Mexican X-plainer: Tacos, Not Tlahcos

David Bowles
3 min readDec 12, 2018

A recent debate among friends on Twitter concerning what does and does not constitute a real tortilla got me thinking about people’s misguided understanding of the word “taco,” which I have seen some folx erroneously derive from the Nahuatl word “tlahco” or “tlacōtl.”

Tacos, not tlahcos.

Sorry, but no. “Tlahco” means “center,” “middle,” or “half.” Its meaning is born out in many compounds: tlahcocuetlaxtli (sash or…

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David Bowles

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