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Thursday, November 11, 2010

Words borrowed from Nahuatl

Totopo (totopo)
Totopo is an action that comes from the Nahuatl word totopotchtli= to fry or to toast

Chia (chia seeds)
Chia comes from the Nahuatl chiyan and it is a plant from the family salvia Hispanica that was cultivated by the Aztecs in pre-Hispanic times and it was so valued that it was given as an anual tribute from the people to the rulers. This plant has blue leaves with edible seeds and it is related to mint

Chocolate (chocolate)
Chocolate comes from the Nahuatl xococlatl or chocolatl which would be derived from xococ=bitter and atl=water (with an irregular change of x >ch). However the word socolatl does not appears in Nahuatl language until the 18th century. This was a foamy drink made with cacao beans, drank only by the emperors.

Chayote (chayote)
chayote comes from the Nahuatl word chayotol

Epazote (epazote)
Epazote sometimes mispronounced ipasote or ypasote is devived from the Nahuatl epazotl. Epazote is a leaf vegetable and a herb with a pungent flavor that is hard to describe.

Mezcal (mezcal)
Mezcal comes from the Nahuatl mexcalmetl=maguey. Maguey grows in many parts of Mexico and it was the conquistadors who began experimenting with the maguey plant to find a way to make a distilled mash. The result is mezcal

Nopal (nopal)
Nopal is a word that comes from the Nahuatl word nopalli=for the pads

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