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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Classical Nahuatl

The glyph for the day sign "snake" in the Codex Magliabechiano.
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Alternative spellings


  • IPA: /koː(w)aːtɬ/

Karttunen (1983), Lockhart (2001) and Andrews (2003) all write cōātl, but Lockhart says "that the ō is long is dubious."


cōātl (plural cōcōah)

  1. Snake.
  2. Twin.
  3. A day sign.

Derived terms


  • Andrews, J. Richard (2003). Workbook for Introduction to Classical Nahuatl, rev. ed., p. 213, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • Chimalpahin Quauhtlehuanitzin, Domingo Francisco de San Antón Muñón (1997). Codex Chimalpahin, ed. and trans. by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Susan Schroeder, pp. 70–71, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  • Karttunen, Frances (1983). An Analytical Dictionary of Nahuatl'', p. 36, Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • Lockhart, James (2001). Nahuatl as Written: Lessons in Older Written Nahautl, with Copious Examples and Texts, p. 215, Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Sahagún, Bernardino de (1981). Florentine Codex: Book 1 - The Gods, ed. and trans. by Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble, 2nd ed., rev., p. 30, Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.

Usage notes

The coatl has been related in Aztec mythology and literature to represent the concrete. The opposite is the quetzal, which represents spirit. Things that relate to the coatl are corporeal and tangible.


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