This is the center of Shekhan District. However, Atrosh served as the district center before the Kurdistan Government took this true district center.
Its Arabic and Aramaic name is Ayn Sifeen. Sifen means 'wooden' in Aramaic and this name is attested in Aramaic sources, books of Buldaneans like Iben Futi and Shamsadeen Thahabi.
It was named Shekhan because of the tombs of Sheikhs in the area, such as Sheikh Adi, Sheikh Hasan, Sheikh Shams, and Sheikh Fakheradeen.