country in ARMA 2: Operation Arrowhead.
- Tazbekistan – a fictional central Asian nation in the BBC television series Ambassadors.
- Trashcanistan – a fictional country mentioned by the hosts of "MXC".
- Turaqistan – fictional country in the movie "War, Inc.".
- Tyrgyzstan – fictional country in the BBC television drama The State Within.
- Zekistan – a fictional central Asian nation in the video game Full Spectrum Warrior.
- Absurdistan – sometimes used to satirically describe a country where everything goes wrong
- Bimaristan – a kind of hospital in medieval Persia and the medieval Islamic world
- Bradistan – a moniker for Bradford, England, owing to its large population of Pakistani worker migrants
- Dondestan – an album by Robert Wyatt. Sounds like ¿Dónde están? (Where are they?) in Spanish.
- Filmistan – a film-production company
- Gazimestan – name of a monument commemorating the historical Battle of Kosovo
- Hamastan – a concept of a Palestinian Islamic government with Sharia as law
- Iranistan – a pseudo-orientalist mansion built for P. T. Barnum in 1848 in Connecticut
- Islamistan – means 'Land of Islam', used in various contexts
- Londonistan – French counter-terrorism agents gave the British/English capital of London this sobriquet. Sometimes used derogatorily to refer to the large immigrant population in the city of London.
- Muristan – a complex of streets and shops in the Christian Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem
- New Yorkistan – the title of the cover art for the December 10, 2001 edition of The New Yorker magazine
- Paganistan – the pagan/neo-pagan community of Minneapolis-Saint Paul in Minnesota
- Registan – a UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Samarkand, Uzbekistan
- Sarvestan – a Sassanid-era palace in the Iranian province of Sarvestan, Iran
- Shabestan – an underground space, usually found in traditional architecture of mosques, houses, and schools in ancient Persia
- Shahrestan (several meanings)
- Skateistan – a skateboarding/educational organization based in Kabul, Afghanistan
- Johnson, Bridget. "'Stan Countries – What the Suffix 'Stan' Means". About.com. Archived from the original on 2013-03-30. Retrieved October 9, 2012.
- Harper, Douglas. "-stan". Online Etymology Dictionary. Archived from the original on 2014-01-01. Retrieved January 18, 2013.
- Jewistan: Finally Recognizing Israel as the Jewish State, Abstract, Connections@Illinois (University of Illinois)
- Jewistan: Finally Recognizing Israel as the Jewish State by Francis A Boyle, Atlantic Free Press, October 21, 2010.
- 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.
- 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.' 'Paganistan' is the nickname, and now proud moniker of self-identification, of the uniquely innovative, eclectic, and feisty Neopagan community of the Twin Cities Metro area of Minnesota."
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