How Did Afghanistan and Kazakhstan Get Their Name and Why Do the Names End in “Stan”?

The Middle Eastern suffix stan is an ancient Farsi word for “homeland.”

Kazakhstan is from the word kazakh, meaning “free,” while Kyrgyzstan means “home of forty tribes.”

Pakistan, however, is an exception.

This modern republic took its name from the first letters of Punjab, Afghanistan, and Kashmir, with the suffix istan taken from the province of Balochistan.

The name Afghanistan can be traced to the ninth century Iranian Emperor Apakan.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

3 thoughts on “How Did Afghanistan and Kazakhstan Get Their Name and Why Do the Names End in “Stan”?”

  1. i like the way you describe the name of Pakistan. well actually ‘pak’ means ‘pure’ in Urdu and Pakistan land of purity. well its actions completely contradict with the meaning of its name. so i prefer ‘your’ definition ;)

  2. I don’t think word pak is taken from Punjab, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Balochistan. Word Pak mean holy in Muslim religion.

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