List of Spanish words of Nahuatl origin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Documented Nahuatl words in the Spanish language (mostly as spoken in Mexico and Mesoamerica) include an extensive list of words that represent (i) animals, (ii) plants, fruit and vegetables, (iii) foods and beverages, and (iv) domestic appliances.

Many of these words end with the absolutive suffix "-tl" in Nahuatl. This word ending—thought to be difficult for Spanish speakers to pronounce at the time—evolved in Spanish into a "-te" ending (e.g. axolotl = ajolote). As a rule of thumb, a Spanish word for an animal, plant, food or home appliance widely used in Mexico and ending in "-te" is highly likely to have a Nahuatl origin.


Plants, fruits and vegetables[edit]

Jitomate at Tepoztlan market, Mexico

Foods and drinks[edit]

Names of places[edit]

Other terms, includes home appliances[edit]

  • Ayate
  • Azteca (Aztec)
  • Capulín
  • Chamarra
  • Chamaco ("boy", used in Mexican slang, from "chamahuac", meaning "plump")
  • Chamagoso
  • Chapopote
  • Chichi (breast)
  • Chinampa
  • Chiquihuite (hallow basket that holds tortillas)
  • Comal (clay cookware)
  • Copal
  • Cuate (fraternal twin)
  • Ocote
  • Otate
  • Paliacate
  • Papalote (kite)
  • Pepenar
  • Petaca
  • Petate (sleeping mat of woven palm fiber)
  • Peyote
  • Piciete ("cigarette", used in rural Mexico, from "picietl", literally "tobacco")
  • Popote (straw)
  • Tenamaste
  • Tepetate
  • Tianguis = open air market
  • Tiza
  • Tzompantli (skull banner)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Taxodium mucronatum". The Gymnosperm Database. Archived from the original on 2010-01-09. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  2. ^ a b "Ehretia anacua (Teran & Berl.) I.M. Johnston". Native Plant Information Network. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Retrieved 2009-10-12. 
  3. ^ Tallichet, H. (1890). "Part IV". Dialect Notes. American Dialect Society. p. 244. 
  4. ^ Rémi Siméon. Diccionario de la lengua náhuatl o mexicana.. Siglo XXI Editores, S.A. de C.V., 2004. pp. 246 and 258 . Macho: distinguished, ilustrious, etc. as a passive voice of Mati: uel macho ó nouian macho, evident, well known, notorious; qualli ipam macho, he is good, well behaved, etc. ISBN 968-23-0573-X. 

External links[edit]