When James from Waco, Texas, was lost while hiking, he wondered Where in the blazes am I?, then wondered about the origin of that expression. It doesn’t derive from blaze meaning “to cut into a tree to mark a trail.” That term belongs to a family of words that mean “shining” or “white,” and refers to cutting away tree bark to reveal the lighter surface underneath — hence, blazing a trail and trailblazer. The question Where in the blazes? is simply a euphemism for Where in the hell?, the blazes in this case being “the fires of the Devil’s domain.”
This is part of a complete episode.