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: -stan update: in a roundabout way Sean Neakums pointed out that there are actually seven -stans. Brian D. Hicks pointed out that ending the name of a hypothetical country in -stan makes it sound poor and/or ex-Soviet.

-stan is incredibly popular when you look not at extant countries but at countries which people would like to see formed, especially countries which, if formed, would be split out from India. Googling shows me Khalistan, Mughalstan, Dravidistan, Marathastan, and Sakastan. India itself used to be called Hindustan[0]. But there's also Kurdistan, which some would like to see formed in northern Iraq. The great Footnotes to History site mentions diverse ex-stans and also-stans, like Bantustan, Tunganestan, Baluchistan, and Dagestan. So the new question: what language or language family is "-stan"? I think it's become a cross-language marker that says: "This is a country and not an amusement park."

[0] Sumana says that right-wing reactionaries still call it Hindustan, which has the weird effect of making it look like the right-wing reactionaries buy into every single Indian seccession movement (maybe they do!).

PS: Possible best name for a country ever: The Great Republic of Rough and Ready


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