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Khan is a title of great respect given to rulers and officials in Afghanistan, Persia (Iran), and Turkey. Although Khan as title or surname is generally correctly associated with Pashtun people yet historically Khan was used by Turks, Persians, and Pashtun people.

The Meaning of Khan

The meaning of Khan in simple English is lord, prince, or leader. Although the meaning of Khan indicates someone in high official rank or authority yet the noun or title of Khan is usually associated with someone of great noble rank in the society. Other words that perfectly describe and translate Khan in English are chief or ruler.

Historically, Khan was used as a surname or title by people with great warriors. Khan as a surname or title was given to those people who had shown great courage and bravery in wars or they have simply own then minds and hearts of people by positively contributing to society for a good cause.

Referring to someone like Mr. Khan or Miss. Khan or Mrs. Khan usually means that their last name or family name is Khan or they belong to those tribes associated with Khans. In Pakistan and India, the wold Khan Saab or Khan Bhai is Also very commonly used when addressing or calling a Pashtun person. The meaning of Khan Saab or Khan Bhai in English is Mr. Khan and Khan Brother respectively.

Khan in Pashtun Society

In addition to the use of khan as surname or family name, in the Pashtun society Khan is widely used as a polite or respectful way of addressing men or women, especially people in a position of authority or people of great moral values.

The word or noun Khan is also often used to address someone that you want to show love and affection for. For example, Pashtun parents or elders address their children with the name “Khan” as a reward or when expressing their love for them regardless of their surnames.

Fake Khan

Fake Khan is a person who officially or unofficially claims to have his surname or family name as Khan but in reality, he or she has no association with Pashtuns, Persian (Iranian), and Turk tribes. There is a great number of Fake Khans in Pakistan, India, and other regions who actually are not Pashtuns but call themselves Khans.

These Fake Khans either want to hide their ethnic identity or they are simply under the huge influence of Khan’s bravery, attractive physical appearance, glorious history, and therefore falsely associate themselves with Khans.

The fake khan trend is found both in men and women in Pakistan. Non-Pashtun means and women particularly in show business put the name of Khan at the end of their names as it sounds very smart, trendy, and attractive. The real Khans (Pashtun) are famous for their beauty and strong historical roots therefore by masquerading themselves, the fakes khans aim to get attraction in this regard.

Example of Famous Khan


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