From Academic Kids

For the Star Trek character see Khan Noonien Singh. For a list of people named Khan, see List of people by name: Kh#Khan-Khay.

Khan (sometimes spelled as xan, han) is a title meaning ruler in Mongolian and Turkish.


political khans

A khan controls a khanate. Whenever appropriate, it is also translated as king.

  • For the higher, rather imperial title Khagan ("Khan of Khans") , see that article
  • The title Khan was among numerous titles used by the sultans of the Ottoman empire as well as the rulers of the Golden Horde and its descendant states. The title Khan was also used in the Seljuk Turk dynasties of the near-east to designate a head of multiple tribes, clans or nations, who was below an Atabeg in rank. Jurchen and Manchu rulers also used the title Khan (Han in Manchu); for example, Nurhaci was called Genggiyen Han. Rulers of the Gokturks, Avars and Khazars used the title Kaghan.
  • Kings of Silla, an ancient kingdom of Korea, were titled as Marib-Khan which means the head of kings. For example, King Naemul was called Naemul Marib-Khan.
  • The titles Khan and Khan Bahadur (one rank higher) were also bestowed in India by the Great mughal, and later by the British Raj, as an honor akin to the ranks of nobility, often for loyalty to the crown.

military khans

Modern family name

Often used a family name, Khan can have one of several connotations, all related to some extent to the same root as described above. The term is used almost universally as a surname, or almost a suffix by people of Pashthoon (Pathans) ethnicity living in Afghanistan, India, Bangladesh and bordering areas of Pakistan. In this way, it is often a synonym for Pashthoon/Pathan. It is also a family name for people that were bestowed the title of Khan or Khan Bahadur by the British Raj.


In Battletech universe, each Clan has two leaders named Khans, and during war, all Khans are directed by an ilKhan.

See also

de:Khan es:Khan he:חאן la:Chanis nl:Khan no:Khan ja:ハーン pl:Chan ru:Хан (титул)


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