Query: "-stan" in "Afghanistan"

Tom Dalzell slangman at PACBELL.NET
Tue Nov 13 02:04:37 UTC 2001

>From http://www.slam33.freeserve.co.uk/pakistan.htm -

The originator of the name Pakistan, Rahmat Ali, says:

" 'Pakistan' is both a Persian and an Urdu word. It is composed of letters
taken from the names of all our homelands- 'Indian' and 'Asian'. That is,
Panjab, Afghania (North West Frontier Province), Kashmir, Iran, Sindh
(including Kach and Kathiawar), Tukharistan, Afghanistan, and Balochistan. It
means the land of the Paks- the spiritually pure and clean. It symbolizes the
religious beliefs and ethnical
stocks of our people; and it stands for all the territorial constituents of
our original Fatherland. It has no other origin and no other meaning; and it
does not admit of any other interpretation. Those writers who have tried to
interpret it in more than way have done so either through the love of
casuistry, or through ignorance of its inspiration, origin and composition"
(C.R. Ali, 1947, "Pakistan: the Fatherland of the Pak Nation", Cambridge).

Gerald Cohen wrote:

>     I've recently been asked about the meaning of "-stan" in "Afghanistan,"
> "Kazakhstan," "Pakistan," etc. I assume it means "state, country" but
> would be grateful for confirmation of this. And exactly in what
> language(s) would it have this meaning?
>     Would someone know?
> ---Gerald Cohen

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