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Classical Nahuatl[edit]

The glyph for the day sign cōātl “snake”, from the Codex Magliabechiano.

Alternative forms[edit]


This etymology is incomplete. You can help Wiktionary by elaborating on the origins of this term.


  • IPA(key): [ˈkoː.aːt͡ɬ], [ˈkoː.(w)aːt͡ɬ], [ˈko.waːt͡ɬ]


cōātl (animate, plural cōcōah)

  1. snake, serpent
  2. twin
  3. The fifth day sign of the Aztec tōnalpōhualli, represented conceptually by a snake.
    • 16C: Codex Magliabechiano, f. 11v.
      chicuei coatl q̇ / quiere dezir ocho / culebras.
      chicuei coatl. which means “eight snakes”.

Derived terms[edit]


  • English: couatl
  • Spanish: cuate


  • Alonso de Molina (1571) Vocabulario en lengua castellana y mexicana y mexicana y castellana, Editorial Porrúa, pages 83v, 23r
  • Rémi Siméon (1885) Diccionario de la lengua náhuatl o mexicana, Siglo Veintiuno Editores, page 115
  • Laurette Séjourné (1981) El pensamiento náhuatl cifrado por los calendarios, Siglo Veintiuno Editores, page 20