An axolotl, or ambystoma mexicanum (see the infographics page for the origin of Linnaean classifications) is a little-known type of salamander walking-fish thing, which I didn't even know about until it was requested. The word axolotl is clearly of Native American origin, in this case from Nahuatl as axolotl, or "slippery one", earlier on meaning something more like "slippery servant". This is a portmanteau of two words, atl, which meant water (and even had a figurative meaning of urine!) and xolotl, which meant "male servant". Since there is very little research in non-Indo-European languages, we can only say generally that this is of Uto-Aztecan descent. We can, however, say that searches in Google for axolotl have increased over four times in the last decade, and usage over time in English has grown infinitely since 1800. Obviously, that's only because it had no usages in 1800s, but still, infinity is quite a large number...
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a rising junior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.