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12 English Words We Got from the Aztecs

Yasha Wallin

Planning a barbeque this weekend? You can thank the Aztecs for some of the items on your list. A typical Aztec meal from 1519, when Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés arrived in Mexico, would look familiar to lovers of Mexican food today: corn tortillas wrapped around beans, chili, avocado, and tomatoes. In fact, the names of several of these familiar foods come to us from Nahautl, the language of the Aztecs. But cuisine is not the only source of English words with an Aztec background.

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  • lehimesa

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