The suffix -stan[n 1] has the meaning of "a place abounding in" or "a place where anything abounds" in the Persian language. 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 (ریگستان) "place of sand, desert", golestân (گلستان) "place of flowers, garden", gurestân (گورستان) "graveyard, cemetery", Hindustân (هندوستان) "land of the Hindu People" (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 the English word state, and 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-.
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.
Country names in various languages
|English Name||Persian name||Turkish name||Armenian name|
|Armenia||Armanestân – ارمنستان||Ermenistan||Hayastan – Հայաստան|
|Bulgaria||Bulgharestân – بلغارستان||Bulgaristan||N/A|
|China||Chin – چین||N/A||Čʿinastan – Չինաստան|
|England||Engelestân – انگلستان||N/A||N/A|
|Georgia||Gorjestân – گرجستان||Gürcistan||Vrastan – Վրաստան|
|Greece||Yunan – یونان||Yunanistan||Hunastan – Հունաստան|
|Hungary||Majarestan – مجارستان||Macaristan||N/A|
|India||Hindustan – هندوستان||Hindistan||Hndkastan – Հնդկաստան|
|Mongolia||Mogholestan – مغولستان||Moğolistan||N/A|
|Poland||Lahestân – لهستان||-
|Lehastan – Լեհաստան|
|Saudi Arabia||Arabestân-e Sa'udi – عربستان سعودی||Suudi Arabistan||N/A|
|Serbia||Serbestân – صربستان||Sırbistan||N/A|
- In Iran: Golestan Province, Khuzestan Province, Kurdistan Province, Lorestan Province, Sistan and Baluchestan Province
- In Pakistan: Balochistan Province, Gilgit-Baltistan
- In Russia: Bashkortostan, Dagestan, Tatarstan
- In Azerbajian: Gobustan District, capital Gobustan
- In Kazakhstan: Turkistan Region, capital Turkistan
- In Uzbekistan: Karakalpakstan
- In Iraq: Kurdistan Region
- In Afghanistan: Nuristan Province
- Various places share this name.
In other countries
- Arabistan – the name of the Arabian Peninsula and other meanings
- Arbayistan – a Sasanian Satrap in Late Antiquity
- Asoristan – the province of Babylonia under the Sassanid Empire
- Azadistan – a short-lived state in the Iranian province of Azarbaijan under Mohammad Khiabani
- Balawaristan – a revived historical name of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan
- Balochistan/Baluchistan – a region in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan
- Baltistan – a northern region in Pakistan
- Bantustan – an Apartheid-era South African and South West African black 'homeland' (the term coined by analogy)
- Cholistan Desert – a desert region in Punjab, Pakistan
- Dardistan – a region in northern Pakistan of Dardu speakers
- Dihistan – a Sasanian province
- East Pakistan – the historic name for pre-independence Bangladesh
- East Turkestan or Uyghuristan – a region dominated by Uyghurs, located in northwest China
- Frangistan – a historical term used (by Muslims and Persians in particular) to refer to Western or Christian Europe
- Gharchistan – a medieval region in Afghanistan
- Hazaristan – the Hazarajat, homeland of the Hazaras in central Afghanistan
- Hindustan – Persian name for India, broadly the Indian subcontinent.
- Kabulistan – a historical name of the territory centered around present-day Kabul Province of Afghanistan
- Kadagistan – Kadagistan was the name of an eastern Sasanian province in the region of Tokharistan (in what is now north-eastern 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. See also Iranian Kurdistan, Iraqi Kurdistan, Syrian Kurdistan, and Turkish Kurdistan.
- Lazistan – a historical and cultural region of the Caucasus and Anatolia, traditionally inhabited by the Laz people.
- Lezgistan – ethnolinguistic region in southern Dagestan and northern Azerbaijan
- Moghulistan (Mughalistan) – a historical area 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
- Qabailistan – a region in western Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan
- 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 – a historical and geographical region in present-day eastern Iran (Sistan and Baluchestan Province) and southern Afghanistan
- Saraikistan – a region in the south-western part of Punjab, Pakistan with a majority of Saraiki speakers
- South Waziristan – southern part of Waziristan region in Pakistan
- Tabaristan – a historical region along the southern coasts of the Caspian Sea
- Talyshstan – 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)
- Turgistan or Turestan – a Sasanian province
- Turkestan or Turkistan – ethnolinguistic region of Turkic peoples and languages, encompassing Central Asia, northwest China, parts of the Caucasus and Asia Minor
- Uyghurstan, China, same as East Turkestan
- Waziristan – a region of northwest Pakistan
- Zabulistan – a historical region roughly corresponding to today's Zabul Province in southern Afghanistan.
- Bangalistan – a proposed state in India.
- Khalistan or Sikhistan – a proposed country created from areas within India and Pakistan with a Sikh majority.
- Maronistan – a proposed name for Maronite state in Lebanon during the Lebanese Civil War.
- Romanistan – a proposed country for the Romani people.
- Sunnistan, Shiastan and Kurdistan – a proposed division of Syria and Iraq where Sunni-majority, Shia-majority and Kurdish-majority areas can have their own countries.
- Zazaistan – a suggested name for the region where the Zazas live.
- Adjikistan – a fictional central Asian country in the video game SOCOM U.S. Navy SEALs: Combined Assault.
- Aldastan – a fictional central Asian country consisting of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, from Command & Conquer: Generals.
- Antagonistan – a fictional country in Heavy Weapon
- Ardistan and Djinnistan – two ficitonal countries in the novel Ardistan und Djinnistan by Karl May.
- 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".
- Azmanastan (or Uzmenistan) – a fictional country and region in the film The Expendables 3.
- Bangistan – a fictional country in the Bollywood movie Bangistan (2015) starring Riteish Deshmukh and Pulkit Samrat.
- Bazrakhistan – a fictional former Soviet republic in the movie Act of War (1998) starring Jack Scalia.
- Belgistan – a 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.
- Brajikistan – a fictional country from season 2 of the teen sitcom Wingin' It.
- Cobrastan – a fake fictional country made up by a character named Jorji Costava in his passport from the game Papers, Please.
- Derkaderkastan – a fictional Middle Eastern country in Team America: World Police.
- Franistan – a fictional country referred to in the television show I Love Lucy.
- Frigistan – a fictional country in Heavy Weapon
- Hachmachistan – fictional country in Kickin' It
- Helmajistan – a fictional area from the anime Full Metal Panic!.
- Howduyustan ("how do you stand?") – a fictional country from Uncle Scrooge comic book stories.
- Irakistan – a fictional country in the game Broforce
- Iranistan – an oriental region of Hyborea (Conan the Barbarian stories).
- Jazeristan – fictional country in the movie The Misfits.
- 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.
- Kazanistan – 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.
- Kerplakistan – fictional country in Big Time Rush
- Kekistan – a fictional country created by 4chan members that has become a political meme and online movement.
- Kerakhistan – a fictional Middle Eastern country featured in the tabletop miniature wargame Battlefield Evolution.
- Kreplachistan – a fictional country in the Austin Powers film series.
- Langbortistan – a fictional country in the Danish Donald Duck cartoons
- Lojbanistan – the fictional country lojbanists imagine themselves inhabiting
- Moldovistan – a fictional island country in The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest.
- Obristan – a fictional country in Papers, Please.
- Paristan or Pari-estan – a fairyland in the folklore of Middle East, South Asia and Central Asia.
- Pokolistan – a fictional country in DC Comics.
- Serdaristan – a 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 – a fictional country in the movie War, Inc.
- Turgistan – a fictional central Asian dictatorship in 6 Underground.
- Turmezistan – a fictional country in Doctor Who.
- Tyrgyzstan – a fictional country in the BBC television drama The State Within.
- Urzikstan – a fictional country in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (2019 video game)
- Yakyakistan – a fictional northern country in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
- Youstinkistan – fictional country in The Fairly OddParents
- 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
- Ancapistan – a name (often satirically) given to an imaginary anarcho-capitalist country or society
- 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
- Canuckistan (full name being The People's Republic of Soviet Canuckistan) – epithet for Canada, used by Pat Buchanan on 31 October 2002, on his television show on MSNBC in which he denounced Canadians as anti-American and the country as a haven for terrorists. He was reacting to Canadian criticisms of US security measures regarding Arab Canadians
- Cavaquistan (Cavaquistão in Portuguese) – a name coined after the former Portuguese President and Prime-Minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva, referring to the regions of Portugal where he achieved landslide victories in the elections held in the late 1980s and early 1990s (especially in the Viseu District); intended pun with Kazakhstan (Cazaquistão in Portuguese)
- Dalitstan.org – a Dalit advocacy website active until mid-2006, one of 18 websites that were blocked by the Indian government to check for hate messages following the 2006 Mumbai train bombings.
- Dondestan – an album by Robert Wyatt. Sounds like Spanish: "¿Dónde están?", lit. 'Where are they?'.
- Extremistan and Mediocristan – used by author Nassim Nicholas Taleb to illustrate concepts of black swan theory in The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
- Filmistan – a film-production company
- Fondukistan or Fondoqestān – an early medieval settlement and Buddhist monastery in Afghanistan
- Gazimestan – name of a monument commemorating the historical Battle of Kosovo
- Hookturnistan - satirical name of Melbourne, Victoria due to big number of hook turns on city roads
- 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, especially Muslim, population in 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 10 December 2001 edition of The New Yorker magazine
- The New Yorkistan map itself included various districts ending in -stan, e.g., Bronxistan, Cold Turkeystan, Fuhgeddabouditstan, Gaymenistan, Taxistan, Youdontunderstandistan, etc.
- Paganistan – the pagan/neo-pagan community of Minneapolis-Saint Paul in Minnesota
- Quebecistan – a term coined by Barbara Kay in 2006
- Sarvestan – a Sasanian-era palace in the Iranian province of Sarvestan
- 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
- Hayyim, Sulayman (1892), "ستان", New Persian-English Dictionary, 2, Tehran: Librairie imprimerie Béroukhim, p. 30 Quote= ستان (p. V2-0030) ستان (۲) Suffix meaning 'a place abounding in'. Ex. گلستان a flower or rose-garden. Syn. زار See گازار Note. This suffix is pronounced stan or setan after a vowel, as in بوستان boostan, a garden, and هندوستان hendoostan, India; and estan after a consonant. Ex. گلستان golestan, and ترکستان torkestan. However, for poetic license, after a consonant also, it may be pronounced setan. Ex. گلستان golsetan
- Steingass, Francis Joseph, "ستان", A Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary, p. 655,
stān (after a vowel), istān (after a consonant), Place where anything abounds, as ḵẖurmāstān, A palm-grove, gulistān, A flower-garden, &c.
- Macdonell, Arthur Anthony. A practical Sanskrit dictionary with transliteration, accentuation, and etymological analysis throughout. London: Oxford University Press, 1929 – University of Chicago
- Google Ngram Uzbekia, Kirgizia, Turkmenia, Tajikia
- 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.
- "Turmoil in the North East: The demand for Bangalistan". SabrangIndia. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
- "Lebanese solution " 15 Jul 1978 " The Spectator Archive". The Spectator Archive.
- "Lojbnaistan". lojban wiki. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
- 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.
- Stuart, Keith (31 May 2019). "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare returns to tread a moral minefield". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 September 2019.
- Allan, Chantal (2009). Bomb Canada: And Other Unkind Remarks in the American Media. Athabasca University Press. pp. 84–85. ISBN 978-1-897425-49-7.
- "Cavaquistão continua irredutível e a votar laranja ("Cavaquistan remains unyielding and voting orange") (in Portuguese)". Visão. 6 October 2019.
- Carla Fernandes (2016). Multimodality and Performance. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4438-9465-4.
- Dibyesh Anand (15 October 2011). Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 34–. ISBN 978-0-230-36263-5.
- "Govt blocks 18 sites to check hate messages". The Times of India. 19 July 2006. Archived from the original on 27 May 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
- 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 10 August 2011. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
[...] the Pagan community of the Minnesota Twin Cities, otherwise known by members as 'Paganistan.'
- Maciuszak, Kinga. The Persian Suffix -(e)stān 'The Land Of' Studia Etymologica Cracoviensia 13 (2008): 119–140.