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Classical Nahuatl[edit]

The glyph for the day sign miquiztli “death”, from the Codex Magliabechiano.


An elision of miquiliztli, from miqui (to die).



miquiztli inan (plural miquiztli)

  1. (it is) the action of dying or the state of being dead; death.
  2. (it is) a death's head or skull.
    • 16C: Bernardino de Sahagún, Primeros memoriales
      ynic tlachiuhtli colotli tlatlatili yaoaltic ynic tlatzacutli chamolivitl tẽtlapilolo ycpac ca ỹ miquiztli quetzaltzoyo pepeyocyo
  3. (it is) the sixth of the twenty day signs of the tōnalpōhualli; a flaking death's head.
    • 16th c.: Codex Magliabechiano, f. 12r.
      chicunauj. mi quiz tlj / q̇ quiere dezir nueve / ṁuertos. el qúe na / ce en eſte dia dizen q́ es señal / ėntre ellos q̇ a de morir / luego. […]
      chicunauj. miquiztlj. which means “nine death”. they say that for one to be born on this day is a sign that he will die later.


Derived terms[edit]


  • Alonso de Molina, Vocabulario en lengua castellana y mexicana y mexicana y castellana, Editorial Porrúa, 1571, pages 87v, 57r
  • Rémi Siméon, Diccionario de la lengua náhuatl o mexicana, Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 1885, page 278
  • Laurette Séjourné, El pensamiento náhuatl cifrado por los calendarios, Siglo Veintiuno Editores, 1981, page 21