Flesh and blood

Flesh and blood is an idiom that is hundreds of years old. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom or other parts of speech is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions such as in a blue moon, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, chin up, on the ball, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, as they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker. We will examine the meaning of the idiom flesh and blood, from where this expression is derived, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Flesh and blood may be used in a general sense to mean that someone is human, mortal, or a material part of nature. When someone is referred to as being someone’s flesh and blood, it means that the person is genetically related to that person. For instance, your son would be your flesh and blood. The earliest known use of the idiom flesh and blood may be found in an English translation of the Bible that dates from the year 1000 known as the Anglo-Saxon Gospels. This same passage appears in the King James Version in Matthew chapter 16, verse 17: “…Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee…”


“He realises she’s flesh and blood – and she’s not Robert.” (The Daily Express)

First, the reader should consider that the angels and saints in heaven do not hear and listen and understand the picture as we humans of flesh and blood do here on earth. (The National Catholic Register)

He said meeting the tot was “simply wonderful” and added: “I am so proud, he is my flesh and blood.” (The Courier)

“I cried and screamed, told my uncle she was my flesh and blood, but he still made me sign the paper and hand her over to the Iraqi officials.” (The Telegraph)

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