ICAO General English: Halloween Vocabulary Party – Expressions With Blood

In the spirit of upcoming Halloween, I’m going to present gory-related words, phrases, and useful idioms. The following article will not contain any disturbing pictures – if you’re squeamish about blood you don’t need to worry about the visual content, you can scroll down.

Halloween learning English

Blood-Related Nouns and Adjectives

A short reminder – blood is a uncountable noun.

  • blood type -> someone’s blood group is the same as their blood type
    “This document revealed her blood type is AB-, the same as mine.
  • bloodshed -> fighting, in which people are injured or killed
    “The ceasefire stopped the bloodshed in the region.”
    shed (someone’s) blood
    “Innocent people shed their blood during World War II.”
  • a bloodstain -> a stain or a spot caused by blood
    “A drunken brawl finished for him with bruises and a few bloodstains on his T-shirt.”
    bloodstained (adjective) – something that has blood on it
    “a bloodstained floor”
  • blood-curdling (adjective) – extremely horrified
    “The blood-curdling scream”

English idioms involving blood

English Idioms Involving Blood

  • to be in one’s blood – ingrained and fundamental part of your character
    “Sailing is in my blood.”
  • be like getting blood out of / from a stone (always used in reference to obtaining something from someone) -> extremely difficult
    “Getting the truth out of him about an accident was like getting blood out of a stone.”
  • give bloodto donate blood for the medical purposes
    “Some people can never give blood if their own health may be affected by donating.”
  • in cold blood – in a violent way, without showing any emotions
    “He killed four family members in cold blood.”
  • young blood – a younger member
    “We need some young blood, a spark of creativity and energy in our company as an integral part of our rebranding strategy.”
  • blood is thicker than water – (a saying; proverb) family relationships are more important than other relations
    “Some family members are demanding but, all in all, blood is thicker than water.”
  • blood, sweat and tears – hustle, extremely hard work; toil
    “He poured Churchillian blood, sweat, and tears to reach his goals.”
    “He poured blood, sweat, and tears into the flying.”
  • make someone’s blood boil – infuriate someone; to make someone angry.
    “What makes your blood boil when you hear about the shortly-released regulations?”


Which of these phrases are new for you? I advise you to choose 3 expressions and try to integrate it in your use of English. Once you feel more confident, take a look at this blog post again and pick next 3. Reuse and recycle what you already know and gradually increase your range of vocabulary in order to slowly become more advanced English speaker. Let me know in the comments below which phrases are your favorite. Happy  Halloween, Draculas! 🙂

Halloween aviation English