Tattoo Meanings

Most people want to get a tattoo with meaning or symbolism, but have no idea what to get. Here are a list of some of the most popular tattoo designs and their meaning:

Swallow Tattoo Meaning

The swallow tattoo was historically seen on sailors to represent experience level. For every swallow the sailor had, it was said he had sailed 5,000 miles. Seeing sailing was extremely tough back in the day, multiple swallows was seen as quite the accomplishment. Today, swallow symbolism is much more broad. Loyalty and love towards your friends and family is the most popular, but a swallow on certain parts of the body can mean something entirely different. A swallow on the back of your hand was popularized by London street fighters and signified “this fist flies”. Also, ex British Navy Sailors had a swallow on both wrists to represent a successful voyage.

Feather Tattoo Meaning

Feather tattoos have many different meanings, with the most popular being Air, Flight, Spirituality, Freedom, and Courage. Since Air tends to represent communication, will, the soul, or breath, feather meanings could have many interpretations. Obviously with birds having feathers, being “free as bird” is another popular reason people get a feather tattoo. Native Americans used to get Eagle feathers to represent their courage, conviction, and strength, so many people tend to interpret a feather that way. As you can see, feather tattoos could have many meanings or interpretations. It really depends on how the person getting the feather tattoo tends to look at it.

Bird Tattoo Meanings

We’ve already talked about swallows and feathers, but bird tattoos could also have many other meanings. Some of the most popular bird tattoos include eagles, peacocks, doves, sparrows, hummingbirds, and birds of prey (owls, vultures, falcons, and hawks). Birds are typically associated with religion, magic, the supernatural, or happiness in general. They are looked at as very positive and uplifting in most cases. Usually when two birds are displayed together they are symbolizing the duality of nature. This can mean happiness/sadness, light/dark, or husband/wife. Bird tattoos will continue to be some of the most popular tattoos because of their wide net of meanings and interpretation.

Star Tattoo Meanings

Although star tattoos can have an unlimited amount of meaning or interpretation, there are typically 7 kinds of star tattoos people will get: shooting star, nautical star, pentagram, hexagram, septagram, octogram, and nonogram. Starting with the shooting star, it usually represents a special moment in time that changed one’s life. Nautical star tattoos tend to represent guidance, protection, or a means to create your own path. A pentagram star tattoo can have two very different meanings depending on whether it points up or down. If it points down it usually is a sign of the devil. Otherwise it’s seen as a symbol of protection and balance. The hexagram star tattoo is almost always seen as The Star of David, which is the strongest symbol of Judaism. The septagram star tattoo is usually seen with the seven planets and represents seven fold systems such as the Hindu chakras. Octogram star tattoos are seen as symbolizing fullness and regeneration while nonogram star tattoos typically represent achievement and stability.

Koi Tattoo Meanings

Koi fish tattoos are one of the most popular tattoos on the planet for good reason. It is widely seen as the most beautiful Japanese tattoo design because of it’s vibrant colors. But this doesn’t mean it’s for women. It’s in fact seen as a very manly tattoo because Koi are said to climb waterfalls bravely, and, if caught, it lies upon the cutting board awaiting the knife like a samurai facing a sword. It is said that if the Koi is successful in climbing the waterfall, he is transformed into a dragon. This is why it’s seen as such a symbol of aspiration and advancement. In combination with flowing water, the Koi is seen to represent courage, overcoming life’s difficulties, and the ability to obtain high goals.

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By Josh Schonwald