Malise is certainly a historical Gaelic name, popular among the Earls of Strathearn for example - see the wiki article for a list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Strathearn
. and Malise Graham
is another important figure if I remember rightly.
In terms of modern use though I think they seem to be a dying breed lol (literally in this guys case - http://chears.org/viewImage.php?id=25
A lot of traditional highland names have been severely anglicised and name nerds has Miles
listed as a variant so I guess many potential Malise's might have become Miles
The wiki article confirms that it is indeed just a more simplified spelling of Maoliosa and it's variants. It also confirms the meaning as servant of Jesus
also has this. Going by the similarities of Jesus
/ Iosa I think I'd be confident with that and maol/mael is definitely servant like in Malcolm
I never thought if the mal element on it's own, the overall similarity with malice bothers me more! I didn't think Malcolm
had any problems, but maybe it's different here.