Black Sheep Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

A black sheep tattoo is often symbolic of a person’s separation from their family or other group. The image of the black sheep can represent rebellion and nonconformity. Less commonly, black sheep tattoos may symbolize evil.

In this article, we’ll explore the symbolism of a black sheep and what this represents for people who choose it as a tattoo.

All About Sheep

Wild and domestic sheep can be found in many parts of the world, including North America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. Domesticated sheep are used for their meat, milk, and wool. Sheep are herbivores who eat grass, plants, hay, and sometimes legumes.

Sheep live in a group that is called a flock and they are known for their tendency to follow their leader. This is where the idea of calling a person or a group of people who blindly follow others came from.

Sheep are also commonly used in various types of scientific research. One of the most famous examples of this is the cloned sheep named Dolly. In 1996, scientists in Scotland were able to clone her from a somatic cell.

White vs. Black Sheep

Wild sheep are usually brown, while domestic sheep are often white. Black sheep are rare due to the fact that it is a recessive gene that creates the coloring of their wool. The symbolism associated with sheep differs based on their color.

White sheep, particularly lambs (young sheep) are often associated with ideas of innocence and purity. In many children’s stories, lambs are portrayed as gentle and meek.

Much of the symbolism of sheep comes from Christian stories and beliefs related to the characteristics of Christ. Jesus was depicted as a shepherd and his followers were called his flock. Sheep were also used as sacrificial animals offered to God.

Black Sheep

The expression “black sheep” is used to describe someone who doesn’t fit in with a group. While this is most commonly used to describe a family member, it is also used in friend groups as well as workplaces.

A black sheep is often someone who rebels or goes against the standards of their family or community. They may challenge authority figures and refuse to accept commonly held beliefs.

Black sheep don’t follow the crowd but make their own decisions regardless of what is acceptable in their group. They don’t follow the rules and don’t conform to the norms of the society they live in.

Often, someone who is characterized as a black sheep has different values than their family or group. They may display very different behavior and engage in activities that others see as embarrassing or even shameful. 

Association with Evil

During the 1700s and 1800s, black sheep were thought to be evil. In England, these sheep were said to have the mark of the devil. Since black wool was not able to be dyed easily, it was not a valuable commodity for farmers.

An individual may choose a black sheep tattoo to represent evil or the devil. These tattoos tend to have a much darker and more sinister quality than tattoos of black sheep that represent other ideas.


The male sheep–a ram–is the symbol for the zodiac sign Aries. This sign is connected with passion, power, and aggression. People born under this sign are often characterized as being very determined, motivated, and confident.

A person who has the zodiac sign of Aries may choose a black sheep tattoo to represent both their zodiac and their personality. For someone who feels like an outcast, this tattoo can be representative of their emotions and their astrological sign. It is a way of combining two aspects of their identity in a single tattoo.

Black Sheep Tattoos

Tattoos of black sheep can be either realistic or cartoon versions of the animal. Done in black and gray, these tattoos range in size but are typically not very large. They are commonly found on the arm or leg.

Some black sheep tattoos have a dark, wicked appearance to them and feature a menacing face and sometimes glowing eyes. Other tattoos have a humorous or light-hearted feel to them.

Most tattoos that feature a black sheep have only a single animal, though there are some that show the black sheep amidst some white ones. For smaller tattoos, the entire body of the animal is usually illustrated, while larger pieces may just show the head and face.


The individual who chooses a black sheep tattoo may do so because they identify as a rebel. This person may want to have an image that signifies their resistance to accepted norms and values.

At one point, tattoos, in general, were considered to be rebellious. However, these days they are common across all walks of life and are usually chosen for their artistic expression.

Unique Personality

A black sheep tattoo can be symbolic of how the individual stands out from the crowd. It is said that shepherds were able to easily count their flock by having one black sheep in every group of one hundred. The color made them stand out even from a distance.

People with bold personality and who express themselves differently from their peers may choose this black sheep tattoo. It can represent their uniqueness and individuality. 


Those who have been called the black sheep of the family may come to identify with this term and embrace it. While being ostracized from one’s family is a challenging ordeal, sometimes this experience leads people to develop great self-acceptance.

Having family members who challenge or dismiss a person’s beliefs and goals can cause that individual to take a long, hard look at themselves. Often this results in the person becoming even more committed to these ideas and continuing to pursue them.

Getting a tattoo of a black sheep can be an act that acknowledges who the individual truly is. The tattoo can signify that the person intends to stay true to themselves regardless of what others may think.

Leave a Comment