How did the Aztecs choose their children's names?
Aztec names are hard to pronounce for most of us, but once you study the culture and understand Nahuatl, the language of the Mexica (Aztec) people, the names become beautiful sounds to your ears. There are several different ways to take an Aztec baby name: a one word name, a name with a specific meaning to it, a calendar name, a hero's name, a dedication name, or a combined name. In the time of the Aztecs, they used mostly names with a specific meaning, a calendar name, dedication name, or a combined name. Both parents had a say in the name of their child, as well as the grandparents on both sides. Many times, the Aztec children were named after gods or goddesses. Aztec goddess names were given mostly to royal daughters or the very wealthy daughters of diplomats.
One word names were mostly given to slaves and people of lower stations, and often were repetitive because there were only certain names slaves could have. Specific meaning names were given to the middle class Aztecs most of the time. The specific meaning names could be handed down from ancestors, or just named after a particular scene of a favorite flower or animal of the parents. Heroes names were given mostly to sons of warriors in hopes of creating a new hero among the people. Calendar names and dedication names were often decided on before the Aztec child was born.