Flesh and Blood (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Flesh and Blood"?

The term "flesh and blood" means biological family. So, "your flesh and blood" relates to family members with whom you share DNA (i.e., the same blood line).
Flesh and Blood (Origin)
Of note, husbands and wives are usually described as "flesh and blood," even though they are not literally of the same blood line.

Examples of Use:

  • We will always look after each other. We are flesh and blood.
  • We're brothers, Tim. You're my flesh and blood.
  • Our bonds are flesh and blood. Nothing beats that.
"Flesh and blood" can also be used to refer to mankind, usually with a connotation of weakness or fallibility. For example:
  • Of course we're not indestructible. We're just flesh and blood.
  • Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven.
  • (This comes from the Bible, Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 16, Verse 17.)
In this meaning, the term "flesh and blood" is at least 1,000 years old. Here is a version from an Old English translation of the Bible from AD 1000:
  • Hit ye ne onwreah flaesc ne blod.
  • ("Flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee.")

Previous and Next Sayings

Test Your Knowledge of English Proverbs and Idioms

Ready for the Test?

More Proverbs, Sayings, and Idioms

Help Us Improve Grammar Monster

  • Do you disagree with something on this page?
  • Did you spot a typo?

Find Us Quicker!

  • When using a search engine (e.g., Google, Bing), you will find Grammar Monster quicker if you add #gm to your search term.
Next lesson >

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

Page URL