What Do Most Mexicans Call Mexico City

What Do Most Mexicans Call Mexico City?

Mexico City, the vibrant and bustling capital of Mexico, holds a significant place in the hearts of its citizens. However, when it comes to naming the city, there seems to be some confusion. While the official name is Mexico City, locals have different ways to refer to their beloved metropolis. In this article, we will explore what most Mexicans call Mexico City and unravel the reasons behind these alternative names.

1. Ciudad de México: The most common and official name used by Mexicans is “Ciudad de México,” which translates to “Mexico City” in English. This name is often abbreviated as “CDMX” and is widely recognized both nationally and internationally.

2. Distrito Federal (D.F.): For many years, Mexico City was known as the “Distrito Federal” or “Federal District.” This name was used to emphasize the city’s political and administrative importance as the federal capital of Mexico. However, in 2016, it officially became a state, and the name was changed to Ciudad de México.

3. El DF: Another common name used by Mexicans to refer to Mexico City is simply “El DF,” which stands for “Distrito Federal.” This term was widely used before the city became a state and is still used by many locals out of habit or nostalgia.

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4. Capital: Given its significance as the capital of Mexico, many Mexicans simply refer to the city as “la capital” or “the capital.” This name highlights the city’s importance as the political, cultural, and economic center of the country.

5. El monstruo: Mexico City’s size and complexity often lead to the nickname “El monstruo,” meaning “the monster.” With a population of over 20 million people and an expansive urban sprawl, the city can indeed appear monstrous to outsiders. However, Mexicans use this term affectionately, recognizing the city’s immensity and diversity.

6. Chilangolandia: Derived from the slang term “chilango,” which refers to Mexico City residents, “Chilangolandia” is a playful and colloquial way to call the city. The term has mixed connotations, with some locals embracing it proudly, while others see it as a stereotype.

7. Tenochtitlán: Lastly, some Mexicans refer to Mexico City by its ancient name, “Tenochtitlán.” Before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors, Mexico City was the capital of the Aztec empire and was known as Tenochtitlán. Using this name is a way to honor the city’s rich history and indigenous roots.


Q1: Why do Mexicans use different names for Mexico City?
A1: The alternative names reflect different historical periods, administrative changes, and cultural associations that have shaped the city’s identity.

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Q2: Why did Mexico City change from being a Federal District to a state?
A2: The change aimed to provide more autonomy and resources to the city, as well as to address the growing complexities and challenges faced by the capital.

Q3: Is it disrespectful to use alternative names for Mexico City?
A3: Not at all. Mexicans are used to these alternative names, and they are often used interchangeably. It is important, however, to be aware of the context and preferences of the locals when using different names.

Q4: Are there any negative connotations associated with the name “El monstruo”?
A4: While “El monstruo” may seem negative at first, Mexicans use it more as a term of endearment, recognizing the city’s vastness and complexity.

Q5: Is “Chilangolandia” considered offensive?
A5: This term can be seen as both endearing and controversial. Some Chilangos embrace it, while others feel it perpetuates stereotypes about Mexico City residents.

Q6: What is the significance of the name “Tenochtitlán”?
A6: Using the ancient name “Tenochtitlán” honors the indigenous heritage and history of the city, reminding Mexicans of their rich cultural roots.

Q7: Can I use any of these alternative names when referring to Mexico City?
A7: Absolutely! While “Ciudad de México” is the most common and official name, using other names can show your appreciation for the city’s diverse aspects. Just be aware of the context and the preferences of the locals you are speaking with.

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In conclusion, Mexico City goes by various names depending on whom you ask or the context in which it is being referred to. From “Ciudad de México” to “El monstruo,” these alternative names reflect the city’s history, culture, and the affectionate nicknames bestowed upon it by its inhabitants. So, whether you’re a Chilango or a visitor, embrace the diversity of names and enjoy the wonders of this remarkable city.