Aztecs spoke the Nahuatl language. Many sources of this language, including historical sources from the Aztec Empire, are extant today. Many varieties of the language are still spoken today in central Mexico and neighbouring regions.
A number of names for male children were used in the Aztec culture and many of these names have survived as part of the Nahuatl language. Most Aztec names for boys have religious connotations, often as symbols for different deities.
Aztec Boys Names related to deities
Aztecs had a number of male names which were directly derived from the names of the deities. Among these were:
Mictlantecuhtli: This name means “lord of Mictlan” in the Nahua language. This was also the name of one of the gods of the underworld.
Quetzalcoatl: Quetzalcoatl was one of the key deities of the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan. Aztecs considered him the god of the sky, also associated with the Sun. His name means “feathered serpent”.
Tlaloc: Tlaloc was the Aztec god of rain. His name means “of the Earth”. He was associated with water in the Aztec culture.
Xochipilli: This was the name of the Aztec god of love and music. He was also associated with flowers. His name means “flower prince”.
Aztec Boys Names related to animals
Animals were a powerful and potent element in Aztec symbolism. Consequently, they were often used to denote male names. Some examples include:
Coyotl: This is a male Aztec name which means “coyote”.
Cuetzpalli: In Nahuatl language, it means “lizard”.
Cuetlachtli: Cuetlachtli means “wolf” in the Aztec language.
Cipactli: Cipatcli was the name of a primordial monster in the Aztec mythology. His name means “crocodile”.
Coatl: This Aztec name means “snake”.
Mazatl: This Aztec name means “deer”.
Aztec Boys Names related to birds
Birds enjoyed a prominent position in Aztec society. Their feathers were considered precious pieces of art and used to adorn clothes and Aztec headdresses. Aztecs had several male names associated with different birds and features of the birds:
Cuauhtemoc: This Aztec name means “falling eagle”. Interestingly, this was also the name of the last Aztec Emperor who lost the city of Tenochtitlan to the Spaniards. Aztecs also used many other variations of eagle in different names.
Huitzilli: This Aztec name means “hummingbird”.
Huitzilihuitl: This Aztec name means the “pen of a hummingbird”.
Iuitl: This Aztec male name means “feather”.
Matlalihuitl: This Aztec name means “blue-green feather”. Blue-green was one of the favourite colours in Aztec art and feathers of this colour, such as of a peacock, were highly valued.
Quauhtli: This Aztec name means “eagle”.
Tototl: This Aztec name simply means “bird”.
Zolin: This was the Aztec name for “quail”, also a male name.
Etalpalli: Probably in reference to the flight of the birds, this Aztec name means “wing”.
Tlilpotonqui: This Aztec name means “feathered in black”.
Aztec Boys Names related to royalty:
Aztecs had a number of names which were related to the top leadership positions in the Aztec society, such as those of Kings and Princes.
Achcauhtli: This Aztec name means “leader”.
Namacuix: This Aztec name means “King”.
Necuametl: This Aztec name is also meant to denote “King”.
Nezahualcoyotl: This Aztec name was the title of a Texcoco King and it means “fasting coyote”.
Tezcacoatl: This Aztec name also means “King”. It alternately means “reflecting serpent”.
Xipilli: This Aztec name means “jewelled prince”.
Aztec Boys Names related to warfare:
The Aztec Empire was founded after a major war and it was augmented and expanded through different alliances and further wars. Warfare, then, was a recurring theme in Aztec society. It is reflected in the extant Aztec male names:
Chimalli: This Aztec name means “shield”.
Ilhicamina: This was the name of a brave Aztec King and it means “he who shoots arrows at the sky”.
Necalli: This Nahuatl name means “battle”.
Tlacelel: This Aztec name means “greatest of our male heroes”.Usually such names were given to war heroes.
Xicohtencatl: This name means “angry bumblebee”. It may also have been associated with bravery on the battlefield.
Yaotl: This name means “war”.
Aztec Boys Names Miscellaneous:
Aztecs used names related to nature, common everyday objects, animals, fruits, plants, natural phenomenon and astral bodies in naming their boys. Some of these names are listed below:
Ahuiliztli: This Aztec name means “joy”.
Chicahua: This name denotes strength and literally means “strong”.
Citlali: This Aztec name means “star”.
Cualli: This Aztec name means “good”.
Ichtaca: This name means “secret”.
Itotia: A happy name which means “dance”.
Mahuizoh: This was a praising name which means “glorious person”.
Meztli: This Aztec name means “moon”.
Milintica: This Aztec name means “fire”.
Moyolehuani: This Aztec name refers to one who is enamoured.
Nochtli: This Aztec name means “prickly pear fruit”.
Nopaltzin: This Aztec name is associated with cactus.
Ohtli: This Aztec name means “road”.
Patli: This Aztec name refers to medicine and healing.
Teoxihuitl: This Aztec name means “turquoise”. Alternatively, it is also used to denote something very precious.
Tepiltzin: This Aztec name means “the privileged son”.
Tlacaelel: This Aztec name means a “diligent person”.
Tlanextic: This Aztec name means “light of dawn”.
Tlanextli: This Aztec name means “radiance or splendour”.
Ueman: This Aztec name means “venerable time”.
Xihuitl: This Aztec name means “comet”. It also alternately means “year”. Such apparently disparate meanings make sense because time in Aztec mythology was directly linked with cosmology.
Xiuhcoatl: This Aztec name means “weapon of destruction”. It alternately means the “fire serpent”.
Xochipepe: This Aztec name denotes someone who gathers flowers.
Yayauhqui: This Aztec name means “black smoking mirror”.
Yolotli: This Aztec name means “heart”.
Yolyamanitzin: This Aztec name is used to refer to someone who is a considerate and just person.
Zipactonal: This Aztec name means “harmonic light”.