Etimology of the word bliaut

  • bliaut: Old French, of Germanic Origins. The root of the modern word blouse. Also spelled Bliaud, Bliaus, Bliant, Bliaunt, Bliand. From Cunnan

  • bliaud: Italian. devived from the French word bliaud which is from the Old French blialt. The earliest known usage of bliaud in French dates from the 12th century. From MyEtymology

  • blouse: "Fr. blouse is from Old Fr. bliaus which is the plural of bliaut" From Folk-Etymology by Abram Smythe Palmer

  • bliaut, blizant, blial, bliau: "(robe, habit, justaucoprs), blezo bleso (tunique), Old French bliaut bleaut bliaus bliaux (justaucorps, manteau), Spanish Portuguese brial a rich petticoat, L.L. bliaudus blialus, bliaus. The Middle High German blialt bliât denotes the stuff merely, so also in Old French. Diez suggests that the root bli or blid is oriental, and Mahn refers to Persian baljas a plain garment, from Ar. (Arabic?) root balâ to wear a garment. The French blouse, Pic. (Picardian?) bleude, Norman plaude (cf. the forms blizant, bliaus &c.) is the same word. Ducange derives bliaud &c. from the W. (Welsh?) blaind a fine linen-stuff, Old English bleaunt, blehand." Mahn wrote Untersuchungen auf dem Gibiete der Romanishen Sprachen. Diez wrote Introduction to the Grammar of the Romance Languages (also in German). From Bonkin.

    Overall, the word bliaut appears in various forms many modern and medieval languages which suggests it was known throughout Europe. Many Old French references appear which suggests the bliaut may have been most popular in France. The word may have originally come from the Middle East which might suggest it traveled to europe with silks during the 12th Century as a result of the Crusades.


  • Cunnan, a Wiki collecting information for re-enactors of the Middle Ages and Renaissance wit h a heavy slant towards members of the SCA.
  • MyEtymology html http://www.myetymology. com/italian/bliaud.html
  • Folk-Etymology by Abram Smythe Palmer
  • An etymological dictionary of the Romance languages; Chiefly from the german of Friedrich Di ez by T.C. Bonkin. pg 79
    (Available on Google books online) AAAAYAAJ

    Copyright © 2009 Aibell ingen Dairmata. Permission to reproduce this article is freely given as long as all attributions remain intact. I'd like a copy if you reprint this article anywhere.