blood is thicker than water

blood is thicker than water


  • family relations and bonds are closer than other relationships
  • people who are related have stronger bonds with each other than with others
  • blood relations are more important than other kinds of relations

Example Sentences

  1. When you get into trouble, usually your family will be the ones to bail you out, not your friends. After all, blood is thicker than water.
  2. My friends are going for a camping trip during the weekend, but I have to help my brother with his shifting. Blood is thicker than water, you know.
  3. I had to choose between attending my cousin’s and friend’s wedding, which were on the same day, and I chose my cousin’s. Blood is thicker than water, after all.
  4. When his sister was going through a difficult period and needed support, he dropped everything and went to stand by her; blood is thicker than water.


This phrase is an old one and was used in various forms. It existed in other languages also, with the earliest probable reference being in the 12th century in German. In English, there have been references in 1412 and 1670. In the present form, it was first found in the novel “Guy Mannering” in 1815 by Sir Walter Scott.


B 6 Thoughts

6 Thoughts

The extended version “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” is based on the Arab version, which is based of the old testament.
Basically, the old testament (regarding contracts) states that a contract in blood is more binding than a familiar bond.
While the Arabic version uses milk instead of water, supposedly meaning that the bond of battle-brothers who bled together is stronger than familiar bonds. While the current version goes back to the middle ages and really means that Family is most important.

At least that is how I was educated on what this could mean and that all three are real. Then I was told I would have to make my own decision on how to apply all three to my live and in what ranking.
And I have made my decision.

- Jaco January 26, 2021

Everyone who keeps saying it’s actually older or longer, you need to post some kind of reference to support your argument. Otherwise I assume you heard it was longer or older and don’t care about facts.

- Anon a mouse February 3, 2020

Yeah, this meaning is some what ok. The actual meaning is “family members have obligations with eachother than with people outside the family” and frame example with this

- Me November 2, 2019

It is actually “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb” meaning relationship formed by choice are more powerful than those formed by family ties.

- Anonymous October 30, 2019

Nah, this has been the meaning since at least the 1300s. Someone made up some extra and now it gets passed around as fact.

- Nikki November 2, 2018

This is actual only todays meaning of the saying. It is actually blood of the covenant is thicker than water of the womb

- Me October 21, 2017

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Idiom of the Day

marry in haste, repent at leisure

Meaning: if you marry someone without knowing the person well, you will later regret your decision to marry

Example: Sally and Bob had hardly known each other for a few months before they decided to get married, and now they are having big problems. Marry in haste, repent at leisure! Read on


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