Chihuahua, Chiwawa, Wawa, Techichi

A rose by any other name is still known conventionally as a deer type Chihuahua.

Chihuahua is a Spanish word, that has to use ‘hu’ to fake a ‘w’ sound. The same problem arises with other Nahuatl words that have been through the Spanish sieve, sahuaro or worse, saguaro.

Nowadays, there are actual speakers of Nahuatl who are using ‘w’ instead of ‘hu’. So they say Nawatl, Chiwawa, sawaro, etc. I will not use these spelling exclusively but I will continue to introduce them as we loosen up our ideas about the deer type chis.


I watched all 18 of Fermin Herrera’s  videos on the Nahuatl language,  largely overlapping material on the two sets of videos, but it was reinforcing. Then I bought his dictionary Nahuatl/English and the reverse. I have a friend who knows some of the language, too, so I will try to be accurate with the terms that come from this language. Professor Herrera say specifically in both series that in written Nahuatl, both spellings are correct.

Techichi is  Nahuatl for ‘dog’.  The Spaniards applied it to the small dogs of the Indians. These small dogs were larger than today’s AKC Chihuahua. It was strictly the AKC that took the Chihuahua type down to its current size. The Techichi whom some claim is extinct, is probably not extinct at all, but unrecognized- as though all those big deerlike Chihuahuas along the border towns are descended from AKC Chihuahuas! I say that is the tail wagging the dog.



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