Fork Tattoo Meaning, Designs & Ideas

A common and simple utensil, the fork has various meanings when it comes to tattoo images. Often representing a connection to food or cooking, the fork can also symbolize a desire for better things to come or the decision-making process.

In this article, we’ll look at the symbolism behind fork tattoos.


Today’s forks are quite different from the original ones. Researchers have found forks from as far back as 2400 BCE. These were found in China and were made of bone. It wasn’t until the late 1700s that forks became popular in North America.

There are a variety of tattoos that feature a fork. Some will have the fork on its own, while others depict the fork alongside a spoon, knife, or both of these utensils. Many images are accompanied by a particular food or dish. There are also tattoos that display the pitchfork.


One of the most common reasons for getting a fork tattoo is to display your love of cooking and enjoyment of food. While there are other common cooking utensils to choose from, the fork is easily recognizable and people immediately know its purpose.

For many people, cooking is central to their identity and is one of their passions. They may have learned to cook alongside a parent or grandparent when they were a child, or they discovered a love of cooking as an adult.

Some individuals enjoy cooking for themselves and other people prefer to cook for friends or family. It can be a way of expressing love and appreciation for others. 

A person who truly enjoys cooking may get a tattoo of a fork to represent this passion. They may choose to have the fork illustrated alongside their favorite dish to make or simply on its own. Forks on their own are often tattooed in black and white, though some are quite intricate with designs and may feature gold or silver.

Professional Chef

A fork tattoo can also be an option for someone who is a professional chef. Those who work in this career have often put several years of practice into their craft and wish to display this dedication with a tattoo that represents their work.


Another interpretation of a fork tattoo is that it symbolizes nourishment. The fork is used to feed people and, in doing so, provides sustenance and nutrition. A person who has this tattoo may choose it because they wish to nourish others through cooking or it can represent nourishing themselves.

The tattoo can be a reminder to the individual that it is important to nourish and care for themselves, whether this is through food or other methods of self-care. 

Feeding the Spirit

The fork can also be viewed in the sense of feeding or nourishing the spirit or the soul. This symbolism reinforces the idea that a person is more than just their body and that one needs to pay attention to the other aspects of their life.

Many individuals struggle with taking care of themselves when they have so many other demands. A tattoo can provide a continual suggestion to place priority on your own well-being.

The popular saying, “You are what you eat,” applies to feeding your soul as well as your body. The image of the fork can represent being intentional about the choices you make and what you choose to put into your mind and how you care for yourself.

Memorial of a Loved One

People often choose to get a tattoo that represents a loved one–either someone who is currently present in their life or someone who has passed on. These tattoos show the individual’s connection to or desire to remember someone significant.

The person who chooses a fork as a memorial tattoo will likely do so because they connect a particular individual with cooking or food. Often a parent or grandparent is the person that is associated with memories of being fed.

Fork tattoos that represent a loved one are often accompanied by an image of food that the individual associates with them. A person memorializing their grandmother may have a tattoo that shows the fork alongside a slice of pie if this was something they used to bake together.

“Keep Your Fork”

The meaning behind the expression “keep your fork” can also be an inspiration for this tattoo. At the end of a meal, when dishes are being cleared from the table, diners are told to keep their fork. This is an indication that dessert is coming.

Since dessert is often considered the best part of the meal, this saying is associated with the idea that the best is yet to come. A tattoo of a fork that has this symbolism will sometimes have the phrase tattooed alongside it.

What the expression means can vary for each individual. For some, it is a reminder that things will get better, and that the difficult or challenging parts of life do not last forever. 

Other people interpret this saying as referencing the afterlife. Those who believe that a better place awaits them after death may opt for this tattoo to show that their life on Earth is just the beginning.

A Fork in the Road

Another interpretation of a fork tattoo is that it represents a choice or decision that the individual has made or needs to make. The idea of coming to a fork in the road and needing to decide which way to go resonates with people facing tough choices in their life.

A person may choose a fork tattoo to represent the notion that they will face many decisions in their life and it can act as a reminder to consider all of the options. The tattoo can also be symbolic of a choice that a person made in the past whether this turned out well or not.


Similar to the fork tattoo are images of a pitchfork. The word “fork” is derived from the Latin word “furca,” which means pitchfork. Originally used in the Middle Ages, a pitchfork has a long handle and is typically used for lifting and throwing hay or straw.

Tattoos of pitchforks are often combined with images of demons, such as the image of a devil on your shoulder and an angel on the other. This represents conflicting desires a person has in their life.

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