List of geographic names of Iranian origin

List of geographic names of Iranian origin

This is a list of geographic names of Iranian origin. This list also includes geographic names which are in part derived from Iranic languages.



;Bandar Beyla:;Bandar Qaasim:


;Arran;Kura River: The name Kura is taken from the name Kurosh which is the Persian pronunciation of the name of the Persian king Cyrus the Great.


;Armenia: :The exonym "Armenia" is attested in the Old Persian Behistun inscription as "Armina", and introduced into Greek by Herodotus as _gr. Ἀρμένιοι "Armenians", who in his review of the troops opposing the Greeks wrote that "the Armenians were armed like the Phrygians, being Phrygian colonists." [Herodotus, History, 7.73: _gr. Ἀρμένιοι δὲ κατά περ Φρύγες ἐσεσάχατο, ἐόντες Φρυγῶν ἄποικοι.] . "Armenia" _gr. Ἀρμενία as the name for the country of the Armenians is in use since Strabo. The ultimate origin of the exonym is also uncertain, but it may well be connected to an Assyrian toponym " _ak. Armanî" or " _ak. Armânum", first recorded by Naram-Sin in the 23rd century BC as the name of an Akkadian colony in the Diyarbakır region.

Cities and regions

;Hrazdan: The name Hrazdan is derived from the Middle-Persian name "Frazdan". "Farzdan" is connected to the Zoroastrian mythology.


;Azerbaijan: :The Republic of Azerbaijan gets its name from the Iranian region known as Azerbaijan. The name Azerbaijan is thought to be derived from "Atropates", [cite web|url=|title=Azerbaijan|publisher=Encyclopædia Iranica|Schippman, K.|accessdate=2007-05-05] the Satrap (governor) of Media in the Achaemenid empire, who ruled a region found in modern Iranian Azarbaijan called "Atropatene". "Historical Dictionary of Azerbaijan" by Tadeusz Swietochowski and Brian C. Collins, ISBN 0-8108-3550-9 (retrieved 07 June 2006).] Atropates name is believed to be derived from the Old Persian roots meaning "protected by fire." "The Azerbaijani Turks: Power and Identity under Russian Rule" by Audrey Altstadt, ISBN 0-8179-9182-4 (retrieved 07 June 2006).] The name is also mentioned in the Avestan Frawardin Yasht: "âterepâtahe ashaonô fravashîm ýazamaide" which translates literally to: We worship the Fravashi of the holy Atare-pata. [ [ FRAWARDIN YASHT ("Hymn to the Guardian Angels").] Translated by James Darmesteter (From Sacred Books of the East, American Edition, 1898.).]

Cities and regions

;Astara and Astara (rayon): There are two main theories for the etymology of the city's name. One is that it is derived from the Persian or Talysh word آهسته رو (Aste-ro or Aheste-ro), meaning "the place where the travel gets slower" (given the marshlands that surrounded the region before). [] .The oldest theory is comes from Vedic songs and writings which explains Astara as a place where the rays of lights shine from behind to lit the pathways ahead.;Babek (rayon): Named after the Iranian hero Babak Khorramdin;Baku: The name Baku is widely believed to be derived from the old Persian names of the city "Bad-kube", meaning "city where the wind blows", or "Baghkuh", meaning "Mount of God". Arabic sources refer the city as "Baku", "Bakukh", "Bakuya", and "Bakuye", all of which seem to come from the original Persian name. Other theories suggest that the name dates back to Zoroastrianism and comes from the word "Baga" meaning "the god" in Avestan and Sanskrit. [ [ On the Etymology of the Name “Baku”] Retrieved on July 8, 2006] [ [ Baku (Baki)] Retrieved on July 8, 2006] ;Beylagan: The 5th century Armenian historian Moses of Chorene states that this name is from the Persian name Payda-gharan (پایداقاران), that its meaning is not clear, but that "-an" in the last section means "place of" in Persian. ;Bilasuvar: It has been said that the ancient name was Pileh-Swar that in Persian means "the elephant-riding person " , named after one of the Buyid dynasty amirs.;Ganja: The name comes from the New Persian ganj (گنج: "treasure, treasury"), which itself is from the Middle Persian Ganjak of the same meaning.;Jalilabad: Formed with the Persian suffix "-abad", meaning "place".;Karabakh: The word "Karabakh" originated from Turkic and Persian, literally meaning "black garden." [ BBC News — Regions and territories: Nagorno-Karabakh] ] hy icon Ouloubabyan, B. Ղարաբաղ ("Karabagh") Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia, vol. vii, Yerevan, Armenian SSR, 1981 p. 26] The name first appears in Georgian and Persian sources in the 13th and 14th centuries. The term Nagorno-Karabakh is a derivative that refers to the mountainous part of Karabakh (the Russian word "нагорный" - "nagorny" means "mountainous", "upland").;Nakhchivan and Nakhchivan City: According to some, the name Nakhchivan derived from the Persian "Nagsh-e-Jahan" ("Image of the World"), a reference to the beauty of the area. [ru icon [ Hamdollah Mostowfi. Nozhat al-Gholub] ] [ru icon [ Evliya Chelebi. Seyahatname] ] ;Qobustan: Formed with the Persian suffix "-istan".;Sabirabad: Formed with the Persian suffix "-abad", meaning "place".;Shaki and Shaki (rayon): According to the Azerbaijan Development Gateway, the name of the town goes back to the ethnonym of the Sakas, who reached the territory of modern day Azerbaijan in the 7th century B.C. and populated it for several centuries. In the medieval sources, the name of the town is found in various forms such as Sheke, Sheki, Shaka, Shakki, Shakne, Shaken, Shakkan, Shekin.;Shirvan: Literally meaning "Land of the Lions" in Persian.;Siazan: The word "Siyazan" derives from the Tat words "siya" ("black") and "zan" ("woman").;Zardab: Zardab is a Persian word (زردآب "Zardab") meaning "yellow water".

Geographic features

;Absheron: The name "Abşeron" is Persian and comes from the Persian word "Abshuran" (آبشوران) meaning "The place of the Salty Waters".


;Georgia: It is conjectured that the word "Georgia" derived from the Ancient Persian word "Gurj" or "Gorg", meaning "Gorgeous" in Proto-Indo-European languages . [cite book
last = Curtis
first =Glenn E.
title = Georgia a Country Study
year = 2004
publisher = Kessinger Publishing
isbn = 1419121650
pages = 89
] [cite book
last = Nasmyth
first = Peter
title = Georgia: In the Mountains of Poetry
year = 2001
publisher = Routledge
isbn = 0700713956
pages = 9
] Some also believed that Georgia was so named by the Greeks on account of its agricultural resources, since "Georgia" (γεωργία) means "farming" in Greek. However, the true origin of the name Georgia is still disputed and unknown. [cite book
last = Wilson
first = Nigel Guy
title = Encyclopedia of Ancient Greece
year = 2006
publisher = Routledge
isbn = 0415973341
pages = 320

Central Asia

;Turkistan: Formed with the Persian suffix "-istan", literally meaning "land of the Turks" in Persian.


;Afghanistan::Formed with the Persian suffix "-istan", it literally means "Land of Afghans" in Persian.


Formed with the Persian suffix -istan, literally meaning "land of the Kazakh or Ghazagh" in Persian.



;Tajikistan: Tajik combined with Persian suffix "-stan"."stan", OED] Literally meaning "Land of Tajiks" in Persian.

Cities and regions

;Dushanbe: The name is derived from the Persian word for "Monday" (du two + shamba or shanbe day, lit. "day two") and refers to the fact that it was a popular Monday marketplace.;Garm: The name is derived from the Gharmi people, and Iranic people.;Kofarnihon: The name comes from the Persian کافر نهان, literally meaning "place where unbelievers hide".;Murghab: Derived from the Persian word مرغاب meaning "river of the birds".;Panjakent: Persian پنج‌کند which means Five Cities. Its older name was Panj-deh (Five Villages). Kent or Kand is Iranian city or fortress. like Samarkand and Tashkand.;Qurghonteppa: Derived from the Persian word گرگان تپه meaning "Hills of Gurgan".


;Ashgabat: The name is believed to derive from the Persian Ashk-ābād meaning "the City of Arsaces." Another explanation is that the name comes from the Arabic عشق ("ishq", meaning "love") and the Persian آباد (ābād meaning "cultivated place" or "city"), and hence loosely translates as "the city of love."


;Uzbekistan : Uzbek combined with Persian suffix "-stan". Literally meaning "Land of Uzbeks" in Persian.

Cities and regions

;Afrasiab: Derived from the Persian "afrāsiyāb" (Persian: افراسياب; Avestan: Fraŋrasyan; Pahlavi: Frāsiyāv, Frāsiyāk and Freangrāsyāk), the name of the mythical King and hero of Turan and an archenemy of Iran.;Bukhara: Encyclopedia Iranica mentions that the name Bukhara is possibly derived from the Soghdian "βuxārak". [Encyclopedia Iranica, Columbia University, p.512] Another possible source of the name Bukhara may be from "a Turkic (Uighur) transfer of the Sanskrit word 'Vihara'" [Shamsiddin Kamoliddin, [ 'On the origin of the place-name Buxārā'] , "Transoxiana" 12 (August 2007).] (monastery), and may be linked to the pre-Islamic presence of Buddhism (especially strong at the time of the Kushan empire) originating from the Indian sub-continent, and to the presence of some Turkish rulers in the 6th Century.;Guliston: Formed with the Persian suffix "-istan".;Jizzakh: The name "Jizzahk", derives from the Sogdian word for "small fort" and the present city is built of the site of the Sogdian town of Usrushana.;Karakalpakstan: Formed with the Persian suffix "-istan".;Namangan and Namangan Province: Derived from the local salt mines (in Persian: نمک‌کان "namak kan").;Panjakent: In Sogdian, the native local Iranian language in pre-Islamic times, "kanθ" means town, which is derived from Old Persian "kanda", meaning a town or a region. In this case, Khanda has been manipulated into "kent".;Samarkand: The name Samarkand is derived from the Sanskrit term "Samara Khanda" which literally means "region of war". [] In Greek it was known as "Marakanda". In Sogdian, the native local Iranian language in pre-Islamic times, "kanθ" means town, which is derived from Old Persian "kanda", meaning a town or a region.;Shahrisabz: Its name (شهر سبز/Šahr e Sabz) means "green city" in Persian.;Tashkent: In medieval times the town and the province were known as "Chach". Later, the town came to be known as Chachkand/Chashkand, meaning "Chach City." (Kand, qand, kent, kad, kath, kud--all meaning a city, are derived from the Old Iranian, kanda, meaning a town or a city.;Yarkand: In Sogdian, the native local Iranian language in pre-Islamic times, "kanθ" means town, which is derived from Old Persian "kanda", meaning a town or a region.;Zeravshan: From the Persian word زر افشان, meaning "the sprayer of Gold".

Geographical features

;Zeravshan mountains: From the Persian word زر افشان, meaning "the sprayer of Gold".

East Asia

;China: The English name of China comes from the Qin Dynasty, possibly in a Sanskrit form; the pronunciation "China" came to the western languages through the Persian word چین "Chin".;Korea (both north and south): :After the Goryeo Dynasty, the first Korean dynasty visited by Persian merchants who referred to Koryŏ (Goryeo) as Korea.


;Bandar Seri Begawan:


;Banda Aceh: The first part of its name comes from the Persian "bandar" (بندر) and means "port" or "haven". It is also proudly referred to as the "port to Meccah", as Islam first arrived in Aceh and spread throughout Southeast Asia.;Bandar Lampung: Bandar (in Persian بندر) is a Persian word meaning "port" and "haven". Etymologically it combines Persian بند "Band" (enclosed) and در "dar" (gate, door) meaning "an enclosed area" (i.e. protected from the sea). The word travelled with Persian sailors over a wide area leading to several coastal places in Iran and elsewhere having Bandar (haven) as part of their names.


;Bandar Sri Damansara:;Bandar Seri Putra:;Bandar Baru Bangi:;Bandar Samariang:


;Danube River: Comes from the ancient "Danuvius", Iranian *dānu, meaning "river" or "stream".

Russian Federation

;Bashkortostan: Formed with the Persian suffix "-istan".;Dagestan: Formed with the Persian suffix "-istan".;Sakha Republic: Named derived from the SakaFact|date=February 2008, and Iranian people. Saka is the Persian term for Scythian.;Tatarstan: Formed with the Persian suffix "-istan", literally meaning "Land of the Tartars" in Persian.


;Derbent: The name is a Persian word (دربند "Darband") meaning "closed gates", which came into use in the end of the 5th or the beginning of the 6th century AD, when the city was refounded by Kavadh I of the Sassanid dynasty of Persia.;Turan (town)

Middle East

;Persian Gulf: Derived from Persia.;Strait of Hormuz: There are two opinions about the etymology of this name. In popular belief the derivation is from the name of the Persian God هرمز "Hormoz" (a variant of "Ahura Mazda"). Compare the Pillars of Hercules at the entrance to the Mediterranean. Scholars, historians and linguists derive the name "Ormuz" from the local Persian word هورمغ "Hur-mogh" meaning datepalm. In the local dialects of Hurmoz and Minab this strait is still called Hurmogh and has the aforemintioned meaning.;Arvandrud: The Iranic name of the Shatt al-Arab, from the Persian اروندرود, literally Arvand River.


;Iran: see main|Etymology of Iran


;Abadan: An Iranian etymology of the name (from the Persian word "ab" (water) and the root "pā" (guard, watch) thus "coastguard station"), was suggested by "B. Farahvashi". Supporting evidence is the name "Apphana" which Ptolemy applies to an island off the mouth of the Tigris. The Persian version of the name had begun to come into general use before it was adopted by official decree in 1935. [ Abadan] , in Encyclopaedia Iranica, pp.51-52] The geographer Marcian also renders the name "Apphadana" in his writings. ["Geographia Marciani Heracleotae", ed. David Hoeschel, Augsburg 1600 p48] ;Ahvaz: The word "Ahvaz" is a Persianized form of the local Arabic "Ahwaz", which in turn itself is derived from a Persian word. The Dehkhoda Dictionary specifically defines the Arabic "Suq-al-Ahwaz" as "Market of the Khuzis", where "Suq" is Arabic for market, and "Ahwaz" is a plural (اسم جمع) of the form "af'āl" (افعال) of the word "Huz", or more precisely, the Arabic root "ha wa za" (ه و ز), which itself comes from the Persian "Huz", from Achaemenid inscriptions from where the term first appears. Thus, "Ahwaz" in Arabic means "the Huz-i people", which refers to the non-Arabic original habitants of Khūzestān.;Aligoodarz: The city of Aligoodarz was once called Al-e Goodarz meaning "sons or tribe of Goodarz", a mythical Iranian hero from the Persian national epic Shahnameh.;Amol: Many scholars believe that the city's name is rooted in the word "Amard" ("Amui" in Pahlavi).;Ardabil: The name Ardabil comes from the Zoroastrian name of "Artavil" (mentioned in Avesta) which means a holy place. [ [ Iranian Provinces: Ardabil ] ] ;Ardakan: The word "Ardakan" in Persian means "holy place" or "clean place" (Modern Persian: "ardak+an" / Middle Persian: "artak+an");Astara: The city's name is derived from the Persian word آهسته‌رو (Aste-ro or Aheste-ro), meaning "the place where the travel gets slower" (given the marshlands that surrounded the region before). [] .


;Farsi Island: Arabized name derived from Parsi (Persian).;Greater and Lesser Tunbs: The name of the islands comes from Persian tunb 'hilly place'.;Hendurabi: Derived from the Persian word اندرآبی Andar-abi meaning "Inside the waters".;Hormuz Island: Name of Shah Hormuz;Shetor Island: Shetor or Shotor (Persian: شتور) in Persian means Camel.

Geographical features



;Bandar Khayran:;Bandar Jissah:


;Diyarbakir and Diyarbakır Province: The modern name 'Diyarbakır' originates from an Ottoman Turkish Language name, which in turn was based on the Arabo-Persian name "Diyâr-i Bekr" ('Land of the Bekr'). Composed of the word "Diyar' (ديار), Arabic for "region" or "district" [ [ A Comprehensive Persian-English Dictionary ] ] , followed by the Persian ezafe "-i" and Bekr (بکر), it probably denoted the landholdings of the Arab Bekr tribe that settled in the area following the Islamic conquest in the 7th Century.

North America

;Persia, Iowa, Persia, New York, and Persia, California: Persia derives from the ancient Greek name for Iran's maritime province, called "Fars" in the modern Persian language, "Pars" in Middle Persian and "Pārsa" ( _pe.

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