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  Countries whose name in English has the suffix -stan
  Other countries that have first-level divisions whose names in English have the suffix -stan.
  Countries whose name in their native language has the suffix -stan.

-stan (Persian: ـستان; stân,[n 1] estân or istân[n 2]) has the meaning of "a place abounding in"[1] or "a place where anything abounds" as a suffix.[2] It originated in the Persian language, but is widely used by other Iranic languages as well as the Shaz Turkic languages (excluding Siberian Turkic) and other languages historically influenced by Persian. The suffix appears in the names of many regions throughout Iran, Afghanistan, Central Asia, South Asia, and parts of the Caucasus and Russia.[3]

Places with the -stan suffix were part of Iran in the past. The derived suffix -standar (or ostandar) was used for administrative titles of -stan governors under the Sasanian Empire in Persia.[4][5]

Etymology and cognates[edit]

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",[6] Hindustân (هندوستان) "land of the Hindus".[7]

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-.[8]


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.[9][10] In addition, the native name of Armenia is Hayastan, hay being the self-designation of Armenians.

Country names in various languages[edit]

English Name Persian name Turkish name Armenian name Azerbaijani name Kazakh name Turkmen name Tatar name Uyghur name Bashkir name Hindi name Urdu name
 Armenia Armanestânارمنستان Ermenistan HayastanՀայաստան Ermənistan Ermenistan ÄrmänstanӘрмәнстан ÄrmänstanӘрмәнстан Armanistānअर्मनिस्तान Armanistānارمنستان
 Bulgaria Bulgharestânبلغارستان Bulgaristan Bolqarıstan BolğarstanБолгарстан Bulgharistânبلغارستان
 China ČʿinastanՉինաստան
 Croatia Hırvatistan -
(alternative XırwatstanХырватстан)
 England Engelestânانگلستان Aangladesh - आंग्लदेश-
(alternative Iṅglistānइंगलिस्तान)
 Ethiopian Empire

( Ethiopia and  Eritrea)

(formerly Habeşistan)
(formerly HabešstanՀաբեշստան)
(formerly Həbəşistan)
(formerly XäbäşstanХәбәшстан
(formerly Hebeshistanھەبەشىستان)
 Georgia Gorjestânگرجستان Gürcistan VrastanՎրաստան Gürcüstan GörcistanГөрҗистан Gurjistānगुर्जिस्तान Gurjistānگرجستان
 Greece Yunanistan HunastanՀունաստան Yunanıstan YunanstanЮнанстан
 Hungary Majarestanمجارستان Macaristan Macarıstan MajarstanМажарстан Majarystan MacarstanМаҗарстан Majāristānमजारिस्तान Majāristānمجارستان
 India Hindustanهندوستان Hindistan HndkastanՀնդկաստան Hindistan ÜndıstanҮндістан Hindistan HindstanҺиндстан Hindustanھىندىستان‎ HindostanҺиндостан Hindustānहिंदुस्तान Hindustānہِنْدُوْسْتان
 Mongolia Mogholestanمغولستان Moğolistan Monqolustan MoñğolstanМоңголстан
 Poland Lahestânلهستان -
(formerly Lehistan)
LehastanԼեհաստան LäxstanЛәхстан Lehistanلەھىستان‎ Lahistānलहिस्तान Lahistānلہستان‎
 Russia ṘusastanՌուսաստան
 Saudi Arabia Arabestân-e Sa'udiعربستان سعودی Suudi Arabistan Səudiyyə Ərəbistanı Saud Arabystany Sögüd GäräbstanıСогуд Гарәбстаны Se'udi Erebistanسەئۇدى ئەرەبىستان‎ Säğüd ĞäräbstanïСәғүд Ғәрәбстаны
 Serbia Serbestânصربستان Sırbistan -
(alternative SırbstanСырбстан)

Administrative divisions[edit]

The following table lists the subnational entities of different countries that end with -stan.

Country & first level of division Country subdivision name
Provinces of Afghanistan Nuristan
Districts of Azerbaijan Gobustan
States of India Rajasthan[n 3]
Provinces of Iran Golestan, Khuzestan, Kurdistan, Lorestan, Sistan, Baluchestan
Governorates of Iraq Kurdistan Region
Regions of Kazakhstan Turkistan
Provinces of Pakistan Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan
Republics of Russia Bashkortostan, Dagestan, Tatarstan
Regions of Uzbekistan Karakalpakstan

Administrative subdivisions[edit]

The following list shows some examples of some second-level, third-level, and fourth-level subdivisions inside different countries that have their names ending in a -stan-like suffix.

In Afghanistan[edit]

  1. ^ Various places share this name.

In Armenia[edit]

In Iran[edit]

  1. ^ a b 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.

Dehestan is the name of an administrative division in Iran.

In Pakistan[edit]

In Tajikistan[edit]

In other countries[edit]


Proposed names[edit]



  • Absurdistan – sometimes used to satirically describe a country where everything goes wrong
  • Angyalistan – a micronation that claims garbage patches in international waters
  • Autistan – the "metaphorical country" of the autistic people
  • Bailoutistan (or Bailoutistan 2.0) - sarcastic term for Greece following the European Union bail out packages, coined by Yanis Varoufakis in his book 'Adults in the Room: My Battle With the European and American Deep Establishment'
  • 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[16]
  • 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[17]); intended pun with Kazakhstan (Cazaquistão in Portuguese[18])
  • Dalitstan.org – a Dalit advocacy website active until mid-2006,[19] one of 18 websites that were blocked by the Indian government to check for hate messages following the 2006 Mumbai train bombings.[20]
  • 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 the large 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.
  • Orbánistan – a derogatory term for Hungary under the rule of Viktor Orbán[21]
  • Paganistan – the pagan/neo-pagan community of Minneapolis-Saint Paul in Minnesota[22]
  • Quebecistan – a term coined by Barbara Kay in 2006 in reference to Quebec, Canada.
  • Sarvestan – a Sasanian-era palace in the Iranian province of Sarvestan
  • Shabestan – an underground space, usually found in the traditional architecture of mosques, houses, and schools in ancient Persia
  • Shahrestan (several meanings)
  • Skateistan – a skateboarding/educational organization based in Kabul, Afghanistan
  • Talibanistan – a name for the government of Afghanistan under the Taliban
  • Zaqistan – a micronation currently in Nevada

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Applies after a vowel.
  2. ^ Applies after a consonant.
  3. ^ The suffix -sthan is through Indic, not Iranic.


  1. ^ Hayyim, Sulayman (1892), "ستان", New Persian-English Dictionary, vol. 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
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Ford, Matt (7 February 2014). "Kazakhstan's President Is Tired of His Country's Name Ending in 'Stan'". The Atlantic. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  4. ^ Daryaee 2014, p. 126.
  5. ^ Ghereghlou 2018.
  6. ^ Moshiri, Leila (1988). "English-Persian Glossary". Colloquial Persian. Routledge. p. 150. ISBN 0-415-00886-7.
  7. ^ Kapur, Anu (2019). Mapping Place Names of India. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-429-61421-7.
  8. ^ Macdonell, A. A. (1929). A practical Sanskrit dictionary with transliteration, accentuation, and etymological analysis throughout. London: Oxford University Press. p. 365. Archived from the original on 16 October 2022. Retrieved 1 September 2022.
  9. ^ Google Ngram Uzbekia, Kirgizia, Turkmenia, Tajikia
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Turmoil in the North East: The demand for Bangalistan". SabrangIndia. 28 January 2020. Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  12. ^ "Lebanese solution " 15 Jul 1978 " The Spectator Archive". The Spectator Archive.
  13. ^ "Lojbnaistan". lojban wiki. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2017.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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. soviet%20canuckistan%20arab%20canadians.
  17. ^ "Cavaquistão continua irredutível e a votar laranja ("Cavaquistan remains unyielding and voting orange") (in Portuguese)". Visão. 6 October 2019.
  18. ^ Carla Fernandes (2016). Multimodality and Performance. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4438-9465-4.
  19. ^ Dibyesh Anand (15 October 2011). Hindu Nationalism in India and the Politics of Fear. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 34–. ISBN 978-0-230-36263-5.
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ "The Ruler of Orbánistan". Aspen Institute Central Europe (in Czech). Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  22. ^ 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.'


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]