Aztec Language

alexis wimmer malinal at
Sun Jan 23 09:56:09 UTC 2000

The common Aztec name for serpent is "coatl".
Bernardino de Sahagn in his chapter about serpents describes any of them.
"Teuctlacozauhqui", Crotalus sp.
"Iztac coatl", Crotalus sp.
"Tlehuah coatl", Crotalus sp.
"Chiyahuitl" or "Chiyauhcoatl", Crotalus triseriatus triseriatus.
"Zolcoatl", Trymorphodon biscutatus or Agkistrodon bilineatus.
"Mazacoatl", 1. Crotalus cerastes or other Crotalus sp.
                       2. Constrictor constrictor mexicana.
"Tetzauhcoatl", Diadolphis regalis.
"Tlapapalcoatl", Lampropeltis sp.
"Chimalcoatl", Crotalus sp.
"Citlalcoatl", Drymobius margaritiferus.
"Metlapilcoatl", Botrops numifera (or Dermophis mexicanus).
"Ahueyactli", Crotalus durissus, durissus.
"Palancacoatl", Botrops atrox.
"Ehca coatl", Masticophis taeniatus taeniatus.
"Cincoatl", Pituophis deppei.
And others which are unidentified.

I don't know the english names of those serpents.
The identification is given by Charles E.Dibble and Arthur J.O. Anderson in
their translation of the 'General History of the Things of New Spain and is
based on Martin del Campo 'Essayo', Anales del Instituto de Biologia,

The word "coatl" is also used in aztec language to form names of divinities
(the most famous is "Quetzalcoatl") and 'calendrical' names such as "Chicome
Coatl", an important female maize divinity.
Alexis Wimmer.

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