My step grandpa passed, and I want a tattoo in latin that says, "Blood isn't always thicker than water." I would greatly appreciate it if someone translates this.

1 Answer 1


The proverb "blood is thicker than water" originated in German, so all Latin versions are translations from that. The one I've seen most often is:

Sangvis aqvā densior est.

Densior is quite literally "thicker". You could also use spissior "denser" or dūrābilior "harder to break"; either of those can be substituted in freely.

Another Latin proverb is "no man is always wise":

Nemō mortālium omnibus hōrīs sapit.

(Literally, "nobody among the mortals is wise at every point in time".)

Combining the phrasing from those two would give:

Sangvis nōn omnibus hōrīs qvam aqvā densior est.

I added the qvam to make it clear which ablative goes where, since there are two in a row. But you can freely drop the qvam and est without affecting the meaning.

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    It's a tattoo, it has to be more epigrammatic than that. Sanguis non omnibus quam aqua densior ("for all people"), at most: I'd drop the "hours" too. Or, if we allow ourselves the (neo-Latin) diacritic for the ablative, Sanguis aquâ non omnibus densior. Aug 4, 2018 at 1:23
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    Yes, more epigrammatic, from NickNicholas. But iunctior 'closer in friendship,' might be better than densior 'more crowded.'
    – Hugh
    Aug 4, 2018 at 14:36

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