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19 Nahuatl Quotes, Proverbs & Sayings + Their Meanings

Nahua people use a lot of sayings and expressions in daily life which offer advice and even sometimes have hidden meanings.

Check out these proverbs and quotes below to gain some insight into Nahua beliefs and ways of thinking. 

Below I’ve listed famous Nahuatl quotes, inspiring Nahuatl sayings and common Nahuatl proverbs. 

Famous Nahuatl Proverbs & Nahuatl Sayings

Below I’ve listed the most famous Nahuatl proverbs as well as some common Nahuatl sayings. These are used often in day to day life.

  1. Áiac xictli in tlaltícpac – No one is the belly button of the Earth.

This interesting Nahuatl proverb suggests that someone who is a ‘belly button’ is a waste of space just as the belly button on a human serves no purpose.

This proverb teaches us that we should never undervalue anyone and everyone is capable and worthy of respect.

Famous Nahuatl proverb which reads 'no one is the belly button of the Earth'.
  1. Tla alaui, tlapetzcaui in tlalticpac – Things slip, things slide, in this world.

This Nahuatl proverb means that things in life can always change. Sometimes things go your way and other times they do not.

  1. N onouian – Here, there and everywhere.

This proverb is used to talk about a person who takes part in everything including sticking their hands in things they should not.

  1. Tlani xiquipilhuilax – Underneath he drags a bag.

This Nahuatl proverb is used to describe someone who appears to be kind and good but underneath is unkind or nasty. 

  1. Tiquauhtlamelaoa – You are a fruitless tree.

This proverb is used to describe someone who has nothing to show for their efforts, similar to if a fruit tree had no fruit.

Nahuatl Quotes & More Nahuatl Proverbs

Below I’ve listed a range of famous and inspirational Nahuatl quotes as well as more thought-provoking Nahuatl proverbs.

  1. Quicemitqui in yollotl – The heart rules all.
  1. Occepa iuhcan yez, occeppa iuh tlamaniz, m iquin, m canzn – Once again it shall be, once again it shall exist, sometime, somewhere.

This Nahuatl quote means that what happened long ago will happen again. Something that existed long ago, can exist again.

  1. Ninotocuiuitla, timotocuiuitla – I pull up my shoots, you pull up your shoots.

This saying is used when someone you love hurts you in some way and you bring it up with them.

  1. No tlepapalochiuhtiuh – Like a moth into the flames.

This Nahuatl quote is used to describe someone who is always arguing with others. 

Famous Nahuatl quote which reads 'like a moth into the flames'.
  1. Ma quimiehpil oconatlic – Possibly a mouse drank it.

This Nahuatl saying is used when two people who are fighting about something, decide to give up.

  1. Oc nocetonal, oc mocetonal – One more day for me, one more day for you.

This saying is used when someone escapes danger. If you had not taken action, you may have suffered harsh consequences.  

  1. Muchi oquicac in nacel – Every one of my nits have heard it.

This Nahuatl proverb is used when someone tells you something over and over again. 

Best Nahuatl Idioms & Nahuatl Expressions

Below I’ve listed the most well-known Nahuatl idioms and expressions. Many of these have hidden meanings. 

  1. Axcan mixtlapachmana yn tonatíuh

This Nahuatl idiom literally means ‘today the sun has covered it’s face’. This phrase is used when someone really important passes away e.g. a ruler, an elder etc. 

  1. Tlatolli itlaqual

This idiom literally means ‘a word is his meal’ however this phrase is actually used to talk about someone who is offended by everything and starts arguments all the time.

  1. T enquauitl

This Nahuatl idiom literally means ‘wooden lips’ but is actually used to describe someone whose words are firm. You cannot override this person, their words cannot be refuted.

  1. Aonmati iixco, icpac

This idiom literally means ‘he has no idea what is on his face and on top of his head’. It is used to describe someone who doesn’t take care of their appearance. 

  1. Centzon, uel acic

This Nahuatl idiom literally means ‘he succeeded in achieving four hundred’. It is used to describe someone who is skilled in many different things.

  1. Tlatoluilax

This idiom literally means ‘word-dragger’. It’s used to talk about someone who speaks slowly and quietly. 

  1. N oyollo yiztaya

This idiom literally means ‘my heart turns white’. It is used to say that you really long for something. 

Thanks for reading this post on the best Nahuatl quotes about life, famous Nahuatl sayings and fascinating Nahuatl proverbs.

These Nahuatl quotes & sayings give an interesting insight into the Nahuatl beliefs and language.

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