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12

One additional thing to add to the excellent answers already given is that -stan is actually used productively in Persian for other words as well, such as bimarestan (بیمارستان) for “hospital” — literally “land of patients”. Or gulestan (گلستات) for “garden” — literally “land of the flowers.” So no matter what the historical record shows about the first ...


43

The Persian suffix stān is much older than any of the “stans” in modern Central Asia. It goes back to proto-Indo-Iranian as represented by Sanskrit sthāna- “standing place” (already in the Rigveda) and Old Persian stāna- with the same meaning. In early New Persian (texts from the 10th century AD onwards) we have names like Turkistān “land of the Turks”, ...


24

No, the terms are not all contemporary. Afghanistan is recorded in the 13th century; some of the others appear to date to the 20th century. Pakistan is 1933, the others probably date from either the Soviet federation or independence in 1991 Also note hat tip to @jamesqf that Balochistan is a -stan predating Pakistan, therefore not all the -stans appeared ...


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