Etymology of Chocolate 

The name chocolate most likely comes from the Nahuatl language indigenous to central Mexico, although it may have been influenced by the Mayan languages. One popular theory is that it comes from the Nahuatl word xocolatl, derived from xocolli, bitter, and atl, water. On the other hand, Mexican philologist Ignacio Davila Garibi proposed that "Spaniards had coined the word by taking the Maya word chocol and then replacing the Maya term for water, haa, with the Aztec one, atl." But this theory assumes that the conquistadores would change indigenous words from two very different languages, while at the same time adopting hundreds of other words from these same languages as-is, a highly unlikely scenario. 

In an article, linguists Karen Dakin and Søren Wichmann found that in many dialects of Nahuatl, the name is 'chicolatl', rather than 'chocolatl'. In addition, many languages in Mexico, such as Popoluca, Mixtec and Zapotec, and even languages spoken in the Philappines have borrowed this form of the word. The word chicol-li refers to the beating sticks still used in some areas in cooking, and that are either a small straight stick with small strong twigs still on one end or a stiff plant stalk with the stubs of roots cleaned and trimmed. Since chocolate was originally served ceremonially with individual beater sticks, it seems quite likely that the original form of the word was 'chicolatl', which would have the etymology 'beater drink'. In many areas of Mexico, 'chicolear' means 'to beat, stir'.