Raciel Hernández
Professional Teacher
11 Aztec Words in Spanish That You Should Learn
The Spanish of Mexico is very diverse. Since it is a mixture of words of origin in Spanish, Anglo languages and other indigenous languages such as Nahuatl.

Nahuatl is one of the most important indigenous languages in Mexico. It is believed to have existed since the fifth century and it is still spoken in some places in Mexico City, Puebla, Mexico State, Tlaxcala, Morelos, among other places.

In Mexico you will see street names as rare as Nezahualcóyotl, Cuauhtémoc or Tlalpan and words like Zacate, Chocolate, all of them have their origin in the Nahuatl language.

The words listed below are used in everyday life and you can find them in “Diccionario de la Real Academia Española” for the common use they have.

If you are learning Mexican Spanish, you should know these Aztec words.
1. Apapachar (a-pa-pa-char) 

Náhuatl: Pachoa.
Meaning: It is to feel for someone love or tenderness, through affection, kisses, hugs.

A mi mamá le gusta que la apapachen. (My mom likes to be pampered)
Hoy te voy a apapachar (Today I’m going to pamper you).
2. Achichincle (A-chi-chin-cle)
Náhuatl: Atichichinqui
Meaning: It is a person who helps or is at the service of another.

Mi hermano es mi achichincle. (My brother is my assistant.)
Mira ese señor debe tener dinero porque tiene muchos achichincles. (Look, that man must have money because he brings a lot of workers/assistants)
3. Jícara (Ji-ca-ra)
Náhuatl: Xicalli
Meaning: It is a container, container or vessel that was made of a dry coconut or a pumpkin. Now it is used for anyone plastic container.
Voy a comprar una jícara para el agua. (I’m going to buy a bowl for water)
En la época de los aztecas el chocolate se sirve en jícaras (In the time of the Aztecs chocolate was served in container)
4. Mezcal (Mez-cal)
Náhuatl: Mexcalli
Meaning: It is cooked maguey. The maguey is a plant of Mexican origin with which tequila, pulque, and mezcal are produced.

Me encanta el mezcal (I love mezcal)
El mezcal es muy popular en México. (Mezcal is very popular in Mexico)
5. Tianguis (Tian-guis)
Náhuatl: Tianquiztli
Meaning: The meaning in Spanish is that of a provisional market of any merchandise: clothes market, food market.
Fui a Coyoacán al tianguis (I went to Coyoacan to the market)
Me encanta comer en el tianguis (I love eating at the market)
6. Popote (po-po-te)
Náhuatl: Popotli
Meaning: It is a small tube, very thin and hollow to drink liquids.

Necesito un popote para mi bebida (I need a straw for my drink)
¿Quiéres un popote para tu refresco? (Do you want a straw for your soda?)
7. Cuate (cua-te)
Náhuatl: Mecoatl
Meaning: There are many meanings of the word, but the most common is a person who is a friend or friend.
Ese niño es mi cuate (That boy is my buddy)
Marco y Felipe son muy cuates (Marco and Felipe are very good friends)
8. Zacate (Za-ca-te)
Náhuatl: Zacatl
Meaning: It is a vegetable fiber that is used to wash utensils or kitchen or to bathe.
Lavé los traste con el zacate ( I wash the dishes with the sponge)
Llévate el zacate y el jabón para el baño (Take the sponge and soap to bathe)
9. Tocayo (To-ca-yo)
Náhuatl: Tocaitl
Meaning: They are people who have the same name.

Miguel es mi tocayo ( Miguel is my namesake)
Tu hermana Laura es mi tocaya (Your sister Laura is my namesake)

10. Atole (a-to-le)

Náhuatl: Atolli
Meaning: Thick drink made from diluted corn dough and boiled with water or milk. It is added flavor like strawberry, chocolate, vanilla.
Hoy desayune tamales con atole (Today I have tamales with atole)
El sabor de atole que más me gusta es el de chocolate ( the taste of atole that I like the most is chocolate)
11. Chocolate (cho-co-la-te)

Náhuatl: xocolātl
Meaning: It is a paste made from cocoa beans to which sugar, milk, vanilla or cinnamon are added.
The Mexico besides using the word to name a sweet, but we also have two very common phrases that say.

María se puso como agua para chocolate (Maria got angry)
Cosas claras y el chocolate espeso (It is not convenient to mix friendship with business, because you can run the risk of losing it).

Taken from <em>Blania</em> <a href="https://www.blania.co/words-in-nahuatl-you-should-know/" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.blania.co/words-in-nahuatl-you-should-know/</a>;
Jun 1, 2020 3:07 PM
Comments · 4
Nina, I am glad you find interesting this post. You are right: the Spanish is a beautiful language. There a lot of idiomatic influences in the Spanish that make it a such amazing language
June 1, 2020
This is such an interesting post! It’s so fascinating to see the influence of Nahuatl. I think Mexican Spanish is extremely beautiful. Muchas gracias!
June 1, 2020
I, I ‘m Mexican , I love the information
June 1, 2020
Gracias por compartir! Cómo siempre muy interesante tus artículos 😀👍🏻
Es muy necesario para los mexicanos tener presente nuestras raíces y como siguen presentes en nuestro lenguaje, costumbres, y hasta en nuestros nombres ( mi apellido es "Micalco" )

June 7, 2020
Raciel Hernández
Language Skills
English, Spanish
Learning Language