draw first blood

What is the meaning and origin of "to draw first blood"?

When you "draw blood" you make your opponent bleed. Therefore, when you "draw first blood", you hurt your opponent before he hurts you. In which sport does one aim to do this? Boxing, of course! According to some scholars, the idiom "to draw first blood" comes from the world of boxing. The expression is also used metaphorically to mean, "to score a victory over someone".

Here are a few examples.

* In the debate, it was the visitors who drew first blood.

* We were hoping to draw first blood. Unfortunately, we didn't. The expression "draw blood" has another meaning as well. When you "draw blood" you succeed in hurting someone's feelings. Here are a few examples.

* The teacher's caustic remarks clearly drew blood.

* Salaam’s remarks were intended to draw blood.

COURTESY : The Hindu (The National News-Paper) - India

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