General Aztecs Maya Tocuaro Kids Contact 18 Apr 2021/2 Flower
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what are the most common Aztec names still used in Mexico today?
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Aztec new-born babe in arms

Basic Aztec Facts: AZTEC NAMES

We’ve taken this information from the excellent book Everyday Life of the Aztecs by Warwick Bray, who’s on our Panel of Experts. (Compiled by Ian Mursell/Mexicolore)

Nezahualcoyotl statue in Mexico City
Nezahualcoyotl statue in Mexico City (Click on image to enlarge)

‘Each child had a calendar name taken from the date of his/her birth and also a personal name, which belonged to him/her alone. The famous ruler of Texcoco, for instance, was usually called Nezahualcoyotl (‘Hungry Coyote’), but he occasionally appears under the calendar name Ce-Mazatl (One-Deer).

Aztec sculpture of a coyote in Mexico’s largest museum
Aztec sculpture of a coyote in Mexico’s largest museum (Click on image to enlarge)

Animals appear often in Mexican names, and the chronicles are filled with the deeds of such leaders as Angry Turkey, Bee in the Reeds, Speaking Eagle, or Fire Coyote.
Other men took their names from pieces of clothing (Tiger Lip Plug), or from personal qualities like the unfortunately named Moquihuix (Drunkard). Some names, such as Black Hill, are based on features of the landscape.

An Aztec girl, from a Diego Rivera mural
An Aztec girl, from a Diego Rivera mural (Click on image to enlarge)

Girls were given more feminine names like Jade Doll, or Precious Broken Plume of the Quetzal Bird, which in its original Aztec language form (Tziquetzalpoztectzin) is almost as long a mouthful as in English!

Aztec girls and women; part of a mural in Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology
Aztec girls and women; part of a mural in Mexico City’s National Museum of Anthropology (Click on image to enlarge)

Flower names for girls were especially popular - for example, Azcalxochitzin (Ant Flower), Miahuaxiuitl (Turquoise Maize-Flower), or Quiauhxochitl (Rain Flower). All these personal names, like those of towns and cities, can be written in the form of pictograms.’

This article was uploaded to the Mexicolore website on Sep 29th 2017

emoticon Q. What did Hungry Coyote’s wife reply when someone asked her how many husbands she had?
A. ‘Just one-deer’...

‘What’s your nickname?’

A serious study of common Aztec (Nahuatl) names just after the Spanish invasion
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