Tajik (: Tājīk , ) is a general designation for a wide range of Persian-speaking people of Iranian origin, with traditional homelands in present-day Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. As a self-designation, the term Tajik, which earlier on had been more or less pejorative, has become acceptable only during the last several decades, particularly as a result of Soviet administration in Central Asia. Alternative names for the Tajiks are Fārsī (Persian), Fārsīwān (Persian-speaker), and Dīhgān (cf. , literally “farmer or settled villager”, in a wider sense “settled” in contrast to “nomadic” and also described as a class of land-owning magnates during the Sassanid and early Islamic period). Not all Tajiks speak a variety of modern Persian. They may speak any one of the extant Iranian languages. For example, the Tajiks of China speak Eastern Iranian languages and are distinct from more western Tajiks.