baby name BlaiseThe baby name Blaise marries a modern, fiery sound with deeply traditional roots.

Thanks to Mariuccia for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day.


In Latin, blaesus means to stutter or stammer, to lisp.  From this root came the given name Blasius.

Like many an ancient name, Blaise endures thanks to a saint.

Saint Blaise was born in Sebastia, part of modern day Turkey. He served as bishop, and may have had some medical training.

Legend tells us that he healed the sick – people and animals, be they domestic or wild – and famously saved a boy from choking to death on a fishbone.  Naturally, this makes Blaise the patron saint of throats.

His healing powers made him especially popular during outbreaks of plague, and Blaise is considered one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers to invoke against illness.

The saint’s popularity spread the name throughout Europe. This includes The Gate of Blasius in Basel, Switzerland, and Bristol, England’s Blaise Castle, named for nearby Blaise Hill. And, of course, the baby name Blaise spread across the continent, too.


French poet Robert de Boron included a priest called Blaes or Blaise in his poem Merlin, penned around the year 1200. Others continued the tale.

He’s a mentor to the young Merlin.

It’s not clear if his name relates to the saintly Blaise, or if it has another origin.


Way back in the seventeenth century, we find towering French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal.

Pascal was a whipsmart kid, fascinated by science and math from his earliest days. His first major piece of work – still known as Pascal’s Theorem – was completed when he was just sixteen. Rene Descartes dismissed it as far too sophisticated to be written by one so young.

His final work was Pensées – thoughts – an incomplete document, meant to be the philosopher’s comprehensive defense of Christianity. Despite its unfinished state, it remains widely influential.

The scholar’s reputation lends a brainy edge to the baby name Blaise. And while the name is biggest in the francophone world, it’s broadly familiar elsewhere.


The baby name Blaise peaked in France around the year 1900.

In the US, it’s a slightly different story.

In 1953 and 1962, the baby name Blaise briefly appeared in the Top 1000. But those aren’t outliers. They represent a tiny increase in births, just enough to tip the name very slightly into 900s from the 1000s.

Beginning in 1996, the baby name Blaise charted most years, up to and including 2017. It briefly dipped out of the rankings in 2018, only to return in 2019.

But – mostly – the numbers represent small changes in use. Blaise has danced on the edge of the US Top 1000 for years.


If the baby name Blaise represents an old school saint and a French mathematician, then what to make of the baby name Blaze?

It’s a different story entirely.

Blaze refers to a flame – and not just a little flicker of heat and light. A blaze is more of a roaring fire. It’s the saintly original, dressed up in a superhero cape.

Fiery Blaze comes from the Old English blaese – a torch or bright flame. It can also mean to lead the way, to blaze a trail, probably a word meaning mark. The trailblazer was the first to travel a path, cutting marks on trees to show the route.

That makes Blaze a modern virtue name of sorts, an active verb name that fits with Dash and Chase.

Interesting, the baby name Blaze has fallen over the last few years. Other epic boy names, like Maverick, Legend, and Ace, are all climbing dramatically.


While pop culture gives us a handful of uses of the name, none seem to be big enough to re-shape the image of the baby name Blaise … or Blaze, for that matter.

There is a minor Harry Potter character named Blaise Zabini – he’s a Slytherin – but, much as we love our Wizarding World names, this seems too obscure to make an impact.

Instead, the baby name Blaise might represent the best of both worlds. It mixes the spiritual and the academic, a modern sound with deep roots.

Parents seeking daring boy names could be every bit as attracted to Blaise as those after something with a modern sound but traditional sensibility.

And the good news? The baby name Blaise remains nicely rare, even as it returns to the Top 1000.

What do you think of the baby name Blaise? Which spelling do you prefer?

Originally published on January 3, 2009, this post was revised and re-published on December 22, 2014 and again on October 14, 2020.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. My son’s name is Blaise (2006). We love it! It’s unique, bold, masculine, confident, and invokes lots of questions. Many people have personally asked me for more information because they wanted to use the same name for their child. My son absolutely loves his name. He says it’s like a nickname at the same time and most people question if it’s his real name. NO ONE forgets this name.

  2. For me, there’s something about Blaise that needs to be used with a second name, and that it’s a fantastic “anchor name” for more uncommon names. I think it’s because a deceased friend of mine’s name was Blaise Wafo Ndetatsin, and we all called him by his first and second names.

  3. I called my dog “Blaise”….he’s nearly ten now…..and I’ve never heard anyone else using the name….x

  4. Blas is really fun explaining to americans that the latin version means to lisp or stutter…I guess there’s a cool sain I can mention…

  5. Love Blaise!! It has been on our short list for a long time but we have friends with a young Blaze. I love the sound and its unexpected history.

  6. In the Netherlands Blaise is known as Blasius or Blaas. Since ‘blaas’ means ‘bladder’ in Dutch he is traditionally invoked against bladder disease.

    1. Now that’s interesting – and potentially awkward! Is Blaas/Blasius used as a given name?

    1. I *love* that combination! I’m a sucker for alliteration, and how great is the serious, scholarly Benedict with the fiery Blaise?

  7. Blaise is a great name that I’ve loved since I was a child. In parochial school, we celebrated St. Blaise’s feast day on February 3rd with the ceremonial blessing of the throats (one of the more mystical Roman Catholic feast days, in the eyes of a child). The Spanish form of the saint’s name is “Blas” and pronounced “Bloss.” In Gallego, my father’s first language hailing from the region of Galicia in northwest Spain, the variant is “Brais” and pronounced “Bryce.”

    1. Nice point, DT. But I can’t quite remember – Blaise Zambini or something, right? I usually re-read all the HPs over the summer, but somehow I haven’t even cracked open book #1 yet, and here it is … almost August!