According to a figurative etymology in the Florentine Codex of Sahagún (bk. 10, ch. 29, para. 14), "Tamoanchan probably means "We go down to our home".
The word tamoanchan does not actually come from the Nahuatl languages, but is instead demonstrated to have its roots in Mayan etymology, with a meaning which could be glossed as "place of the misty sky", or similar. Descriptions of Tamoanchan appearing in the Florentine Codex indicate that the Postclassic Nahuas thought of it being located in the humid lowlands region of the Gulf Coast of Mexico, inhabited by the Huastec Maya people.