Nahuatl or Mexicano is the language of the Aztecs, now spoken by nearly 2 million Nahua people in Central Mexico.
Nahuatl Aztec names are unique and unlike traditional English names.
Most Nahuatl names take inspiration from Mesoamerican animals, plants, and nature, all of which were sacred to the Aztecs, such as jaguars and fire.
The Best Aztec Names for Boys
Here are some of the most popular Aztec names for boys!
Meaning: “canoe,” “raft,” ”boat.”
Canoe’s and rafts were essential for Aztecs to navigate the canals in the Valley of Mexico. The boy’s name Acalan is inspired by these vessels – Acalan means canoe.
Water was essential to life and farming for the Aztecs. They needed it to grow their crops – mainly beans, corn, maize, and squash. The name Atl means water.
Meaning: “strong,” ”powerful.”
Chicahua is a typical Aztec boy’s name, meaning one who is strong, powerful, or mighty.
Aztec feather shields or Chimalli bore bright, angular motifs and sometimes a skirt of bright feathers. The name Chimalli is a boy’s Aztec name, also meaning shield.
Huehuecóyotl is the coyote-like Pre-Columbian God of music, dancing, trouble-making, and songs. His name derives from the Nahuatl name Coyotl, meaning coyote.
The Aztecs were known as fierce and skilled warriors who could easily draw blood and defeat most of their opponents. Eztli is an Aztec name for boys meaning blood.
Meaning: “falling eagle,” “descending eagle.”
The eagle was a very special bird to the Aztecs and nagual of Huitzilopochtli, the birds God of Sun and War. The name Guatemoc means falling or descending eagle.
Meaning: “sky,” “heavens.”
Ihuicatl is a beautiful gender-neutral Aztec name suitable for both boys and girls. The name Ihuicatl means the sky or the heavens above.
Meaning: “house of beauty.”
Itzcali is a unisex Aztec name suitable for either a boy or a girl. It means the house of beauty.
Metzli was the Aztec God or Goddess of the Moon, nighttime, and farmers. According to legend, the Moon and the Sun were both equally as bright as each other at one time.
As this was not appropriate, they fought, one throwing a rabbit into the other’s face, who then darkened and became the Moon. Hence why you can see the outline of a rabbit on the Moon.
The name Meztli means Moon and is a unisex name given to both boys and girls.
Meaning: “lord who frowns in anger.”
Montezuma or Moctezuma II was the ninth Aztec emperor of Mexico in the late 1400s. The name Montezuma means the lord who frowns in anger.
Meaning: “war,” ”battle.”
Necalli is a popular Aztec boys names meaning battle or war.
Meaning: “pine tree,” “pine.”
The pine tree was sacred to the ancient Aztecs, used to make copal, a type of ritual incense. Copal was made from the pitch pine tree using a special method – the “white copal” method.
Once made, copal was ground and stored in bowls, then used as an incense offering as food for the Gods. The name Octotlan means pine or pine tree.
Ītzpāpālōtl, or the Obsidian Butterfly, was a skeletal warrior God or Goddess who ruled over the paradise world of Tamoanchan, where dead infant children’s souls went, and life was created.
The name Papalotl is a unisex Aztec name for boys and girls, meaning butterfly.
Aztecs were knowledgeable about effective herbal medicines and treatments, many of which also involved rituals.
In fact, the majority of herbal medicines used by Aztecs are known to be effective, and some are even used in modern medicines today.
The name Patlee or Patlea is an Aztec name for boys and girls, meaning medicine or healing ointment.
The rabbit is a symbol on the Aztec calendar associated with the Goddess of fertility, Mayahuel. The name Tochtlee or Tochtli means rabbit in the Aztec Nahuatl language.
Meaning: “artisan,” “artist.”
Toltecatl, the Toltec or the artisan, was one of the four Centzontotochtin, the Gods of pulque.
The Aztecs were quite the artists and artisans, creating many fine artworks and crafts, including sculptures, carved gems, pottery, and jewelry.
Toltecatl is one of the many gender-neutral Aztec names, meaning artisan or artist.
Meaning: “fighter,” “warrior.”
We all know Tupac Shakur, But did you know that the name Tupack or Tupac is a popular Aztec name given to boys? The name Tupack or Tupac means fierce warrior or fighter.
Meaning: “venerable time.”
Ueman is a unique Nahuatl boy’s name meaning venerable time.
Time was of great importance to the Aztecs, who created the Aztec or Mexica calendar, around calendar with 20 symbols or days.
Meaning: “noble one of fire.”
Fire was an important part of Aztec life, so much so that Xiuhtecuhtli, the Aztec God of Fire, was thought to be the creator of all life.
The name Xipil means noble, one of fire.
Meaning: “bejeweled prince,” “jeweled prince.”
The Aztecs often dressed in fine jewelry, adornments, and jewels – the materials for which were plentiful in Mesoamerica.
Gold, silver, opals, turquoise, moonstones, and other precious gems and metals were commonly used.
Xipilli is a special Aztec name given to boys. It means jeweled prince or bejeweled prince.
Meaning: “flower prince.”
Xōchipilli is the God of art, creativity, songs, dancing, and flowers in Aztec mythology.
The name Xōchipilli means flower prince and is derived from xōchitl, meaning flower, and pilli, meaning prince or child.
Meaning: “lightning,” ”fire,” “precious twin.”
Xolotl was the Aztec God of lightning and death and deformities. The Axolotl or Salamander was named after Xolotl as legend claims that Xolotl turned into a Salamander to elude capture.
The name Xolotl means lightning, fire, and also a precious twin. So, it’s the perfect name to give a twin boy.
Tezcatlipoca or Smoking Mirror was the Toltec God of the Great Bear constellation and the night sky. Also called Yaotyl, he was believed to appear at crossroads to challenge young warriors.
He was the deity of telpochcalli, schools where young men learned and acquired military training. The name Yaotyl means warrior or fighter.
Meaning: “lord who frowns in anger.”
The Aztec name Zuma is a nickname or diminutive of the name Montezuma, meaning a lord who frowns in anger.
The Best Aztec Names for Girls
Here are some of the most popular Aztec names for girls.
Meaning: “water,” “stream,” “river.”
In Aztec mythology, Ahuic or Chalchiuhtlicue is the Goddess of running water, streams, and rivers. She was also the consort or wife to Tlaloc, the Rain God.
Meaning: “golden flower.”
Anacaona was a real-life chief, priestess, and composer born in the late 1400s in Xaragua, present-day Haiti.
The name Anacaona means golden flower, deriving from the Taíno words ana, meaning flower, and caona, meaning gold or golden.
Meaning: “she who dwells in the house.”
In Aztec mythology, Chantico is the deity of volcanoes, pain, pleasure, fires in the family hearth and the home.
As such, the name Chantico means she dwells in the house, hearth, or home.
Meaning: “seven snakes.”
Chicomecoatl or Seven Serpents was the most-worshipped Goddess of farmers in ancient Mexico.
She was the Goddess of corn and sustenance and the female counterpart of Cintéotl, the God of maize.
In Aztec mythology, Chīmalmā is considered to be a Goddess and mother of Quetzalcoatl, the Toltec God. The name Chimalma means shield hand.
Meaning: “good,” “fine,” “well.”
Cualli is a gender-neutral Aztec name meaning fine, good, or well.
Meaning: “little daughter.”
Ichpochton is a cute girl’s name meaning little daughter.
The Aztec name Ichtaca means secret or dark and is suitable for both boys and girls.
Dance and song were a big part of Aztec culture, ritual, and life. In fact, dancing was thought to be a way to integrate and harmonize the spirit and body with the cosmos.
The name Itotia is a gender-neutral Aztec name meaning dance.
Meaning: “only one,” “delicate,” “unique.”
Izel is a popular Nahuatl name meaning one who is delicate, one of a kind, or unique.
Mazatl is the day in the Aztec calendar symbolized by the deer and associated with the God Tlaloc. Tlaloc is the God of fertility, wrath, floods, and droughts.
Meaning: “left behind,” “survivor.”
The name Necahual is quite unique, meaning one who is a survivor or a left-behind survivor.
Nenetl is a popular Aztec name given to girls, meaning doll.
Meaning: “prickly pear fruit.”
Tenoch was the ruler of the Mexicas during the 1300s and is one of the nine leaders told how to gain support from nature. It is not known whether he was fictional or real.
After his supposed death, his followers went on to name Tenochtitlan, the capital of the Aztec Empire, after him in his honor.
The symbols of his name are on the Mexican flag today and are the rock and the prickly pear, or Nochtli. The name Nochtli means prickly pear fruit.
Jaguars were sacred to the Aztecs, worshipped as a deity by the Aztec people, as well as Mayans and Olmecs.
The creator God, Tezcatlipoca‘s nagual (animal disguise), was the jaguar.
Tezcatlipoca also ruled Jaguar-Sun or Ocelotonatiuh, which was the first of the five universes, four of which were destroyed before the present one we now live in.
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The name Ocelotl means jaguar and can be given to both girls and boys.
Meaning: “quetzal feather,” “feather,” “precious thing.”
Quetzalcoatl was one of the main Gods of the Mesoamerica – a feathered serpent creator God adorned with the feathers of the Quetzal bird.
The Quetzal bird is one of the most resplendent in Mesoamerica, possessing striking red and white feathers, as well as long, gem-toned emerald green tail feathers.
Quetzalli is an Aztec name for girls meaning quetzal feather.
Meaning: “a gift from the Gods,” “a gift from God.”
Tayanna is a pretty Aztec name for a girl meaning gift from God or the Gods. It is fitting as many consider babies a gift from God or the Gods.
Meaning: “the younger female sibling,” “younger sister.”
Teicuih is the perfect name for a younger sister! Why? Because the name Teicuih literally means younger sister or female sibling.
Meaning: “healing,” “health,” “sweet water.”
Tozi is the Aztec deity of healing, health, and sweet water. The name Tozi means health, healing, and sweet water.
Meaning: “Moon,” “Moon Goddess.”
Xitllali is the Goddess of the Moon in Aztec mythology. Aztecs often erected large pyramids to both the Moon and the Sun in their cities.
In Aztec culture, the Moon is considered to be the cooling counterpart to the Sun. The Moon symbolizes mystery, dreams, instinct, calm, and emotion.
The name Xitllali means Moon or Moon Goddess.
Meaning: “the youngest female sibling,” “youngest sister.”
Xoco is the perfect name for the youngest of all your daughters. The name Xoco means the youngest sister.
Meaning: “you will always be loved.”
The name Yaretzi is a popular Aztec girl’s name, meaning you will always be loved.
Meaning: “flower of the heart.”
The Aztec name Yoloxochitl means flower of the heart.
Zeltzin is an Aztec Nahuatl girl’s name meaning delicate.
Meaning: “forever,” “always.”
The feminine name Zyanya means one who is forever, for always, or eternal.
Aztec names are poetic and unique, inspired by nature, the planets, and Mesoamerican life and culture. Take your pick of these gorgeous and striking Aztec girl’s and boy’s names.