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Blue blood? 贵族血统

中国日报网 2022-08-23 12:22


Reader question:

Please explain “He’s a blue blood New Yorker.”

My comments:

He’s a true New Yorker. He’s a New Yorker, through and through.

That’s what it basically means.

We can also more or less safely infer that he’s an old New Yorker. He’s a bred and born New Yorker. He was born in New York. He grew up in the city, having never left.

Also, he’s from a well-known New York family probably. And their family is probably very rich.

Or high class, if you will – in America, rich and high class are sometimes interchangeable, since America has no aristocracy of its own.

And that’s what we can infer, more or less safely as I said before, from “blue blood”.

“Blue blood”, not red or yellow or any other color, stands for class, high class, nobility, you know, pedigree. If you’re blue blood, you are, like, royalty.

Sort of.

Blue blood is a translation originally, from the Spanish sangre azul, meaning literally blue blood.

IdiomOrigins.org explains this perfectly:

The origin of this phrase is Spanish from The Middle Ages when Spain was embroiled with its wars against the invading Moors. The Moors occupied parts of Spain for hundreds of years and, whether consensual or not, the result was very often offspring of mixed blood. Spanish aristocratic families coined the phrase sangre azul “blue blood” to distinguish themselves from Spanish of mixed blood, pointing to the bluish tint of their veins on their light-colored skin compared to the darker shades of Spanish people that had started to evolve. English borrowed the expression and Shakespeare uses it in Rape of Lucrece, line 1501. “Her blue blood changed to black in every vein.”

Now, media examples of “blue blood”:

1. Human blood consists of red and white corpuscles and plasma. It is in fact iron that makes our blood red, but some creatures have different metals in their transport system and thus a different color of the blood.

For example, crabs and crustaceans use copper in their transport system which gives them blue blood, and sea shrimps have green blood as they use the metal vanadium.

There is no reason to assume that our composition of bodily fluid is life supporting on alien planets. Today, when we use the phrase “he or she has blue blood”, it is an expression applied to nobility. Our ancestors might have been talking literally when describing the blue blood gods. Some of these remarkable gods are even said to have had blue skin.
How is it possible?

- Mystery Of The Blue Blood Gods: Why Did They Have A Different Blood And Skin Color? AncientPages.com, June 18, 2015.

2. It’s the racy stuff, of course, that made the headlines. In a group of recently released recordings from 15 hours of The Howard Stern Show, taped over a decade ago, Donald Trump made many characteristically off-color remarks about women, from ranking the relative attractiveness of famous women (Anna Nicole Smith, Stephanie Seymour, his wives) to admitting that he groped Melania in public. Stern asked Trump if it’s true that he has “banged some of the greatest beauties on the planet.”

“True. Some of the greats in history,” Trump replies.

Less conspicuous in the transcripts is Trump’s fascinating admission that his daughter Ivanka “looks down on him.” In the exchange, which was recorded on September 23, 2004, Trump reveals that Ivanka was dating a “blue blood” from Bedminster, New Jersey. “My daughter’s becoming a blue blood,” Trump repeated, after Stern egged him on. “She’s becoming very white shoe. That’s true.”

That young “blue blood” in question was likely James “Bingo” Gubelmann, who produced Born Rich, a documentary about inherited wealth in which Ivanka starred, with his childhood friend, Johnson & Johnson heir Jamie Johnson. (Gubelmann did not return a request for comment for this story.)

Ivanka, Chapin- and Wharton-educated, was already the apple of her father’s eye. “She is a great beauty,” says Trump. “She was a very successful model and at 18 she stopped cold turkey, went to the Wharton School of Finance, [and] got all A’s.”

To the casual outside observer, Donald Trump appears to be firmly planted in the highest levels of New York society, from which no one – not even his daughter – could look down on him. He lives high up in a gilded fifth avenue skyscraper that bears his name and owns a Palm Beach estate built by an heiress.

But even from his penthouse vantage point, Trump’s chosen phrase seems weighted with the admission that he is very aware of not being in the ‘blue blood club.”

“You have to remember that Donald Trump’s background is basically working-class,” says David Patrick Columbia, the editor and founder of New York Social Diary. “His father became very successful and made a lot of money but he grew up one of the people in what was the great American middle class and he has never shed that image.”

- What Exactly Does Donald Trump Mean When He Uses the Term “Blue Blood?”, TownAndCountryMag.com, October 3, 2017.

3. The NCAA Tournament is home for March Madness betting upsets, madness, and smaller schools from across the country winning over the nation’s hearts. From Saint Peter’s and Oral Roberts to Loyola Chicago and Florida Gulf Coast, Cinderellas thrive in March.

But as the madness progresses, the cream typically rises, and we see the familiar names find their way to the Sweet Sixteen, Elite Eight, and ultimately the Final Four. More often than not, there’s at least one college basketball blue blood competing for the national championship.

What Is a College Basketball Blue Blood?

Schools like Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky are the most consensus “blue bloods,” deservedly so as the four programs have the most wins in all Division I basketball.

The true definition of a college basketball blue blood is often a debate amongst the sport’s most passionate fans. The criteria often require teams’ past title wins, loads of history, national accolades, and a perennial winning program.

The 2022 Final Four brought up an important question surrounding the term. As North Carolina, Duke, and Kansas were three participants in New Orleans, the Villanova Wildcats had made their third Final Four in seven seasons and were seeking their third National Championship in the same span.

Does Villanova fall into the blue blood category? The program may fall a step behind the elites in history, but it certainly has the 21st-century pedigree to be considered a perennial powerhouse.

Is UCLA still a blue blood despite their long championship drought? They still have the most NCAA basketball national championships.

For now, the most consensus blue bloods remain Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, and Kentucky.

- What Is a College Basketball Blue Blood? BetMGM.com, August 15, 2022.


About the author:

Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: zhangxin@chinadaily.com.cn, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.

(作者:张欣    编辑:丹妮)


Dry run? 排练


On the bounce? 接连


Turn a blind eye? 视而不见


Forces at play? 起作用的力量


Front and center? C位


All in all? 总而言之

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