Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
late 14c., "shining," also "vehement," present participle adjective from blaze (v.1). As a mild or euphemistic epithet, attested from 1888 (no doubt connected with the blazes in colloquial sense of "Hell").
"bright flame, fire," Old English blæse "a torch, flame, firebrand, lamp," from Proto-Germanic *blas- "shining, white" (cf. Old Saxon blas "white, whitish," Middle High German blas "bald," originally "white, shining," Old High German blas-ros "horse with a white spot," Middle Dutch and Dutch bles, German Blesse "white spot," blass "pale, whitish"), from PIE root *bhel- (1) "to shine, flash, burn" (see bleach (v.)).
"light-colored mark or spot," 1630s, northern English dialect, probably from Old Norse blesi "white spot on a horse's face" (from the same root as blaze (n.1)). A Low German cognate of the Norse word also has been suggested as the source. Applied 1660s in American English to marks cut on tree trunks to indicate a track; thus the verb meaning "to mark a trail;" first recorded 1750, American English. Related: Blazed; blazing.
"to burn brightly or vigorously," c.1200, from blaze (n.1). Related: Blazed; blazing.
"make public" (often in a bad sense, boastfully), late 14c., perhaps from Middle Dutch blasen "to blow" (on a trumpet), from Proto-Germanic *blaes-an (cf. German blasen, Gothic -blesan), from PIE *bhle-, variant of root *bhel- (2) "to blow, inflate, swell" (see bole).
"to mark" (a tree, a trail), 1750, American English; see blaze (n.2).
Seductive in dress and action; frontin', hot (1990s+ Black teenagers)