Is the name of the country south of the United States spelled México or Méjico?

Which is the official name of the country in English and Spanish? When is each version used?


3 Answers 3


You can see from the official Mexican seal, that the official, modern name is spelled with an X and not a J.

Estados Unidos Mexicanos
(Source: Wikipedia)

Furthermore, from @Richard's answer to another question is this article about the use of x versus j and the change that took place.

Google ngrams also shows that, since roughly the mid 1850s, México has been the preferred spelling:

enter image description here

  • 2
    It is not just México, in Spain is very usual Méjico and mejicanos". But the normal thing is *México as the ngram shows. Some Mexicans HATE when they see Méjico with J.
    – Jaume
    Commented Dec 15, 2014 at 18:56

The Royal Academy of the Spanish Languaje changed the spelling of words in 1754 when published the new edition of "Ortografia de la lengua castellana", which pretty much defined modern spelling. One of the changes was that the /h/ sound would be spelled with j instead of x, while x would only represent the /x/ sound.

Many words that had an X had to change to J, like Xavier changed to Javier (both names are still in use today). However, some proper names and the names of places stayed the same, like Mexico, Oaxaca and Texas, sometimes the name Mexico is spelled Méjico in Spain, following the new rules.

They also changed names that start with big I (Iota) now Jota (J) like Iesus changed to Jesus.

This update to the languages happens in every language, even South Korea updated their languages's spelling in 2008, and now South Korea and North Korea have different spellings of some words.


The official name is Estados Unidos Mexicanos or Mexican United States and it is only used in government official documents.

The United States was added in part inspired by our northern neighbors, United States of America.

In normal conversation we use only México. There are some efforts by some politicians to change the official name to just México.

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