Tuesday, December 6, 2011


Today's name: Balthazar

Pronunciation: BAL-thuh-zar

Potential nicknames: Baz, Bally, Balto (which is the natural nickname), Zar, Zaro

Origin: A variation on the Babylonian name Balthasar, meaning "Baal protect the king." Baal, or Ba'al, was a Phoenician God, but the titel Baal may have been used the same way "God" could apply to anyone's god, not just one.

Popularity: In 2010 there were 39 baby boys named Baltazar, but zero or less than five named Balthasar or Balthazar. In 2011 there were 13 baby boys named Balthazar and 33 Baltazar. Apparently writers use this name more than parents.

Fun fact: (1) Along with Caspar and Melchior, Balthazar was one of the three wise men who brought gifts to the newborn Christ. Balthazar is the one who brought frankincense. Balthasar is a variant of the biblical king Belshazzar, which could be the reason why, although the three wise men were not named in the Bible, this was thought to be one of the names. It would be natural for a king to visit. But, this is just a theory. It is also likely that this name pre-dates Christianity. (2) Actor Balthazar Getty. (3) Balthazar appears in four Shakespeare plays. (4) The title of a Laurence Durrell novel. It can also be seen in a wide range of media, past and present. (5) There was a Frisian nobleman named Balthasar Oomkens von Esens of the 16th century whose brothers were named Caspar and Melchior.

1 comment:

  1. Indeed an informative article. I have collection of Balthazar baby names. I develop this liking after visiting babynology.com and have found ideas like this. Even i am quite pleased with Bally' baby names. Truly exciting!