Uncertain. Possibly from the stems mētztli (“moon”) + xīctli (“navel”) + the locative -co, which would yield *Mēxxīcco (“at the place of the moon's navel”). The form Mēxihco would thus imply the degemination of [ʃː] and the dissimilation of [kk] to [ʔk], with the appearance of the glottal stop automatically triggering the shortening of the preceding [iː] to [i]. Some theories link the place name to metl (“maguey”) and cihtli (“hare”), though both these constituents are phonetically unviable.
- Spanish: México
- Frances Karttunen (1992) An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl, University of Oklahoma Press, page 145