axoquen.

Headword: 
axoquen.
Principal English Translation: 

Great Blue Heron, a bird (see Hunn, attestations)

IPAspelling: 
ɑʃokeːn
Alonso de Molina: 

axoquen. cierto paxaro de pluma blanca. Alonso de Molina, Vocabulario en lengua castellana y mexicana y mexicana y castellana, 1571, part 2, Nahuatl to Spanish, f. 10r. col. 2. Thanks to Joe Campbell for providing the transcription.

Attestations from sources in English: 

Ā-XOQUEN, Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) [FC: 28 Axoquen] “It resembles the [Sandhill Crane, Grus canadensis) [in color]; it is ashen, grey. It smells of fish….” Martin del Campo suggested this is the Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea), apparently because the Spanish version indicates that it is “much smaller” than the crane. However, the Little Blue Heron is less likely to occur in the Valley of Mexico than the Great Blue Heron, and the Great Blue Heron, in my opinion, is more likely to have been compared to the Sandhill Crane [TOCUIL-COYŌ-TL] and is often called “crane” in local vernaculars. Also, the Aztec scribes compared the size of this bird to that of the Wood Stork [CUA-PETLA-HUAC].
Fr. Bernardino de Sahagún, Florentine Codex: General History of the Things of New Spain; Book 11 – Earthly Things, no. 14, Part XII, eds. and transl. Arthur J. O. Anderson and Charles E. Dibble (Santa Fe and Salt Lake City: School of American Research and the University of Utah, 1963); Rafael Martín del Campo, “Ensayo de interpretación del Libro Undecimo de la Historia General de las Cosas de Nueva España de Fray Bernardino de Sahagún – 11 Las Aves (1),” Anales del Instituto de Biología Tomo XI, Núm. 1 (México, D.F., 1940); and, with quotation selections, synthesis, and analysis here also appearing in E. S. Hunn, "The Aztec Fascination with Birds: Deciphering Sixteenth-Century Sources," unpublished manuscript, 2022, cited here with permission.

See also: