Spotlight on: Balthazar/Balthasar

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway! It’s live until midnight tonight! And happy Veteran’s Day! Thank you to all our veterans for their service!

(I recently activated an ad thing on the blog, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while but was so hung up on how much I hate ads on web sites, and how much I love the clean look of this blog, that I kept putting it off. But with Christmas coming and finances being top of mind, I thought I would go ahead and do it. Oh how I hate it! I hate how the blog looks! But I’m trying to give it a fair chance. I’m so sorry that you all have to deal with it.)

The last name spotlight I posted was for Callixtus, and in the comments Melissa asked if I would do a spotlight on Balthazar (I didn’t forget you Meghan — I’ll do Stanley next!). I love the name Balthazar! It’s unusual but impeccably faith-y, a very cool combination.

Balthazar, also spelled Balthasar (which is what it’s entered as at and at the DMNES) is the name traditionally given to one of the Three Wise Men. Though Behind the Name doesn’t give it the best meaning, the DMNES one (related but with a key word change) is quite nice. (If the former definition bothers you, this article I wrote on definition vs. meaning might be helpful.) It’s perfect for a baby born on the Feast of the Epiphany, and the Three Kings are also revered as saints, and January 6 is their feast day (Gaspar/Casper/Jasper and Melchior are the other two).

You might also recognize Balthazar from The Neverending Story, where Bastian’s middle name is Balthazar (full name Bastian Balthazar Bux! Wow!); Balthazar is used in several Shakespearean plays, and I just read that there’s a Balthazar in Despicable Me 3; and there’s actor Balthazar Getty, whose given name is actually Paul Balthazar Getty. Such a cool way to jazz up a more “normal” first name.

And I love it as a first name! A good nickname would probably make it easier to deal with. These were included in the comments on the Behind the Name entry as traditional nicknames: Balt(ek), Baly, Tazara, Baltík, Baltazárek, Baltin … I’m not sure what language, but Baltek seems like a good option. Bart could work I think, and even something like Bear or Bo. I wondered if the name Balto is related, and it doesn’t seem to be, but I like that option too — but is the fact that a famous Balto is a dog problematic? (Also be aware that Balthus, which is also a traditional nickname, is tied pretty strongly to an artist that I don’t think many parents would want associated with their child.)

What do you all think of the name Balthazar/Balthasar? Would you give it to a son, or have you? Do you like it better as a first or middle? Do you know anyone with this name, and does he like his name? Does he go by a nickname?


21 thoughts on “Spotlight on: Balthazar/Balthasar

  1. i know an italian-british child named Noah Balthazar. His sister is named Ayla Thalia which imho sounds a bit to close to italy’s flagship airline, Alitalia. their mum is pregnant again, curious to hear the name she picks!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Baltazar is [one of] my favorite boy name – it’s just so… cool. A strong name with a mysterious vibe: I just love it! Baz and Taz (too Looney Tunes-y?) are 2 possible nicknames for it. I also think that some nns for Bartholomew would work for Baltazar as well – Barry (The Flash!) and Bates. Maybe Ben for the initials BN (if it’s one of those slangs in English for something inappropriate, ignore me) or Bar (if you have the right heritage or the courage for it). Me, however, love this name by itself no nicknames needed; my combo for it is John Baltazar = normal honor name + unusual one, although I wouldn’t know what to call the child! 😛 John/Johnny (Jack) and Baltazar are my absolute faves!!! ;D

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  3. Kate,
    I suppose we are swiftly moving out of seasonal appropriateness for this, but would you ever consider doing an Epiphany Names post? How different do you realistically think they would be than Christmas names plus wise men? I guess you could add names with “gold” meanings in there too…

    Liked by 1 person

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