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Is there an English word for someone who loves blood but is not a vampire? I just saw Excision (2012) and this question came to my mind.

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The obvious word for "blood-lover" is haemophiliac, but that already has a meaning. – Andrew Leach Apr 4 '13 at 20:32
I don't understand the down votes. Your reputation obviously says you understand what ELU is about. I think you deserve the dignity of an explanation. I'd like to understand it, too. – Canis Lupus Apr 4 '13 at 22:30
@AndrewLeach Actually, I'd say that the obvious word for "blood-lover" is blood-lover. – tchrist Apr 5 '13 at 0:38
up vote 6 down vote accepted

Sanguinarian. Sanguinarians are described in Wikipedia as a those who drink blood and address themselves as real vampires. Obviously, they are not real vampires (even if they also have pointy teeth and happen to fear the daylight). There is a whole culture based on sanguinaria, and as a search term, it turns up quite a lot about the subject.

Other words:


Hematophagia (sometime haematophagy or hematophagy) is the practice of certain animals feeding on blood. (Wikipedia)

It derives from the latin haemo, (blood) and phagus (eater of).

A hematophage is a creature that drinks blood. "Not to be mistaken with a vampire," according to the Urban Dictionary. The Urban Dictionary term traces obviously its origin through "hematophagy" and its etymology.

Wikipedia has a good description of human hematophagy, which covers the consumption of human blood as well as the blood of other creatures.

This (and especially its variants) is actually a zoological or medical term, and it is more often associated with animals other than humans.

Figurative words:

While the terms "bloodsucker" and "leech" also work with respect to people, they are not usually meant literally.

Aside (Update):

By the way, the mental disorder for blood drinking is Renfield's Syndrome (see Psychology Today). using that as a search term will also return quite a bit of information.

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Thanks for the great answer. – Mehper C. Palavuzlar Apr 5 '13 at 4:52

Both haematophage and sanguinarianism refer quite specifically to the consumption of blood. But the question asked whether there was a word for someone who loves blood, not for someone who eats or drinks it. Like bibliophile (book-lover), dendrophile (tree-lover), or paedophile (child-lover), haemophile is actually technically correct, but because of its usage medically it is obviously problematic to use haemophile in this context.

Now I usually see people who generally are enamored by blood referred to as blood-fetishists. Blood fetishism (think sadistic toys and blood letting, not gothic dress-ups and blood drinking) is actually referred to as haematolagnia. So I’m thinking the word you’re looking for might be haematolagniac. Although I’ve never, ever encountered this word in print or conversation and am therefore technically making it up as far as I know, it just follows suit that if someone with mania is a maniac and someone with haemophilia is a haemophiliac, then someone with haematolagnia would be a haematolagniac.

This is still isn’t really broad enough because the word fetish implies some sort of sexual arousal which is linked in this case to a kind of blood appeal, whereas someone could love blood for other reasons and in other ways. They may love the taste, or they may love the smell, the colour, the texture — maybe they just get hypnotized and enthralled every time they see blood. Really we need a more general term like haemophilia, but because the medical community is a bit special and not tested stringently enough on their English skills at medical school (or their Greek for that matter), we’re stuck with the word haemophilia meaning something other than “the love of blood”.

Which is a shame considering that translated from Greek directly, haemophilia means “blood-friendship” just as haemophobia means “blood-fear”, but only haemophobia has at least been put to its correct usage.

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This all seems very made up. – Mitch Jun 30 '13 at 19:46

phlebophile- from phlebo (of or relating to blood), and phile (a lover of)

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