As top philosophers have said, “Blood is thicker than water” – a phrase that has long been used to describe the unbreakable bond of family ties. However, perhaps we have misunderstood the true meaning of this popular saying.

The original quote, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” offers a different perspective on the matter. It suggests that the bonds formed through shared experiences and mutual agreements are stronger than those based solely on biology.

Consider the example of friends who become like family or a mentor who guides you through life. These relationships can be more impactful and meaningful than those with biological relatives. As the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “Love is not consolation. It is light.” Love and loyalty can transcend genetics and blood ties.

The philosopher Plato once said, “Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies,” highlighting the importance of relationships built on shared experiences and mutual respect.

We often prioritize family over everything else, but the people we choose to love and surround ourselves with can create just as deep and meaningful bonds. For example, the philosopher Aristotle spoke of the importance of “philía,” or platonic love, which can be just as strong as the love between family members.

This is not to say that family bonds are not important or valuable. The philosopher Confucius once said, “Respect for one’s parents is the highest duty of civil life.” However, it is important to recognize that the bonds we form with those outside of our family can be just as significant and powerful.

In conclusion, the saying “Blood is thicker than water” may hold some truth, but it is only one perspective on the importance of relationships.

As the philosopher Epicurus said, “It is not so much our friends’ help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.” Let us cherish and nurture all of the bonds we form in life, whether they be with family, friends, or others we choose to love and respect.

1. “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.” — Unknown

2. “Blood is thicker than water, but loyalty is thicker than blood.” — Unknown

3. “Blood is thicker than water, and so is diarrhea.” — Josh Stern

4. “Blood may be thicker than water, but oil is thicker than both.” — Larry Hagman

5. “Blood is thicker than water, but politics are thicker than blood.” — Frank Herbert

6. “Blood may be thicker than water, but love is thicker than anything.” — Goldie Nash

7. “Blood is thicker than water. That’s what they say. But in truth, most things are.” — Libba Bray

8. “Blood is thicker than water…Your car’s engine oil is even thicker. Cherish your car more than family.” — Unknown

9. “Blood is thicker than water, as they say, and money is thicker than blood. Interpret that however you like.” — Richard L. Sanders

10. “Blood is thicker than water, but maple syrup is thicker than blood, so technically pancakes are more important than family.” — Unknown

Is blood really thicker than water quotes?

If you have been let down or betrayed by a family member, you already know the answer to this question. These blood is thicker than water quotes show just wrong this statement can sometimes be.

11. “Blood is thicker than water but some family be faker than friends.” — Unknown

12. “Blood is thicker than water… But family can stab you in the back too.” — Unknown

13. “Blood may be thicker than water, but family has them both beat.” — Walter Mosley

14. “Blood is thicker than water, but it can still be contaminated.” — Matshona Dhliwayo

15. “Jealousy is an ugly trait, and sometimes blood ain’t no thicker than water.” — Reds Johnson

16. “Blood might be thicker than water, but love was the most powerful magic of all.” — Lucy Connors

17. “If blood is thicker than water, then menstruation is thicker than brotherhood.” — Sandra Cisneros

18. “Sometimes blood isn’t thicker than water, and family will cross you quicker than strangers.” — Unknown

19. “Blood may be thicker than water, but it is still sticky, unpleasant and generally nauseating.” — Janeane Garofalo

20. “Choosing your family over your partner or vice versa can be one of the toughest challenges you face in life.” — Unknown

Witty, funny, and interesting blood is thicker than water quotes

21. “Blood’s not thicker than money.” — Groucho Marx

22. “Blood is thicker than water, but water is easier to swallow.” — P.L. Byrd

23. “Blood is thicker than water but they both leak, trust no one…” — Unknown

24. “They say blood is thicker than water, but I guess the blood is starting to wear thin.” — Unknown

25. “Blood is thicker than water, I know, but it’s unnatural stuff to drink so much of.” — A. E. Coppard

26. “They say blood is thicker than water… But it’s also a lot harder to clean up when it spills.” — Unknown

27. “Blood is thicker than water, but they still use cornstarch as a thickener on cooking shows.” — Josh Stern

28. “Nevertheless, blood is thicker than water, as anyone knows who has tasted both.” — Margaret Atwood

29. “For most people, blood is still thicker than water, but I guess all bets are off when you put money in the mix.” — Lisa Henry

30. “‘Blood is thicker than water,’ the young man said as he knifed his friend for a drooling old bitch and a house full of lies.” ― Ernest Hemingway, 88 Poems

If you are uncertain about the accuracy of the statement “Blood is thicker than water,” these quotes may offer you a fresh perspective to consider.

31. “An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.” — Spanish Proverb

32. “It is said that blood is thicker than water. It is what joins us, binds us, curses us.” — Barnabas

33. “They say blood is thicker than water. Only in certain cases, you need water to live. You learn that in the basics.” — Styles P

34. “Blood is thicker than water, but family isn’t just about blood. Family is about faith, and loyalty, and who you love.” — Mira Grant

35. “Blood is thicker than water, my mother had always said when I was growing up, a sentiment I’d often disputed.” — Cheryl Strayed

36. “My friend, I consider you my brother. I know we are not blood, and blood is thicker than water, but your body already has all the blood it needs. You will always need water.” — Eric Pio

37. “I have never bought into the idea that blood is thicker than water. Love and respect are meant to be earned from our children, our spouses, our families, and our friends.” ― Raquel Cepeda, Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina

38. “I do feel that I like my old friends the better in proportion as I increase my new acquaintance. So you see there is little danger of my forgetting them, and far less my blood relations; for surely blood is thicker than water.” — John Moore

39. “Loving your neighbors is to be a family and is far beyond DNA connection. Blood may be thicker than water, but love, kindness, trust, and ability to empathize with each other in the face of every adversity is what we should call my family.” — Kemmy Nola

40. “We need the historian and philosopher to give us with trenchant pen the story of our forefathers and let our soul and body, with phosphorescent light, brighten the chasm that separates us. We should cling to them just as blood is thicker than water.”  — Arturo Alfonso Schomburg


The origins of the phrase “Blood is thicker than water” are often misunderstood. The truth is, the original phrase, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb,” dates back to the 15th century and implies the opposite of what is commonly believed. This saying emphasizes that the bonds we choose to form through shared experiences and agreements are often stronger than those based solely on family ties.

The first use of the phrase “blood is thicker than water” comes from the novel “Guy Mannering,” written in 1815 by Sir Walter Scott, a Scottish poet and novelist.

While family can be a source of support and comfort, it is not a guarantee. Sometimes it is our friends who are there for us when we need them the most. As philosopher Aristotle said, “Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow ripening fruit.”

Ultimately, it is not about whether blood or water is thicker. Rather, it is about investing our time and energy into building meaningful relationships with those we trust and respect. These bonds are formed through shared experiences, mutual sacrifices, and a deep sense of understanding.

As the saying goes, “A friend in need is a friend indeed.” When we face difficult times, it is those who have proven themselves to be true friends that we can rely on. So, let us not limit ourselves to the constraints of biology. Instead, let us focus on nurturing the relationships that truly matter and building a strong support system that will stand the test of time.

I remember when I asked permission for marriage, the only question the mother of Brenda (my late Hong Kong-born Portuguese wife) asked was “Is he family?” Brenda replied “Yes.”. This had a deeper meaning as we are from different race and country. 

Research by: Robren
Published on: Vesak Day. 4 May 2023.