According to some sources, Barlaam is the hellenized form of the Aramaic or Chaldean compound name Bar'laham or Bar'lakham. It is said to mean either:

• "son of bread"
• "son of God"
• "son of the people"

The first element must be derived from (or is otherwise related to) Aramaic בְּרָא (b'ra) meaning "son, child". Also compare Classical Syriac ܒܪܐ (bəra) meaning "son", plus the names Barnabas and Bartholomew in the main database (which are both of Aramaic origin).

The second element is a little bit harder to properly determine or verify. If the meaning is "bread", then it must be derived from (or otherwise related to) Aramaic לחמא (lahma) or (lakhma) meaning "bread". For the meaning of "God", compare Classical Syriac ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ('alaha) meaning "god, deity" and Hebrew אֱלֹהִים (elohim) meaning "god". And for the meaning of "people", compare Hebrew לאום (l'om) meaning "nation, people".

Lastly, the Wikipedia article about the legend of the saints Barlaam and Josaphat appears to indicate that the name Barlaam is of Indian/Sanskrit origin. It doesn't go into detail about it for Barlaam, but it certainly does for Josaphat. Personally, I am doubtful of an Indian/Sanskrit origin for both names. The legend may be based on an Indian story, but that does not necessarily mean that the names themselves are of Indian origin. The original Indian names may just have been entirely replaced by proper Semitic names. Whoever had done that, must deliberately have chosen names that resembled the original ones fairly closely, so as to stay true to the original Indian story as much as possible.

Sources used:
- (in Russian; says the meaning is "son of bread" or "son of God")
- (in Georgian; says the meaning is "son of the people")
- (in Russian; says the meaning is "son of bread")
-|by=%E1%83%95 (in Georgian; says the meaning is "son of the people")
- (in Georgian; says the meaning is "God's child")
- Aramaic בְּרָא (b'ra) meaning "son, child": (in English)
- Classical Syriac ܒܪܐ (bəra) meaning "son": (in English)
- Aramaic לחמא (lahma) or (lakhma) meaning "bread": (in English)
- Classical Syriac ܐܰܠܳܗܳܐ ('alaha) meaning "god, deity": (in English)
- Hebrew אֱלֹהִים (elohim) meaning "god": (in English)
- Hebrew לאום (l'om) meaning "nation, people": (in English)
- (in English)

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