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Blue blood

Blue blood is a compound word, which is a term made up of two or more words that have a different meaning when used together than the literal interpretation of the separate words. Blue blood has an interesting origin story. We will examine the meaning of blue blood, where the term came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

A blue blood is someone of noble birth or someone who is born into a family with a high social rank. For instance, descendants of the occupants of the ship the Mayflower are considered blue bloods in the United States, though they are certainly not nobility. The word blue blood is an open compound word, which is one made up of two separate words. The term blue blood is taken from the Spanish term Sangre Azul, which literally translates as blue blood. Old, Castilian families boasted that they had no Moorish antecedents in their bloodlines, and pointed to the blue veins in their arms as proof. Obviously, their veins appeared very blue against their pale white skin. This term migrated into English in the early 1800s. The plural form is blue bloods, and the adjective form is blue-blooded. Note that the adjective from is hyphenated.

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Examples

Mr. Duterte appears to be without a profiteering agenda. His Cabinet is without A-listers in terms of wealth and the single blue blood in his cabinet, Ms. Lopez, has been the scourge of the billionaire mining class. (The Manila Times)

But like many other New York property blue bloods, he followed the scent of a good deal to the borough, where his family firm, Kushner Companies, has significant holdings. (The Real Deal Magazine)

How royal was Tara Palmer-Tomkinson? Tragic socialite’s blue-blooded connections to Kate Middleton and Princes William, Harry and Charles (The Mirror)

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