sweat blood, to
1. To work very intensely and diligently; to expend all of one's energy or effort doing something. We sweated blood for six months straight, but we finally got our product finished and on store shelves. My mother and father sweated blood to provide for me and all my siblings.
2. To suffer intense distress, anxiety, worry, or fear. My passport had expired just before the trip, so I was sweating blood as we went over the border into Canada. Some of these kids sweat blood every time we have to give them a test.
sweat bloodand sweat bullets
Fig. to be very anxious and tense. What a terrible test! I was really sweating blood at the last. Bob is such a bad driver. I sweat bullets every time I ride with him.
1. Also, sweat one's guts out. Work diligently or strenuously, as in The men were sweating blood to finish the roof before the storm hit. The phrase using guts was first used about 1890, and that with blood shortly thereafter.
2. Suffer mental anguish, worry intensely, as in Waiting for the test results, I was sweating blood. This usage was first recorded in a work by D.H. Lawrence in 1924. Both usages are colloquial, and allude to the agony of Jesus in Gethsemane (Luke 22:44): "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
If you sweat blood, you work very hard to achieve something. I've been sweating blood over this report. I sweat blood to write songs with tunes that you can remember.
sweat blood1 make an extraordinarily strenuous effort to do something. 2 be extremely anxious. informal
1 work very hard; make a very great effort: I sweated blood to get that essay finished on time.
2 be very worried or afraid: He sweats blood every time the telephone rings, in case it’s the police.
tv. to work very hard at something; to endure distress in the process of accomplishing something. (see also piss blood.) And here I sweated blood to put you through college, and you treat me like a stranger.
1. To work diligently or strenuously.
2. To worry intensely.
sweat blood, to
To exert oneself to the utmost; also, to experience extreme worry or fright. Both usages of this slangy expression date from the late 1800s. Earlier, to sweat blood also could mean to spend money; John Dryden, among others, used it in this way in the 1600s, but this usage is obsolete. The modern meanings appear in G. S. Porter’s Harvester (1911), “He just sweat blood to pacify her, but her couldn’t make it,” and in D. H. Lawrence’s Memoirs of the Foreign Legion (1924), “I sweat blood any time somebody comes through the door.” A synonym for sweat blood in the sense of “working hard” is to sweat one’s guts out, which George Orwell used in The Road to Wigan Pier (1937): “It makes one sick to see half a dozen men sweating their guts out to a dig a trench.” A synonym for experiencing fright or anxiety is to sweat bullets, alluding to drops of sweat the size of bullets. This hyperbole dates from the mid-1900s.
See also: sweat