Of Course Blood Is Thicker Than Water, But What Does The Saying Mean?


4 Answers

Will Martin Profile
Will Martin answered
This very old saying means that, ultimately, family ties are more important than anything else. "Family" here means blood or genetic relatives, not in-laws or even husbands and wives; certainly not friends, however much loved. The idea is that, in the last analysis, the only people you can really rely on, and the people to whom you always have a duty no matter what, are those with whom you share a genetic inheritance. (If you're in business, your relatives may well use this saying to try and get a discount!)

Today the saying is still in use, although in many ways we probably think less in terms of blood relationship than we used to, and more in terms of what role a person has played in our lives. To give one example, it is quite common for children to regard a stepfather, if he has lived with them for most of their lives, as more their "real" father than their biological one. At the same time, people still do attach great importance to the blood tie, as is shown by the number of adopted children who try to make contact with their birth parents, for instance.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
The "Blood" means any non-family persons (friend/business partner) who is beneficial in your life, can be considered more important than any inconvenient brother or sister who were also born from the "water" of the womb of which you too were born.
Gillian Smith Profile
Gillian Smith answered
The blood tie i.e the family relationship is is oldest institution known to humans.  In the past the links between families formed tribal grouping and clans. These social networks were the means by which people found safety, alliances, marriage partners and bound each other together.  The family is taking on a different role now but when we need to we still regard blood is thicker than water as a binding force.  Family ties and alliances were often broken and it wasn't at all unusual for families to engage in hostile conflicts against each other and the blood ties made the ferocity of the conflicts worse.  The saying probably had a lot more meaning in the past when families perhaps worked together, worked the land together and intermarried but life is different now.  Many family groups drift apart geographically and the need for close knit family groups has largely gone in western socierty.  However even now if the family unit is threatened we often say that blood is thicker than water.

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