Blue Blood

Meanings of “Blue Blood”

The phrase “blue blood” means belonging to traditionally aristocratic and noble families. A rich person is also often labeled as having blue blood.

Origin of “Blue Blood”

The phrase “blue blood” is stated to have borrowed from the Spanish language and translated almost in the same meanings into English. However, its first use has been traced to Maria Edgeworth when she used it in her novel, Helen, published in 1834 where it appeared side by side with its Spanish substitute as: “of the sangre azul, the blue blood.”

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Blue Blood by Bridget Kennedy

Only those who have defied it
Fear the law
For those who have denied it
Truth existsTo those who understand it
Life is awe
Likewise the ones most hunted
Most need gifts

For sacrifice we give them
For love of neighbor, death and
Lies untrue
For firm protection we give
They die for our wellbeing
And Bleed Blue.

The poem is highly ironic in the description of the ‘blue blood’ though he has used the phrase for its title, too. The poet is of the view that though belonging to the nobility is a fear as well as awe for some, others cherish it like a gift. However, the second stanza states that such people are punished for sacrifices and that they often face banishment despite wishing the wellbeing of the public. The irony lies in the fact that though the poet exposes aristocracy in the first stanza, he sides it in the second.

Example #2

Blue Blood by William Schwenck Gilbert

Spurn not the nobly born
With love affected,
Nor treat with virtuous scorn
The well connected.
High rank involves no shame –
We boast an equal claim
With him of humble name
To be respected!
Blue blood! Blue blood!
When virtuous love is sought,
Thy power is naught,
Though dating from the Flood,
Blue blood!

This is the first stanza shows sympathy toward nobility by claiming that the noble and well-connected should not get the treatment people usually extend toward them that is mostly of scorn and hatred. He thinks that being a person of high rank does not mean, it is a matter of shame. Rather blue blood should be given proper respect. The use of this phrase is entirely in positive meanings, showing respect that the poet wants for the aristocracy.

Example #3

Blue Blood by Foals

You’ve got blue blood on your hands
I think it’s my own
We can go down to the streets
And follow the shores
Of all the people
We could be two
Then I bite my nails to the quick
Run back home
You’ve got blue blood on your hands
I know it’s my own
You came at me in the midnight
To show me my soul
Of all the people
I hoped it’d be you
To come and free me, take me away
To show me my home
Where I was born
Where I belong

These lines shed light on the origin of the singer who is in complete confusion whether he is from the blue blood or from the existing middle class. However, he tries to solve this conundrum by asking his friend to go down with him downtown to see that both belong to the blue blood but it still stays in his mind as a conflict as it is not resolved. The use of this phrase points to the conflict of the modern people about their origin.


Example #4

Blue Blood by Pamela Thomas-Graham

A chill went briefly through me at the expression on his face. If I’d had any doubts, they were gone now. This well-mannered Connecticut blue-blood was definitely capable of murder.

“Did you know that she was pregnant?”

He laughed harshly. “Of course. With his child. I saw the prenatal vitamins in her office one day, I figured it out.”

The taken paragraph sheds light on the first-person narrator’s condition after he comes to know that the rich young man from Connecticut is a murderer. He is telling him the details of how he has killed the lady despite her pregnancy. The use of the phrase in the second sentence shows that he belongs to an aristocratic family. The use of hyphen in the phrase, however, has not impacted its meanings.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “Ian struts up and down in the streets as if he has blue blood. Surprisingly his father is just a palace guard.”

Example #2: “Leena behaves like she is from a blue blood family despite the fact that everybody knows about her humble family background.”

Example #3: “Although I am not blue blood, yet I know that there is always an ethical framework of society. I keep this in mind wherever I go.”

Example #4: “You don’t have to be a blue blood to behave like a prince and princess. The way you carry yourself with dignity and honesty makes you a royalty.”

Example #5: “Liam is a blue blood fellow but with a charitable heart and a down to earth attitude.”