tlanicuilulco, guerrero

Michael McCafferty mmccaffe at
Sun Oct 9 19:47:42 UTC 2011

Nice, John.

I gave the word about two seconds of my time and didn't go the further 
step to ihcuilolli, which is why, as I was walking around later 
yesterday afternoon,I suddenly said to myself, "So, with ihcuilolo, how 
do you account for that final -l- in tlanicuilulco, once -lo is lopped 
off ihcuilolo to accept the locative suffix? Doh!--Ihcuilolli."

As for the tlan- part, homophony is curious phenomenon: tlan(i) 
'downwards' and tlan(tli) 'tooth'. This is of course at the heart of 
the fun of Nahuatl.

In light of tlanicahua, tlanihuah, etc., one (meaning nehhuaton) might 
accept tlanihcuiloa with a 'tlani' meaning. But I'm interested in the 
'tooth' analysis.
It makes sense.


Quoting John Sullivan/IDIEZ <idiez at>:

> Piyali notequixpoyohuan,
> 	This word is made up of the noun tlanihcuilolli and the
> locative/place-name-maker -co (place of).
> Now let?s look at tlanihcuilolli. This is a verbal noun that comes
> from the transitive verb tlanihcuiloa. And tlanihcuiloa comes from
> tlantli, ?tooth? and ihcuiloa, ?to write, inscribe or paint s.t.? And
> ihcuiloa ultimately comes from the idea of scratching/engraving, and
> that may be important here. Anyway, tlantl is the object of ihcuiloa,
> so tlanihcuiloa mean to engrave, write, inscribe, paint a tooth. When
> we turn this into a passive action noun, tlantli, originally the
> object of the verb, becomes the focus of the noun. So tlanihcuilolli
> is a engraved written, inscribed or painted tooth. Perhaps the
> scratching thing does have importance here, because we could be
> talking about a geographic formation within the context of sacred
> landscape, that looks like a tooth, perhaps a rock formation. So it
> would seem that tlanihcuilolco would mean, ?place of the engraved,
> written, inscribed or painted tooth.? Perhaps Juan has some local
> cultural or geographic information that could help to narrow this
> down.
> John
> John Sullivan, Ph.D.
> Professor of Nahua language and culture
> Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas
> Zacatecas Institute of Teaching and Research in Ethnology
> Tacuba 152, int. 43
> Centro Histórico
> Zacatecas, Zac. 98000
> Mexico
> Work: +52 (492) 925-3415
> Home: +52 (492) 768-6048
> Mobile (Mexico): +52 1 (492) 103-0195
> Mobile (US): (615) 649-2790
> idiez at
> On Oct 8, 2011, at 10:01 AM, Michael McCafferty wrote:
>> Quoting juan Vazquez <juanvazquezvaz at>:
>>> I need help in finding out the meaning of TLANICUILULCO........
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> Nahuatl mailing list
>>> Nahuatl at
>> Juan,
>> This is a fun word, as it can take you in several directions. It
>> will be interesting to see what the term means.
>> To me it seems to be composed of the following:
>> tlan(i) 'downwards' + (i)hcuilu:lo: 'it is written, painted' + -co "place".
>> That tlan-, of course, also looks like 'tooth'.
>> Monequi nimitzilhuiz ahmo nicmati inezca inin altepetocaitl.
>> Michael
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