The Mesoamerican Aztec peoples, who lived in central Mexico between the 1300s and 1500s, were known for choosing names reflective of their devotion to both nature and their polytheistic worship. Today, their history remains foundational in the establishment of Mexico’s national identity, and names which were popular during the rise and fall of the Aztec Empire remain in fairly common use.
Let’s learn more.
Aztec naming conventions
Within the Aztec culture, both religion and nature were viewed as paramount. Naming children after deities became a very common practice, as did drawing names from flowers, trees, animals, and other aspects of the natural world.
The people of the Aztec empire spoke a language called Nahuatl, and as such, Aztec names may also be referred to as Nahuatl names. The Nahuatl language is still spoken by nearly 1.5 million people today, the majority of whom reside in El Salvador and Central and Coastal Mexico.
Less often seen were Nahuatl names honoring past Aztec emperors, as these were considered great honorifics within the empire and were reserved for royalty within the Aztec system of nobility.
- Amoxtli – The Mēxihcatl āmoxtli are Aztec codices. These texts contain text and images that documented daily life before the Spanish Conquest.
- Moctezuma – Moctexuma, or Montezuma, was the ninth emperor of the Aztec empire. His turbulent relations with Spanish conquistador Cortés are very well documented.
- Ahuitzotl – Ahuitzotl was a brave Aztec warrior who was well -known for his conquests throughout present -day Guatemala and the Gulf of Mexico.
- Ohtli – This two -syllable Aztec name means “champion.”
- Itzcoatl – This Aztex emperor helped strengthen the ancient civilization.
- Acamapichtli – Acamapichtli is an Aztec name that means “handful of reeds.” It is also the name of the first Aztec emperor.
- Ehécatl – As the god of the wind, Ehécatl is often represented with an odd blowing contraption on his head.
- Cuauhtémoc – This name means “descending eagle.” It belonged to the last Aztec emperor.
- Tezcatlipoca – This intense mythological Aztec name refers to the god of the night sky and war.
- Mictlantecuhtli – Once a common Aztec boy’s name, Mictlantecuhtli was also the god of the Aztec underworld.
- Necuametl – This grand Aztec moniker means “king.”
- Cipactli – This is the name of a sea monster from Aztec mythology. The Cipactli is said to be part crocodile, part fish, and part frog.
- Xolotl – X names are way too cool. This one means “precious twin” in Nahuatl.
- Quetzalcoatl – The feathered serpent is one of the most respected gods in the Aztec pantheon.
- Zolin – This sweet Aztec name refers to the quail, a tiny yet beloved bird that dwells in Mexico.
- Xochipilli – Xochipilli was the Aztec god of music and loe. His name translates to “flower prince.”
- Tlamanih – These Aztec warriors were tasked to find captures for the gods.
- Tlaloc – This moniker means “earth” in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. This is also the name of the Aztec god of earth and rain.
- Caonabo – This fierce Aztec warrior led one of the first revolts against Christopher Columbus.
- Acozpa – With place names rising in popularity, we had to include this unique Aztec location. It means “in the yellow water.”
- Huitzilin – Your bundle of joy will charm with this name. It means “hummingbird.”
- Zeltzin – Zeltzin is a Nahuatl girl’s name that means “delicate.”
- Chantico – This short and sweet Aztec name is easily anglicized. It means “she who dwells in the house.”
- Chipahua – Chipahua is a title that represents cleanliness and purity.
- Huixtocihuatl – Since this Aztec name is quite the jumble of letters, it might be best to leave it as a middle moniker. Still, we love that it’s the name of the Aztec goddess of fertility.
- Yunuen – Yunuen means “god’s wife.” This Aztec name certainly conjures up images of holiness and purity.
- Zyanya – There’s no better way to show your babe you love them than by endowing them “forever” or “eternal” in the Aztec language.
- Atzi – Azti is a refreshing Aztec name that means “rain.”
- Metzi – Metzi is a girl’s name that stems from Aztec mythology. Metzl was the goddess of the moon, night, and farming. She is said to have been afraid of the Sun.
- Xoco – Xoco is a name of Atec origin. It means “youngest sister.”
- Ahuic – Ahuic is the name of the Aztec goddess of running water.
- Cihuacoatl – Cihuacoatl is an Aztec goddess known as “the serpent woman.” She represents motherhood, midwifery, and fertility.
- Chalchiuhtlicue – This name means “jade skirt” in Nahuatl, the Aztec language. Chalchiuhtlicue was also the Aztec goddess of water and rivers.
- Tlalli – Tlalli is the Nahuatl word for “earth.”
- Tozi – The goddess of healing is also sometimes referred to as “the heart of the earth.”
- Ahuiliztli – Brighten the world with this Aztec name that means “joy.”
- Chicomecoatl – THe Aztec goddess of corn and sustenance is often depicted with a headdress on her head and maize in her hands.
- Xilonen – Chicomecoatl is sometimes called Xilonen. She is one of the oldest deities from the Valley of Mexico.
- Anacaona – Anacaona was a religious expert, poet, and chief from Yaguana, Jaragua.
- Ilhicamina – Ilhicamina is “he who shoots arrows at the sky.”
- Twitch – This is the perfect name for a younger sister.
- Citlali – This unisex indigenous Aztec name means “star.” It’s pronounced Cit -lali.
- Ameyalli – Your laid -back babe will feel right as rain with this name. It means“flowing water,” “fountain,” or “spring.”
- Meztli – Meztli means “moon.” It is also the title given to the god or goddess of this particular celestial orb.
- Yolotl – The unisex Nahuatl moniker means “heart.”
- Teptl – This Aztec word means “mountain.”
- Zuma – This perky Aztec name means “the Lord frowns in anger.“
- Eztli – Eztli is a gender -neutral Aztec name meaning “blood.”
- Izel – Izel means “only one” or “unique” in Nahuatl. It’s also a rare feminine Turkish name.
- Luitl – This Aztenx name means “feather.”