Anáhuac is the term used by the Aztecs to refer to the territory they dominated, e.g. the empire as awhole, including tributary peoples; and as such was among the terms proposed for the name of the new country prior to independence, as in, for example, Congress of Anáhuac, another name for the Congressof Chilpancingo.
Mēxihco was the Nahuatl term for the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely, the Valley of Mexico, and its people, the Mexica, and surrounding territories which became the futureState of Mexico as a division of New Spain prior to independence; compare Latium. It is generally considered to be a toponym for the valley which became the primary ethnonym for the Aztec TripleAlliance as a result, or vice versa. It has been suggested that it is derived from Mextli or Mēxihtli, a secret name for the god of war and patron of the Aztecs, Huitzilopochtli, in which case Mēxihcomeans "Place where Mēxihtli lives".
Another hypothesis suggests that the word Mēxihco derives from the mētztli ("moon"), xictli ("navel", "center" or "son"), and the suffix -co (place), in whichcase it means "Place at the center of the moon" or "Place at the center of the Lake Moon", in reference to Lake Texcoco. The system of interconnected lakes, of which Texcoco was at the center, hadthe form of a rabbit, the same image that the Aztecs saw in the moon. Tenochtitlan was located at the center (or navel) of the lake (or rabbit/moon). Still another hypothesis suggests that it isderived from Mēctli, the goddess of maguey.
The name of the city-state was transliterated to Spanish as México with the phonetic value of the x in Medieval Spanish, which represented the...