Mexican X Part III: Dude, Where’s My Xocolate?

I’ve received many variations on this question: “Shouldn’t ‘chocolate’ be ‘xocolate’? What happened to that ‘X’?”

The short answer is NO. There was never an “x.”

Don’t feel bad. I was once fooled, too.

Here we go.

Let’s head to the 1500s. “Chocolate” enters European languages (via Spanish) as a word describing a drink made from the cacao bean.

In Nahuatl, that bean was called “cacahuatl.” Mexican [Americans] may sit up at this point and say, “Uh…

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David Bowles

A Mexican American author & translator from South Texas. Teaches literature & Nahuatl at UTRGV. VP of the Texas Institute of Letters.