native or inhabitant of Afghanistan, 1784, properly only the Durani Afghans; a name of uncertain origin. It 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); by 1877 as a type of carpet; by 1895 as a breed of hunting dog; by 1973 as a style of sheepskin coat.

updated on September 15, 2022