Why So Many Countries End With ‘-Stan’?

Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Central Asia is full of countries whose names end in ‘-stan’. But have you ever wondered why?

Well, because every loyal I’m A Useless Info Junkie reader should know the answer to this kind of questions, here it is.

‘Stan’ is the Persian word for country which is derived from the word ‘sta’ meaning to stand. Stan is literally a place where specific people live. Turkmens stand in Turkmenistan (the land of the Turkmens), Kyrgyz stand in Kyrgyzstan, Afghans stand in Afghanistan and so on and so forth. If you think about it, it’s basically the same principle as in Europe: (the article continues after the ad)

England, Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Netherlands, Deutschland, Netherlands, Finland, Switzerland, Poland – the land of the English, the land of the Scottish, the land of the Irish etc. 

BONUS FACT: In 2014, Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev said that he was thinking to drop the ‘stan’ from his country’s name in order to distinguish their booming oil-rich nation from the rest of Central Asia, where the other so-called stans are mostly mired in poverty.

If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: This Is The Difference Between ‘Great Britain’ And ‘United Kingdom’

Photos: Lee Abbamonte
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie

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