What Does Blood Runs Thicker Than Water Mean?

Blood is Thicker Than Water Meaning

Definition: Family bonds are more important than any other, also blood is thicker than water.

Your family members are your “blood relatives” because you share similar DNA in your blood. The phrase blood is thicker than water shows that relationships with these family members either are stronger than other relationships or should be honored above others, or both.

In its use of family bonds are stronger, someone might say,

  • The only people who came to visit me in the hospital were my brothers. None of my friends showed up. Blood really is thicker than water.

In its use of family should be honored above all others, someone might choose to attend a grandmother’s birthday celebration rather than go to a friend’s party because blood is thicker than water.

Origin of Blood Runs Thicker Than Water

what does blood is thicker than waterThe origins of this phrase have been widely debated. In the last 20 years, many people have stated that this phrase has come from biblical writings that read, “the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” which would imply that family is less important than religion.

However, no reputable sources can be found to show that this phrase is where blood is thicker than water came from.

A more likely origin story is that an American military officer told his troops that blood is thicker than water when they went overseas to fight. He meant that their American blood would bond them together.

Examples of Blood Runs Thicker Than Water

Many people imagine Mafia bosses when they think of this phrase because the mafia is typically run by families.

what does blood is thicker than water meanHowever, this phrase can be used by anyone as a reminder, chastisement, or positive statement. In an extreme case, a daughter may be encouraged to take her family’s side rather than her husband’s side in a fight with the statement, “blood runs thicker than water.”

More Examples

  • Wooden … will not be there. He remains close to Llewellyn and cordial to the Hathaways, but blood runs thicker than water. McCoys don’t attend parties thrown by Hatfields. –LA Times
  • In his own family, allegiance was previously with BYU — where his brother played football. But Covey knows blood runs thicker than water and the moment he committed, his whole family bought Utah gear for the first time. Now, his family are genuine Ute fans. –Fox Sports

Summary

The phrase blood runs thicker than water is a reminder of the tight bond a family shares.

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