Detail from the Codex Nuttall

A Confusion of Names

Frequently mixed-up names
of indigenous languages of Mexico


Among the many names of Mexico’s indigenous languages are some which are especially liable to being confused. In these cases, languages that are quite different have almost identical names. This confusion is particularly notable in the following cases:


As can be clearly seen in the etymologies of these names, a good deal of this confusion has its roots in the Nahuatl language. There are other sources of confusion as well, which are especially evident when one considers other, less-standardized names that have been used for these languages. These include

—David Tuggy

with help from:
Doris Bartholomew, Nancy Hagberg, Benjamin F. Elson,
Larry Hagberg, James K. Watters, Elizabeth Willett, Thomas Willett



The image at the top of this page is a detail from a page in the Codex Nuttall, courtesy of Tom Frederiksen, and used by permission.