Dec 072012
 

Although it’s not a food word, Atrisco (“the place by the reeds”) here in New Mexico is of Nahuatl origin. I think the synergistic effects of conquest (giving and receiving) must have contributed as much to Spanish as to English, plus exchanges between the two.

Merriam-Webster Online

How many English food words can you name that derive from Nahuatl, a group of languages spoken by native peoples of Mexico and Central America? You’ve probably guessed that "tamale" gives you one; it came to us (by way of Mexican Spanish) from the Nahuatl "tamalli," a word for steamed cornmeal dough. Add to the menu "chili" (from "ch?lli," identifying all those fiery peppers); "chocolate" (from "chocol?tl," first used for a beverage made from chocolate and water); "guacamole" (from "?huacatl," meaning "avocado," plus "m?lli," meaning "sauce"); and "tomato" (from "tomatl"). Top it all off with "chipotle" (a smoked and dried pepper), from "ch?lli" and "p?ctli" (meaning "something smoked").

Merriam-Webster Online

 Posted by at 8:47 pm on Fri 12/07/12