Blood Is Thicker Than Water (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Blood Is Thicker Than Water"?

"Blood is thicker than water" means that familial bonds (i.e., those who share the same blood) are stronger than non-familial bonds (e.g., bonds of friendship or bonds made through agreements). In this meaning, "water" is used simply to contrast with "blood," which is an obvious metonym for familial ties.

Competing Theory

According to Wikipedia, some claim the term "blood is thicker than water" has the opposite meaning to the common understanding. They assert that the bond between people who have spilled blood together (e.g., in battle) or made a blood covenant (e.g., a "blood brother" agreement) are stronger than those who simply shared "the water of [their mother's] womb."

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

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