"Aztec names" may be the search term that brought you here, but the correct term is"Nahuatl names." Nahuatl is the language that most of our people spoke.
"Aztec" is a name conjured up by Europeans.
We never called ourselves Aztecs. The Spaniards never called us Aztecs.
Our name is Mexica (Meh-sheeh-kah).
Aztec refers to our people when they lived in Aztlan. In Aztlan it would have been right to have used that word. But in the 16th century, "Aztec" was a word that was no longer used because all the people who came from Aztlan now called themselves Mexica, Tlaxcallan, Texcoco, Tlacopan, or any other of the names of the cities in which they lived.
Please read the history below so that you will have a good understanding of the Nahuatl names you will be choosing for yourself or for your child.
Keep in mind the different types
of names you can take:
There are a few options:
a) A ONE WORD NAME, no surname. You would use it twice in order to satisfy European occuppier legal requirements (Mazatl Mazatl or Tochtli Tochtli).
b) A NAME THAT TRANSLATES A MEANING. Such as Yolotl Aztecatl which means "heart of an Aztec" or more metaphorically the name Cueponi Tlacatl, which has the sense of Blossoming or blooming person (not a literal meaning, but the sense of the meaning).
c) A CALENDAR NAME. This would of course be done eliminating all the superstition associated with the astrological contents of the calendar. These names would use a name based on our calendar birth names (Ome Tochtli, Ce Mazatl, etc). In this case you can use this link to get a Calendar name based on the birth date: MEXICA CALENDAR dates
d) A HEROE'S NAME. This would be someone like Citlalmina (female) or Cuauhtemoc (male).
e) DEDICATION NAME. This would be a name that would serve as a sort of last name (we had no such thing as a last name or surname). This also means that the person is never addressed by this name only nor does the person carry this name only. This sort of name shows dedication to The Creator in one of the many Manifestations and Aspects that The Creator is known under. Possibilities are Xochitl Tonantzin, Ce Acatl Coatlicue, Tlacaelel Xochipilli, Olin Tonatiuh, or any of the other endless combinations. But Ometeotl as a part of the name, or the only name is TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE AND SACRILEGE. Never just Tonantzin, Tonatiuh, etc. A dedication name only shows what that person has dedicated their lives to: One of the many names of Ometeotl (but never the actual name of Ometeotl), Ometeotl is Our Creator, who in the many names makes up the totality of the Material and Spirit of The Universe.
f) COMBINED NAME using reasons b through e in some combined form such as the three word name Naui (the number Four) Xolotl (Dedication name) Ilhuicamina (Hero name) or a two word name such as Olin (meaning Movement) Quetzalcoatl (Dedication name).
How to pronounce words in Nahuatl:
TL: at the end of a word should just pronounce the T---the L should be silent.
Hu : should be pronounced as a W.
LL: should NOT be pronounced as a Spanish double L, use the English pronunciation of LL.
and OTHER NAMES TO SERVE AS LAST or FIRST NAMES
MEANING / SIGNIFICANCE
aligator representing the primeval material of the universe
Four Rain of Fire
THE FOLLOWING ARE NAHUATL WORDS FOR YOUR INFORMATION, NOT FOR NAMES, THAT WE USE IN MEXICAN/"CENTRAL AMERICAN" SPANISH. THIS IS SO THAT THOSE OF YOU WHO SPEAK SPANISH CAN SEE THAT YOU ALREADY ARE SPEAKING A LOT OF NAHUATL:
MEXICA Mexica (Meh-shee-kah) is the original Nahuatl (the so-called Aztec language) way of pronouncing Mexican, Mexicano, and Chicano and Chicana. The Mexica was the last of our great Anahuac civilizations (1325 to 1521). Mexica is the only one of our cultures and civilizations which has enough surviving material from which we can reconstruct our Anahuac nation. The Mexica were victims of an ethnocide that left no one today who can authentically call themselves Mexica, much like in Italy there is no one who can authentically call themselves Roman. Therefore, the rest of us who have lost all of our civilization identity and culture or tribal identity and culture, and even those of us who have a civilization or tribal identity, can and should embrace Mexica identity as a collective identity for all of us that we use in order to reconstruct our Anahuac nation and as a means of Liberation. Mexica does not negate Maya or Huichol or Comanche or Shoshone or any of our other Nican Tlaca (Indigenous) civilizations or cultures. Mexica is our point of unity and our means of reconstructing all of our nation.
ANAHUAC Anahuac (Ah-nah-wak) is the true name of our nation. We are all part of the Anahuac civilization that gave us the Olmeca, Zapoteca, Teotihuacan-Toltec, Maya and Mexica civilizations. The Mexica part of our Anahuac heritage is how we can reconstruct ourselves as a Nican Tlaca (Indigenous) nation, as the Anahuac Nation. We have historic, cultural, linguistic, and racial factors that make us one Anahuac nation, which includes all of our civilizations and cultures. The Mexica heritage gives us a history, language, theology, and study base from which we can rebuild all of our Anahuac heritage. We are a beautiful mosaic of civilizations and cultures throughout this whole continent that Europeans call "America". But this is not "America", this is Anahuac.
NICAN TLACA Nican Tlaca is our Nahuatl (Mexica) language way of saying "We the people here", in reference to all of us who are Indigenous to Cemanahuac (what Europeans call "the Western Hemisphere") and more specific to Anahuac which is the northern part of Cemanahuac (which is falsely called "North America"). Nican Tlaca refers to all of the people of our race in the "Western Hemisphere". We are not Indians or indios because those are the people of a nation called India. We are also not "Native American" because we are not related to Amerigo Vespucci, nor do we accept the concept of "Native" because it is always used in a derogatory manner. Notice how there are no "Native" Europeans.
NOT MESTIZO Mestizo is a racist term imposed on us by the Europeans. Mestizo (Mixed-blood)as an identity denies us our full humanity, it enslaves us to the European world. Full-blood or Mixed-blood we are still Nican Tlaca. Being Mixed-blood (so-called Mestizo) does not stop us from being Nican Tlaca, no matter how "white" one looks. The shades and physical looks of our Mixed-blood people are just scars from the rape of our nation. The scars do not define us! Our history, our heritage, and our continent ARE what defines us.
"CENTRAL AMERICA" "Central America" was artificially created in 1823. Before that date we were all part of Anahuac. Anahuac includes Mexico, "Central America", Canada and the so-called U.S. We are not "Central Americans", therefore we use that term it quotes to reject it; while at the same time we know that most of our people are ignorant to its racist and colonial terms and that is the only way that they will know what we are talking about. Much like us using the English or Spanish language, we use them in order to communicate with our people but we know that they are not our languages. If we wrote the whole website just in Nahuatl or Maya the majority of our people would not understand a word of our website.
NOT HISPANIC Hispanics are the Spaniards, the people of Spain. We are not Spaniards! We are Mexica! We are the people of Anahuac. We are the Nican Tlaca (Indigenous people) of this continent, the true owners of this continent. We are not Spaniards or the property of Spain. Calling ourselves "Hispanic" denies us our true Nican Tlaca Anahuac identity, history and heritage. It enslaves us to the interests of the "Spanish" white world. Calling our people Hispanic is racist. Calling our people Hispanic is like calling the African descent people in the U.S. Britannic because they have British names and because they speak English.
NOT LATINO Latinos are the Latins: Southern Europeans--the Spaniards, French, and Portuguese. Calling ourselves "Latino" makes us cultural slaves of Europeans. Like Hispanic, Latino is cultural suicide. It is cultural genocide. It betrays our true Nican Tlaca ancestors.
NOT RAZA"Raza" is not an identity. "Raza" is basically the same thing as using the Eurocentric term "Mestizo"--it takes pride in Spanish blood (what little or nothing that we may have) and puts shame in our Nican Tlaca blood and culture. Calling ourselves "Raza" is a way of saying, "I'm not an 'Indio', I have some, mostly, Spanish blood". In Mexico "Dia de la Raza" is celebrated on October 12---Columbus Day. Imagine that! We are celebrating the rape of our mothers, the rape of our nation, the enslavement of our people.
EUROPEAN, WHITE AND CRIOLLOare basically the same thing. These are "White" people who are on our continent. Europeans can call themselves "Canadian" or "American" but their homeland is still Europe and they are still trespassing on our continent. A Criollo is someone of "authentic Spanish-European" descent who is still on our land exploiting our people, our resources and our wealth. GENOCIDE as defined by Raphael Lemkin, "...is the planned annihilation [killing] of a national [Mexican] or racial group by a variety of actions [biological warfare, oppression, enslavement] aimed at undermining the foundations essential to the survival of the group [Nican Tlaca of Anahuac] as a group.
MEXICA MOVEMENT is leading the way with actions that defend our people, actions that provide a vision for the liberation of our people, actions that confront the racism against us and the occupation of our continent by Europeans. We declare ourselves independent from the Hispanic-Latino European colonialism and racism that has enslaved us for over 500 years.