125 Mayan Names and Their Meanings

Emily Polash
Written by Emily Polash Updated on May 31st, 2022

The Mesoamerican Mayan civilization’s first records of existence date back to 2000 BC; though the Mayan people were ultimately conquered by the Spanish, their culture persists in several parts of the world, including Guatemala and Chiapas. Ancient Mayan naming traditions tended to center around astronomy, mythology, and art, with numerology and calendar cycles playing an important role in baby naming.

Mayan names are often unusual, though beautiful, and some are still in common use today. We’ve put together a quick guide to Mayan naming conventions in addition to our list, which may give you some new considerations in choosing a name for your little one. 

Let’s dive in.

Mayan naming traditions

In ancient Mayan culture, when a new child was born, their parents took them to a leader or elder so that a naming ceremony could take place. The elder would then look to the Mayan calendar, which spanned 260 days consisting of approximately 13 “months” lasting 20 “days”. 

Each year was considered to have its own energy, as was each day, and both were taken into consideration when a child was named. The alphabetic translation of a male child’s day of birth would become the prefix of his name, while the prefix IX, or nine, was given to female children. The letters I and X are very common at the beginning of Mayan female names due to this ancient tradition.

Boys names

  • Aapo – Aapo is a playful Mayan moniker meaning “father of many.”
  • Fabio – Don’t let this name be defined by the famously gorgeous actor Fabio Lanzoni. It translates to “farmer” in Mayan.
  • Yunuen – This is the name given to a well-known Mexican island on Lake Pátzcuaro, Mexico. It means “half-moon.”
  • Yaxkin – Yaxkin is an ancient Mayan zodiac sign meaning “new sun” or “sun god.” It represents people born between November 23 and December 12.
  • Cadmael – The Mayan name for a war chief would fit a little fighter.
  • Pakal – K’inich Jannaab’ Pakal was a Maya ruler known as “Sun Shield.” He reigned over the Mayan empire for over 68 years.
  • Hugo – This moniker means “intelligent.”
  • Abund – This rarely used Mayan boy’s name means “living in abundance.”
  • Eloy – This traditional Mexican boy’s name is likely derived from the Greek moniker Eulogios. It means “one who is a renowned warrior.”
  • Jacinto – Jacinto Canek was a Mayan revolutionary who fought back against the Spanish colonists. His bold and selfless actions are woven into history. Unfortunately, he eventually met his demise at the hands of the Spanish.
  • Kaax – As one of the youngest Mayan gods, Yum Kaaz ruled over the forest and wildlife.
  • Itzamna – Let your bright new light share his name with the Mayan god of the sun.
  • Kinich – Kinich Ahau is the Yucatec name of the Mayan sun god.
  • Smoke – Smoke Imix, also known as Chan Imix Kʼawiil,was the longest-reigning king of the Mayan city-state Copán.
  • Ixpiyacoc – Ixpiyacoc is yet another Mayan god. He was said to have helped birth humanity.
  • Bembe – Here’s a simple name with incredible meaning. Bembe translates to “son of prophecy.”
  • Hagen – Hagen is a common Mayan first name meaning “highest son.”
  • Eadric – This fairly common Mayan name means “wealthy monarch.”
  • Xmucane – Xmucane is the divine grandfather of the K’iche people.
  • Tadeas – This gentle-sounding Mayan name means “gift of God.”
  • Chan – This Mayan surname means “small.”
  • Ahaw – “Ahaw” is one phrase that the Mayan people used to refer to their lords or kings. Another is “halach uinic.”
  • Jasaw – Jasaw Chan K-awiil was a prominent Mayan ruler.
  • B’atz’ – This Mayan astrological sign belongs to that of the artisans and weavers. It also takes on a deeper meaning, as the artisans’ thread is known as the “thread of life.”
  • Kan – Kani the Mayan astrological sign that symbolizes Chicchan, the feathered serpent. This intense and meaningful name is perfect for a future leader.
  • Apoxpalon – Ancient Mayan history is ripe with cool names like Apoxpalon. This one belonged to a Mayan merchant and elected leader of the Mayan people.
  • Paxbolonacha – Paxbolonacha is another name that Apoxpalon went by. He was the elected leader of Itamkanac, Acalan.
  • Izamna – Izmana is one of the leading deities in Mayan mythology. He is known as the inventor of writing.
  • Ajtzak – This Mayan god was one of thirteen deities who were responsible for the creation of humans.
  • Acan – Celebrate the birth of your child with this fun Mayan name. Acan is the Mayan god of wine and celebration.
  • Ah-ciliz – Ah-ciliz is the Mayan god of eclipses.
  • Acalan – Place names are always a hit. Stray from the usual with this name belonging to a once-Mayan region of southern Mexico.
  • Taavi – In the Mayan language, this given name translates to “adored one.”
  • Hunaphpu – Your little one will shine bright as they share this name with the Mayan god of the sun.
  • Aapo – Aapo means “father of many.”
  • Horado – Horado is an agreeable Mayan boy’s name that means “timekeeper.”
  • Xbalanque – Xbalanque and his brother are heroic characters from Mayan mythology.
  • Eloy – This long-forgotten Mayan boy’s name means “renowned warrior.”
  • Xibalba – This name means “place of fright.” It is the name of the Mayan underworld.
  • Hunahpu – In Mayan mythology, Hunahpu is a figure known as the blow-gun hunter.
  • Popol – Popol is the Mayan word for “council” or “community.” The Popol Vuh is K’iche for “council book.”
  • Cabrakan – This mighty name belongs to the Mayan god of earthquakes and mountains. It’s the perfect pick for parents who are looking to raise a mover and a shaker.
  • Vucub – Vucub-Caquix is a name that means “seven macaws. This is also the name of the demon that is defeated in the Mayan myth “Popol Vuh.”
  • Zipacna– According to one Mayan myth, Zipacna is the son of Vucub Caquix and Chamalat. He is said to be a devious character and mountain maker.
  • Chaac – Chaac is the Mayan god of rain. Your kiddo will probably grow to love the fact that they were named after a deity with a lightning ax.
  • Babajide – This sweet Mayan boy’s name means “father is coming.”
  • Hadwin – This name is common throughout French and Mayan cultures. It means “to be strong.”
  • Abund – This bold Mayan moniker means “war chief.”
  • Balam – In the Mayan language, this word means “jaguar.”
  • Kukulkan – Kukulkan is a feathered serpent god from Mayan mythology.
  • K’awiil – Woo the other parents on the playground with this Mayan boy’s name meaning “powerful.” K’awiil was the Mayan god of royalty, flint, and lightning.

Girls names

  • Rigoberta – Rigoberta Menchú is a well-known writer and K’iche’ person. She received a Nobel Peace Prize in 1992. Rigoberto means “bright fame.”
  • Yolotli – The Nahua word means “heart of God.”
  • Itzel – This unusual yet easy-to-pronounce Mayan name means “rainbow goddess.”
  • Yuritzi – This indigenous Mexican name means “goddess of strength.” Yuritzi is the Mayan goddess of the moon. She bears a lighting bolt.
  • Nicté – Nicté is a Mayan name that means “mayflower.”
  • Abarrane – Abarrane means “mother of many.”
  • Abi – This English-sounding female given name means “my father’s delight.”
  • Abha – If you’re searching for a simple name with a positive translation, look no further. Abha means “brightness.”
  • Yatzil – This Spanish name comes from the Mayan word for “loved one.”
  • Tikal – Tikal is an ancient rainforest city that belonged to the Mayan people. It translates to “waterhole.”
  • Nymphaea – This is the water lily that the Yucatec name Nikte-ha is derived from.
  • Ixchel – Izchel, or Ix Chel, was the name of the Mayan goddess of midwifery and medicine. She often took the form of a jaguar.
  • Sancite – Sancite is a Native American name meaning “pasty bloom.”
  • Nicte– Nicte is an indigenous Mexican in origin, It means “flower.”
  • Itzy – This cutesy nickname stems from the Yucatec name Itzayana.
  • Sacnicte – If you’re looking for a nature-related Mayan name pick, try this one meaning “white flower.”
  • Atziri – Atziri is a variation of the common Yucatec Maya name meaning “moonflower.”
  • Xelha – In Yucatec Maya, this name means “spring of water.”
  • Maya -This adorable pick is Greek in origin and means “good mother.” However, it is also the modern name given to the Mayan people and an excellent way for your little one to rock her indigenous roots.
  • Chichen – There’s a legend behind Mayan Chichen
  • Yohl – Lady Yohl Ik’nal was a female Mayan leader who ruled over the city-state of Palenque.
  • Tecumbalam – This sprightly name belongs to a mythological Mayan thunderbird.
  • Colel – This buzz-worthy name once belonged to the Mayan goddess of the bees.
  • Patli – If you’re looking for a healing Mayan name, why not try this one meaning “medicine.”
  • Xoc – Lady Zoc was one of the most powerful and respected women from the Mayan civilization. In the Mayan codex, she is shown performing religious rituals and sacrifices.
  • Ixazaluoh – The Mayan word for “dawn” is a fitting moniker for any baby girl born in the wee hours of the morning.
  • Xpiayoc – Xpiayoc stems from ancient Mayan myths. She is said to be one of the original creators of humanity.
  • Xmucane – Xmucane is the divine grandmother of the Mayan people
  • Sak K’uk’ -She was a powerful Mayan queen.
  • Akna – This name was often given to Mayan goddesses. It translates to “our mother.”
  • Chimalmat – In Mayan mythology, Chimalmat is the mother of giants Zipacna and Cabrakan.
  • Zyanya – Show the everlasting love with this Mayan girl’s name meaning “forever.”

Unisex names

  • Cualli – This unisex Mayan name means “good.”
  • Yolotli – The gender-neutral Mayan name means “heart.”
  • Calakmul – Calakmul was the name of a great Mayan city.
  • Xiang – Xiang means “good luck.” This Mayan name is suitable for both sexes.
  • Kaelan – This unisex Mayan name means “thin.”
  • Fa – The one-syllable unisex moniker means “to send.”
  • Nakia – This unisex name means “faithful.”
  • Itotia – Give your little one the gift of rhythm with this unisex Mayan name meaning “dance.”
  • Dacey – This underused unisex name means “adored” in Yucatec.
Emily Polash
Written by Emily Polash Updated on May 31st, 2022

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Cartoon drawing of a Mayan face symbol