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.