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From Charles Lamb's Essays of Elia (1823).
- (idiomatic) Feelings of hostility or ill will.
- 1843, James Fenimore Cooper, chapter 3, in Wyandotte:
- The government at home, and the people of the colonies, are getting to have bad blood between them.
- 1896, Mark Twain, chapter 3, in Tom Sawyer, Detective:
- [T]here was bad blood between us from a couple of weeks back, and we was only friends in the way of business.
- 1922 February, James Joyce, “[[Episode 16]]”, in Ulysses, Paris: Shakespeare & Co.; Sylvia Beach, OCLC 560090630; republished London: Published for the Egoist Press, London by John Rodker, Paris, October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
- All those wretched quarrels, in his humble opinion, stirring up bad blood, from some bump of combativeness or gland of some kind, erroneously supposed to be about a punctilio of honour and a flag, […]
- (idiomatic) A serious feud or long-standing grudge.
- 1869, R. D. Blackmore, chapter 71, in Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor:
- Now for these and other things (whereof I could tell a thousand) was the reckoning come that night; and not a line we missed of it; soon as our bad blood was up. I like not to tell of slaughter, though it might be of wolves and tigers; and that was a night of fire and slaughter, and of very long-harboured revenge. Enough that ere the daylight broke upon that wan March morning, the only Doones still left alive were the Counsellor and Carver.
- (idiomatic, dated) An inherited immoral or disturbed nature.
- 1882, George MacDonald, chapter 4, in Weighed and Wanting:
- [I]f we dare not search ourselves close enough to discover the low breeding, the bad blood in us, it will one day come out plain as the smitten brand of the forcat.
- 1902, Annie Fellows Johnston, chapter 5, in Flip's ‘Islands of Providence’:
- "Humph! Thought there was bad blood somewhere!" he exclaimed. . . .
- "No!" was the determined answer. . . . Because his father was dishonest is no proof that he is a thief."
- 1921, Gertrude Franklin Horn Atherton, chapter 6, in The Sisters-In-Law:
- She has bad blood in her. Her mother . . . went to pieces, poor dear, and Judge Lawton wisely sent her East.