Originally posted August 29, 2010. Due to the ever increasing number of people with egregiously horrible tattoos, we thought it necessary to revisit this very important topic.
People get tattoos for various reasons. Some mark themselves as a form of self-expression, as the ultimate form of body art. Some do it to remember a distinct time period or to commemorate a loved one. What you get tattooed onto your body says something about who you are, and occasionally what you want to express is interpreted differently by the public. This list will help you understand what your tattoo means.
Guide to Tattoos: Male
Barbwire on the arm – “I’m a tool and I got this tattoo in the 90′s. I also might have been a stripper/bodybuilder.”
Barbwire on leg or any where else – “I’m a douche bag.”
Also note the state under the basketball, because athletes have to “represent.”
Basketball, Football, any sports equipment – “I played high school sports and I think I’m a better athlete than I actually am.” By the way, this tattoo is only okay if you are a professional athlete, and it’s still “tool-ish” on pros.
This guy really loves Philly.
Sports teams anywhere on body – “I am mildly retarded and have no identity.” *Editor’s note: Excuse me, slightly “mentally challenged”. Tattooing a sports team on you is absolutely insane. And, it’s idiotic for athletes, too, because they get traded to different teams without notice or regard.
Sun anywhere on body – “I think I’m an Adonis and I work out too much.” or “I might be a hippie and a vegan.”
Unless it says this you’re probably a gay man. And your sexuality is still questionable if you get a lower back tattoo and you say that you are hetero.
Any tattoo on the lower back – “I like men…and attention.”
Chinese Lettering anywhere – “I got this tattoo in the 90′s, and I like to follow trends. I hope this tattoo doesn’t actually mean I sleep with mountain goats, because I don’t speak Mandarin.” Unless, of course you are actually Asian, specifically Chinese. Then, it means “I am proud of my culture.”
Tribal tattoo on arm – “I am a tool, but I have no idea of how much of a tool I am.” “My great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather was Cherokee. I’m also confused about whose side it was on.” Unless, you’re Samoan or Native American. In which case it means, I’m engulfed in my heritage.
Tribal tattoo on back – “I lift weights, but need a way to cover up my ‘bacne’”…with the same exception for Native Americans and Samoans.
Tears on face – “I’m a thug or a ‘wannabe’ thug,” and “I lost someone dear to me.” It can also mean, “I kill people,” or “I want you to believe that I kill people because I can’t fight.”
Anything else on the face – “I’ve run out of space to tattoo anything else on my body.” Or, “I NEED ATTENTION!!!” “I need you to know that I’m a (wannabe) thug or I wouldn’t have gone through all this trouble.” “I am in a gang, don’t try me.”
Wolf on arm – “I’m a loner.” “I like to hunt and fix cars.” “I’m a serial killer and have at least three bodies buried on the premises.”
Horse anywhere – “I’m a cowboy.” “I like horses a little too much.” “I am from rural Texas/New Mexico/California/Arizona.”
Any other animal – “This animal really represents who I think I am.”
Cartoon character anywhere – “I’m really immature.” or “My friends called me Snoopy/Super Mario/Scooby/whatever and I got this tattoo when I was 18.”
Guns anywhere – “I’m really violent, but I’ve never shot or had a fight with anyone.” “I live in a trailer park or tenement housing.”
Praying hands anywhere – “I need street cred.” Or, “I am currently in or have previously been in prison.” Side note: If the lines of the tattoo are wide and the ink is light, then do not provoke this person, they attained that tattoo in a prison.
Sleeve without Skulls – “I’m an artist.” I’m a rapper.” “I’m a professional athlete.” “I don’t care what you think.”"I’m a member of the Yakuza.”
Sleeve with Skulls – “I’m an artist.” “I’m a tattoo artist.” “I like punk/goth culture and don’t apologize for it.”
Angel Wings on back – “I have done some things that I’m not proud of.” And, “I might have homosexual tendencies.”
Biblical scripture anywhere – “I lost a close friend.” Or, “I’m very spiritual, but not too religious.”
Islamic scripture anywhere – “I’m not a practicing Muslim.” “I haven’t read the part of the Quran that says no tattoos.”
Buddhist scripture anywhere – “I want people to think that I’m deep, but I’m not.”
Hebrew lettering anywhere – “I’m a pretentious idiot.” Unless, you read Hebrew and are Jewish. In fact, that still makes you a little pompous. Or, “I hope that this doesn’t say that I sodomize camels.”
Guide to Tattoos: Female
Flora on arms, ribs, or upper back – “I’m feminine, sweet, and innocent with a slight edge because I have a tattoo.
Flora on lower back – I’m feminine, sweet, and innocent, but I’ll sleep with you.
Notice the lower back tattoo also
Angel wings on back – “I need a guardian angel to protect me from me.” “With all the drugs and unprotected sex I’ve had, I don’t know how I’ve made it to 30.” “I might have been a stripper.”
Barbwire on arm – “I was a stripper in the 90′s.” or “I was a wild woman in the 90′s.”
Barbwire anywhere else – “I was one of the 1st girls to get a tattoo in the 90′s and I might have been a stripper.”
Tribal tattoo on arm – “I was a wild woman in the mid-90′s.” Or, “I was a stripper in the mid-90′s.”
Tribal tattoo on lower back – “I was a stripper in the mid-90′s and I will sleep with you…and maybe your cute male friend.”
Sun/Moon on the arm or upper back – “I’m earthy/wholesome/into nature.” “I buy green products.”
Sun/Moon on lower back – “I’m earthy/wholesome/into nature and I will sleep with you…and maybe your cute girlfriend.
Butterfly tattoo anywhere except lower back – “I’m 18 and/was 18 when/wanted to be 18 again when I got this. I’m a woman now.”
Butterfly tattoo on lower back – “I got this to show my journey into womanhood and I’ll sleep with you now or after the requisite number of apple-tinis.”
Teddy bear anywhere but lower back – “I talked my single parent mom/tattoo artist into letting me get a tattoo when I was underage.”
Teddy bear on lower back – “My parents are clueless and don’t know that I’m having sex even though I’m underage.” Or, “My parents are cool* and know that I sleep with my boyfriend, but don’t know that I sleep with his best friend and that older guy I met last week.”
*cool means never home and that they erroneously think a teenager is responsible enough to handle all the implications of intimacy
Sleeve without Skulls – “I’m artistic.” “I’m a cool, cute, tough chick.” “I don’t care what you think.”
Sleeve with Skulls – “I’m artistic and counter-culture.” “I’m a into punk or goth people.” “I don’t care what you think because I found where I fit in.”
Biblical scripture anywhere but the lower back – “I am very spiritual, but not necessarily very religious.”
Biblical scripture on lower back – “If I sleep with you, you’re going to marry me.” or at least feel bad about sleeping with me if you’re Christian too.
Rosary anywhere on body – “I have done some things that I am really not proud of.” Or maybe, “I’m a really forgetful nun.”
Hebrew lettering anywhere – “I’m very confused about this Kaballah thing.”
Any tattoo on face – “I NEED ATTENTION, and I am/used to be really broken and/or insecure.” “I’m CRAZY!”
Any tattoo on breasts – “You should stare at my boobs.”
Any tattoo on butt cheeks or “crotchal” region including but not limited to: red kiss lips, paw prints, tribal hearts – “I am currently working as a stripper/porn actress. If you have seen this, then you have given me the appropriate amount of money in order to do so.” Or, “I sleep with a lot of people and I like the look of surprise they give me when they see this.”