Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Blood - A Study of Bloody English

Sanguine, Haemophobia, Red
Photo by M.Mate


[Old English blōd, of Germanic origin; related to German Blut and Dutch bloed.]

1A. A complex fluid, red when oxygenated and containing various suspended cells,
circulating in the arteries and veins of the higher animals;
the corresponding fluid in other multicellular organisms. ME

1B. A liquid or juice resembling blood (always with a conscious reference to the primary sense). ME

2A Blood that is shed, in theological writing especially sacrifice, as that of Christ; the taking of life. OE

2B The guilt of bloodshed. OE

2C A blood-and-thunder story. Frequently in penny blood. Usually in plural. archaic. L19

3 obsolete Vital fluid; the vital principle; life. ME-M18

4A The blood as the supposed seat of emotion; passion, temperament, mettle. ME

4B The blood as the supposed seat of animal or sensual appetite; sexual desire. ME

5A The blood as the vehicle of hereditary characteristics or relationship;
consanguinity; parentage, lineage; family, race, nationality. ME

5B Persons of any specified blood or family collectively; kindred. ME

5C Good parentage or stock. LME

5D One's offspring; a near relative. archaic. LME

5E A fellow black person. US Black English. M20

6 obsolete. A living being. Only in ME

7 obsolete. A disease in sheep or swine. E16-L18

8A A rowdy, a roisterer; a dandy; a rake. Now archaic or Historical. M16

8B A leader of fashion, especially at a public school or university. slang. L19

9 (Bloods) Plural. A member of a N.American Indian people belonging to the Blackfoot confederacy. L18

It's a good job that I'm not haemophobic, as this has been a bloody post to research. Considering the vital nature of blood, it's hardly surprising that it's so firmly rooted in the English language and forms some of our most colourful and graphic phrases. While I don't want to stir up bad blood by dwelling on the negative, blood and iron draws first blood as a phrase that means military force (as opposed to diplomacy). Even individually, if one's blood is up, one can be out for a person's blood. Whether or not one can kill in cold blood (deliberately and without passion) or one is blood-thirsty and driven by blood-lust, bloodshed is inevitable. After the graphicly termed blood-bath, the survivors weary and blood-boltered (hair matted with blood), the victors can only rue their blood-guilt and whatever paltry, ill-gotten blood-money they were paid for their sacrifice. 

It's not all blood-curdling horror and violence, however. One's family is one's blood, and blood-relatives, whether new blood or old, are closer than anyone, commonly expressed in the saying that blood is thicker than water (meaning family ties are more important than anything else). You might even be blue-blooded if you're from a royal line (the expression blue blood originates from the Spanish sangre azul and the claim by certain noble families of the Castile that they had no Moorish or Jewish in them, thus leading to their paler complexions and 'bluer' appearance). Care must be taken with family, however, as blood-feuds can easily develop, leading to the type of violence described above.
Smear, Bloody, Sanguine,

Do you know of any other bloody English expressions, idioms or phrases?

Are there any bloody phrases in your language?

I heartily predict that getting bloody comments will not be akin to getting blood  from a stone.
(or turnip, depending on where you're from)


  1. I recently heard a great podcast on the subject from the folks at Radiolab

    My favorite bit was talking through fake blood for Hollywood. Possible career change?

    - K

    1. Thanks K ... I enjoyed that. I'm not sure I would have the same enthusiasm for different types of fake blood, their colour, consistency, splatterbility, etc ...

  2. Since we're talking about blood today, I should recommend Dexter. Very good show!

    (Dexter is a blood spatter analyst by day and serial killer by night. He only kills criminals who have escaped from the justice system)

    1. I've read about Dexter as it's an interesting premise. Like so many of these great TV shows, though, I've never got around to watching it. One day, one day.

    2. Dexter was definitely one of the first thoughts arising from this post for me - I was sucked into the show by some relatives, though my husband doesn't watch it. I guess I have more a dark side than him haha.

  3. Well written Ed!
    There's also 'blood will tell' meaning family characteristics can't be hidden.

  4. Bloody hell, near the end of the first bloody paragraph, I thought to myself, there's no way he can bloody well keep this up. But you bloody did!

  5. I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. fake document maker

  6. Great survey, I'm sure you're getting a great response. fake diplomas

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Thank you very much for this great post. I read that Post and got it fine and informative. Please share more like that.

  9. I really like your blog. Great article. It's most evident, people should learn before they are able to Study MBBS In Philippines

  10. So you can see that deep rooted contemplating could be of extraordinary advantage. In any event, perusing books can be valuable in adapting new things. study agent.

  11. Okay, while you may believe that glimmer cards are a relic of past times, or they are simply utilized for small children, streak cards are really an astounding investigation apparatus, making it outstanding amongst other examination abilities that you can utilize. Streak cards are ideal for remembering material when you have to read for tests, and they are additionally a fast method to retain data. diploma of school age education and care melbourne

  12. You make so many great points here that I read your article a couple of times. Your views are in accordance with my own for the most part. This is great content for your readers. cfa books pdf

  13. words with the best Word Finder dictionary tool. A free word unscrambler to unscramble letters fast. Great for Words With Friends and Scrabble GO. see web site

  14. This is my first visit to your web journal! We are a group of volunteers and new activities in the same specialty. Website gave us helpful data to work. cfa level 1 summaries

  15. You have performed a great job on this article. It’s very precise and highly qualitative. You have even managed to make it readable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you so much. convert pdf to jpg

  16. You have done a great job on this article. It’s very readable and highly intelligent. You have even managed to make it understandable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you. waec answers

  17. i am always looking for some free stuffs over the internet. there are also some companies which gives free samples. 먹튀사이트

  18. Impressive web site, Distinguished feedback that I can tackle. Im moving forward and may apply to my current job as a pet sitter, which is very enjoyable, but I need to additional expand. Regards. แทงบอล

  19. Great articles and great layout. Your blog post deserves all of the positive feedback it’s been getting. psychiatric service dog letter

  20. I am unable to read articles online very often, but I’m glad I did today. This is very well written and your points are well-expressed. Please, don’t ever stop writing. 메이저사이트

  21. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part I care for such information a lot. I was seeking this certain info for a long time. Thank you and good luck. 먹튀검증

  22. Thankyou for this wondrous post, I am glad I observed this website on yahoo. 먹튀검증

  23. I want to start a blog to write about everything that happens at school and
    with friends…anonymously…any sugestions?.

    Try to check my blog: 오피

  24. I think this is one of the most significant information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers BizOp