(French) , from the Latin name Blasius, probably from blaesus ‘lisping’. It was the name of a saint who was popular throughout Europe in the Middle Ages but is almost forgotten today. He was a bishop of Sebaste in Armenia, and was martyred in the early years of the 4th century; these bare facts were elaborated in a great number of legends that reached Europe from the East at the time of the Crusades. As a boy's name it was in moderate use in England from the Middle Ages. It is now found only occasionally, but is also used for girls.