Talk:Blood is thicker than water

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Does the "water" of the saying refer to baptism?[edit]

The saying makes perfect sense to me if the "water" is taken as alludiing to Christian baptism and "blood" in its metaphorical meaning of genetic heritage. It then reflects the tension that often exists between loyalties to the biological family and to the family of faith, especially when one's family adheres to a different faith. Is there any evidence that this is the case? Ruckabumpkus (talk) 15:10, 2 April 2011 (UTC)

That's what I thought. I'll look further. -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 17:37, 23 November 2014 (UTC)
Researching olde documents may not explain what people that say it today have in their minds. And I would have to say, after reading some of the WP editor TALK comments and edits, that we could say people agree to disagree on the meaning. One way I am looking at it (original 'research' and thought) is to change my original preference from family bonds are stronger than baptism, to think instead (original research of my own mind again) that Jihadists and true patriots have stronger feelings (after conversion and covenants) than their birthings. As the Bible says of Jesus Christ, true conversion may lead to severed family relationships, hence "the blood of the covenant was the stronger" (to quote myself.) -- Charles Edwin Shipp (talk) 06:19, 27 December 2014 (UTC) PS: Again, people can agree to disagree on what the main meaning is to people today. Those with this view are probably in the minority, which now includes me.

I've changed a few parts about the meaning[edit]

After reading discussions here and reading the linked documents, I changed the article

Basically, there are only two named people who say the expression is about blood covenants (Jack and Pustelniak). Other web pages with this claim are of the "fun facts!" variety and don't even attribute their tidbits to any named person.

I read Pustelniak's page, and it contains no evidence, sources or other info that could confirm his claim.

I read the blog by the woman who bought Jack's book, and she says that his book similarly has no info about where this "blood covenant" might have come from. In fact, his book contains no sources for any of its contents.

So I've trimmed down the word count given to this alternative idea, and noted that it's the idea of two guys who don't give any evidence. Does anyone contradict this? Gronky (talk) 00:38, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

Your comments on the source footnote are pretty unencyclopedic, and neither is the coment "However, neither author gives any evidence for this claim", which you should not (as an editor) write down as fact uncited. What we wrote is that they claim it, and we can back that up with citations, but if the claim is justified or not is not our job to evaluate.
I was aware of the bad scholarliness of Pustelniak et al., that's why I put Henry Clay Trumbull first, whom I would not feel qualified to doubt (and neither should a Wikipedia editor without an authoritative reference, this guy has a honorary degree from Yale and had travelled to the region to do research). The cites on Pustelniak et al simply serve to illustrate that this alternative interpretation still has traction today and hence deserves to be mentioned, because someone might come across it in that context, and then Wikipedia should explain the background for that. (Also, someone is sure to add it back in if it were removed from the article, see my post above). But given its dubious authority, I agree with you that it definitely does not belong in the intro paragraph.
I'm still pretty partial to my original wording of the "Other interpretations" section, and would ask you to re-read it, but I don't find yours to be that much worse that I would counter-edit you on that (except for that comment of yours judging the source).
I also want to commend you for taking the time to actually edit the article, as opposed to the various busy bees who do nothing but add tags instead of doing the work of actually fixing things, going as far as to remove undisputed information whose sources are but two mouse clicks away and sometimes can be found in the linked Wikipedia articles. --91.96.124.139 (talk) 13:05, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Appeal to loyalty fallacy[edit]

This phrase is commonly used in persuasive settings as the Appeal to loyalty fallacy under a family context. It's worth a mention. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jnav7 (talkcontribs) 17:44, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Checking Sources[edit]

When I attempted to research the German version of the saying "blut ist dicker als wasser," I discovered that this was NOT what was written in Reinhard Fuchs. Since no manuscript uses those words, I quoted the exact wording from the earliest complete manuscript.

Regarding the quote from Lydgate, I am unable to locate anything like it in the volumes of the 1908 edition that are online. Searching for the expression given in the Wikipedia article provides nothing earlier than about 2000. Does anyone have a proper citation?

I am unable to find any early printing of John Ray's "Proverbs" titles that contain the expression, or even an expression that means the same thing. Searching for "blood" reveals almost nothing, while searching for "water" provides evidence for the "lead a horse to water" expression but nothing connecting blood and water. Here's the 1678 edition on Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=rnlQoxh95VMC&printsec=frontcover&dq=john+ray+collection+of+english+proverbs&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiFtd-ih9nJAhVLcz4KHYVqDTgQ6AEIJTAA#v=snippet&q=thicker&f=false

The earliest reference I find to the modern expression is in Zeluco's "Various Views of Human Nature," where we read "So you see there is little danger of my forgetting them [old friends], and far less my blood relations; for surely blood is thicker than water." (1791 edition, p. 217) The author here appears to use the expression not to compare family to friends, but to compare family to nothing at all. "Thicker than water" appears to be his way of expressing that blood relationships mean something to him.

A search for the expression "thicker than water" in all Google books dating prior to 1800 yields only one source for the expression prior to 1790. That is "A Collection of Scots Proverbs" from 1776 (ed. Allan Ramsay). On page 21 we read "Blood's thicker than water," with no explanation.

This German book of Estonian proverbs from 1780 https://books.google.com/books?id=ZPxJAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA114&dq=%22dicker+als+wasser%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiItL6vlNnJAhUBUj4KHSbNCzkQ6AEIHDAA#v=onepage&q=%22dicker%20als%20wasser%22&f=false is the earliest reference that I am able to find of the German version of the saying.

We need to document our sources better. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 23.112.55.96 (talk) 15:38, 13 December 2015 (UTC)

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Oldest Version/Bloodfeud and Baptism[edit]

(I apologize for not knowing wiki editing guidelines which is why I posted in talk rather than on the page, but I spent time researching this and I thought others might like a pointer) In ZEITSCHRIFT des Vereins für Volkskunde, p. 442 (link: https://books.google.com/books?id=n_tLAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA442&lpg=PA442) we have the original 1180 version quoted "Sippe blut verdirbt von Wasser nicht" which translates to "Kin blood is not spoiled/corrupted by water." The author then cites Jakob Grimm as saying this phrase is an apology/excuse for continuing on a bloodfeud due to "folk-custom justice, duty and honor" even after being baptized, because one had to renounce such things at baptism — Preceding unsigned comment added by Nicestnisus (talkcontribs) 12:01, 21 June 2017 (UTC)