The ligatured locative suffix -ti-tlan ("below, beneath, at the base of") is preceded by the element *Tenoch-, which is of disputed etymology. The name Tenochtitlan is represented in the native writing system in the form of the glyph shown here, which suggests Andrews' etymology (see below), unless one or both of the syllables te and noch are here used only phonetically in the glyph, with little indication of the actual meaning. In addition, while the short vowel in te- is undisputed, the vowel length of -noch-/-nōch- is disputed, as noted by Karttunen.
- Andrews (2003) gives tetl "rock" + nōchtli "prickly-pear fruit" + -ti- + -tlan "near", i.e. "At the Place Near Rock-cactus-Fruit".
- Lockhart (2001) says "the meaning and nature of tenoch- is not entirely clear despite general consensus that it refers to a type of cactus."
- Karttunen (1983) says "NŌCH-TLI 'fruit of the prickly pear cactus' is often cited as a constituent of this name, but it contrasts in vowel length."
Andrews (2003) writes Tenōchtitlan; Karttunen (1983) and Lockhart (2001) write Tenochtitlan.
- Andrews, J. Richard. (2003) Introduction to Classical Nahuatl, Revised Edition, Univeristy of Oklahoma Press, p. 502.
- Karttunen, Frances. (1983) An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl, University of Texas Press, p. 225.
- Lockhart, James. (2001) Nahuatl as Written, Stanford University Press, p. 233.
- Alternative spelling of
- Alternative form of