- name of the people of Afghanistan, 1784, properly only the Durani Afghans; of uncertain origin. The name is first attested in Arabic in al-'Utbi's "History of Sultan Mahmud" written c.1030 C.E. and was in use in India from 13c. Old Afghan chronicles trace the name to a legendary Afghana, son of Jeremiah, son of Israelite King Saul, from whom they claimed descent.
In English, attested from 1833 as a type of blanket or wrap short for Afghan shawl); 1877 as a type of carpet; 1895 as a breed of hunting dog; 1973 as a style of sheepskin coat. In journalism, Afghanistanism (1961) was "preoccupation with far-away problems and issues to the neglect of local ones."