What Does Mexico Mean?

David Bowles
4 min readAug 29, 2017

Mexico comes from the Spanish “México,” a name derived from the Classical Nahuatl “Mēxihco,” a kingdom that encompassed most of the western shores of Lake Tetzcohco, Lake Xāltocān, and Lake Tzompanco, ruled from the famous island on which the twin cities of Tenōchtitlan and Tlatelōlco were established.

The “x” of Mēxihco is pronounced like English “sh.” The line above the “e” indicates that it is long (held twice the duration of a normal “e,” like the difference between the vowels in “bed” and “bet”). The “h” stands for a glottal stop (a sort of hitch in the back of the throat). “Mēxihco”…

David Bowles

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