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Classical Nahuatl[edit]

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From tōna (to be hot or sunny) +‎ -lli.




  1. The warmth of the sun.
    • 17C: Bernardino de Sahagún; Chimalpahin (copyist), Exercicio quotidiano, f. 22r
      ynic omotetzinco ceceuh yn itztic in cecec ticmottititzino cecuiztli auh in tonalli in mitonaltzin ticmomatemilitia
      (when punishing cold and iciness at times chilled you; you found freezing cold; and [in] the heat you wiped the perspiration with your hand.)
  2. Day.
    • 16C: Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex, book 1, chapter 12
      qujnaoatia, yn iqujn oallaz: qujpepena in tonalli, qujtta yn jamux, yn jtlacujlol: qujtta, yn iqujn qualli tonalli, yn ieccan, in qualcan
      (He instructed him when he should come; he chose the day. He consulted his sacred almanac, he noted the good day, the good time, the favorable time.)
    • 1888: Miguel Trinidad Palma (trans.), Constitución Federal de los Estados-Unidos de Mexicanos
      ipan 16 itonal in Setiembre
      (on the 16th day of September)
    • 2000: Severiana Estrada Vásquez; Arnulfo Prado & David Tuggy (ed. and tr.), Ya wejkawitl oksé tlamantle oyeka
      Yonmej tonaltin mach okipiayaj tlanextle
      In those days they didn't have electricity
  3. Day sign.
    • 17C: Annals of Cuauhtitlan, 7:47–49
      auh yn iuh quimatia yn iquac hualneztiuh yn tleyn ypan tonalli çeçentlamantin ỹpan yauh mìyotia quinmina quintlahuelia
      (And so, when he goes forth, they know on what day sign he casts light on certain people, venting his anger against them, shooting them with darts.)
  4. (possessed) Privilege.
    • 16C: Florentine Codex, book 10, chapter 26
      qualli iectli, ioani, tetonal tecpilatl, tlâtôcaatl
      (good, superior, potable [chocolate]: the privilege, the drink of nobles, of rulers)
    • 17C: Pedro Calderón de la Barca; Bartolomé de Alva (trans.), El Gran Teatro del Mundo, f. 3r.
      Nomacehual notonal yn tlatquitl nipapaquiz ninotlamachtiz
      (Property is my reward, my fate. I wil be joyful and rich.)
  5. (possessed) Soul; spirit; shadow.
    • 16C: Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex, book 10, chapter 29
      mjtoaia vmpa tiiocoelo in timaceoalti, vmpa vitz in totonal: in jquac motlalia, in jquac chipinj piltzintli, vmpa oallauh in jntonal, imjtic calaquj
      (It was said that there were we, the common people, created; thence came our souls. When babies were conceived, when they dropped [from heaven], their souls came from there; they entered into their [mother’s] wombs.)


Derived terms[edit]


  • Bierhorst, John (ed.) (1992) Codex Chimalpopoca: The Text in Nahuatl with a Glossary and Grammatical Notes, Tucson & London: The University of Arizona Press, pages 12, 181
  • Bierhorst, John (trans.) (1992) History and Mythology of the Aztecs: The Codex Chimalpopoca, Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, page 36
  • Chimalpahin et al. (1997) Codex Chimalpahin, ed. and trans. by Arthur J. O. Anderson & Susan Schroeder, Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, pages vol. 2, pp. 154–155
  • Karttunen, Francis (1983) An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl, Austin: University of Texas Press, page 246
  • Lockhart, James (2001) Nahuatl as Written: Lessons in Older Written Nahuatl, with Copious Examples and Texts, Stanford: Stanford University Press, page 240
  • Sahagún, Bernardino de (1981) Florentine Codex, tr. by Arthur J. O. Anderson & Charles E. Dibble, 2nd ed., rev. edition, Salt Lake City: The University of Utah Press, pages part 2, p. 24; part 11, pp. 93, 169
  • Sell, Barry D.; Louise M. Burkhart; Elizabeth R. Wright (eds. and trans.) (2008) Nahuatl Theater, Volume 3: Spanish Golden Age Drama in Mexican Translation, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, page 75