Khangai has become a generally used term by Mongolians to describe the entire lush forest-steppe area to the north as opposed to the southern desert, which is called Govi (Gobi). The intermediary steppe area is called Kheer or Tal. The word Khangai is composed of the verb "khanga-" which means "provide, supply with necessities" and the Mongolian nominalizing suffix "-ai". The word Khan (King) is also a possible root, probably even related to the verb "khanga-". Therefore, Khangai is usually interpreted as provident lord, munificent king, generous gracious lord or bountiful king. The ancient name denotes the sacredness of the mountain and the special place it holds in the hearts of those who depend on it. A similar Mongolian word for sacred mountains is Khairkhan which means loving king (for example Asralt Khairkhan, a particularly intimate name meaning caring loving king). Its forbidden to say the name of a Khairkhan when the mountain is in view. If the mountain is in view, it should simply be called Khairkhan, not its full name. This strict custom applies in all regions of Mongolia. Any mountain or hill that is pleasing to the sight or in any other way pleasant is praised with the words "that is indeed a special Khairkhan" or "what a majestic Khairkhan!" etc. Any area of the mountainous forest-steppe region understood alone or along with all that it contains (rivers, springs, plants, animals) may be praised with the words "that is indeed a great Khangai" or "there is no denying that that is a unique Khangai!" etc.