phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Blood is thicker than water

Posted by John Thayer Jensen on January 22, 2001

The 'origin' entry for this simply says that it dates back to 1672. I am curious as to the source of the meaning. I have always presumed that the water in the phrase was the water of baptism, and that it was a justification for feuding between families (both of which were Christians). I have no evidence for this view, however. It is speculation. Does anyone have any evidence?

John Thayer Jensen
System Administrator, Commerce Computing
University of Auckland