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From a Turkic language, combining Old Turkic 𐱅𐰇𐰼𐰜 (t²ür²k̥, Turk) with a suffix *-man sometimes found in tribal and place names, cf. Old Anatolian Turkish قرانان (qarâmân, Turkic dynasty in southern Anatolia) from قرا (qarâ, black), or Old Turkic 𐰚𐰇𐰏𐰢𐰤 (kügmn², Sayan Mountains) from 𐰚𐰇𐰚 (kük, white).

The traditional etymology, dating as far back as Mahmud Kashgari (eleventh century), says that the second element is from Persian مانند (mânand, like, resembling). The thirteenth-century world historian Rashid al-Din says that it was used for those Turks who had intermarried with Persians and lost their East Asian facial features: narrow eyes, broad noses, etc. Since they now resembled Persians in appearance, despite still retaining their Turkish customs, the Persians called them “Turk-like” rather than truly “Turk”. This etymology was accepted until the twentieth century, but is now seen as unlikely.



Classical reading? turkman, turkaman
Dari reading? turkman, turkaman
Iranian reading? torkman, torkaman
Tajik reading? turkman, turkaman


Dari ترکمن
Iranian Persian
Tajik туркман, туркаман

ترکمن (torkman, torkaman) (plural ترکمن‌ها (torkman-hâ, torkaman-hâ))

  1. Turkmen (member of one of various Turkic ethnic groups in Central and West Asia)
    1. Turkmens of Turkmenistan and nearby regions of Iran
    2. Turkmens of Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon
    3. (historical) Turkoman, generic term for Oghuz Turks in Central and West Asia

Derived terms