The Academia Mexicana de la Lengua maintains on its website the Diccionario breve de mexicanismos, containing Spanish definitions of words peculiar to Mexico, and the Diccionario geográfico universal, whose entries often give “local pronunciation” and the Spanish adjective derived from the place name (e.g., Acaya ‘Achaea’ has the adjective aqueo ‘Achaean,’ which is logical but might not immediately occur to the inquiring mind; that for Acapulco is acapulqueño). The geographical dictionary gives Latin forms when available (Adour, latín Aturus) but no other etymologies; for Mexican place names, however, the etymology is often available via the adjective’s listing in the Diccionario breve de mexicanismos:

acapulqueño, acapulqueña. (De Acapulco, Acapolco, municipio del estado de Guerrero, del náhuatl Acapulco, literalmente = ‘lugar de grandes cañas’, de acatl ‘caña, carrizo’ + pol, aumentativo, + –co ‘en, lugar de’; la ciudad fue fundada en el siglo XVI.) 1. adj. Perteneciente o relativo a Acapulco. || 2. m. y f. Nativo o habitante de Acapulco.

There’s also a Refranero collecting popular sayings. A valuable site.


  1. Check this out: Mexican words for car parts at

  2. I am slightly bugged that lexicographers insist on quoting all Nahuatl nouns with the nominative suffix -tl intact. It would make much more sense to give the noun stem, perhaps with a trailing hyphen to assuage the guilt that might arise from citing a form that never actually appears in the language as an isolated word: aca-. In compound words like acapolco, this would make a lot of sense, and would not leave people wondering whether the tl dropped because of cluster simplification or something even more nefarious.
    But I suspect that lexicographers think that most of the fun of citing Nahuatl is getting to say tl. And it is fun, no mistake.

  3. Well, Latin nouns are sometimes cited in nominative forms and sometimes as stems; you can make arguments either way. And I suspect most people who can make use of Nahua(tl) etymologies are aware that the -tl is an ending.

  4. jake mathews says

    please can you e-mail me some info on spanish dictionaries from your biggest fan jake mathews age 14

  5. please cn you e-mail me some info on spanish and latin dictionaries from your biggest fan ibrahim x

  6. Michael Farris says

    Obviously either Jake or Ibrahim is mistaken as they can’t both be hat’s biggest fan. I suggest some kind of contest to see which one of these guys is _really_ your biggest fan.

  7. OK, guys, I want both of you out here raking leaves today. We’ll see which of you is really my biggest fan.

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