Rooster Tattoo Meaning, Design & Ideas

The rooster tattoo is representative of a strong symbol in both the West and the Far East. Depending on the design and where you get the rooster tattoo will say a lot about the meaning of the rooster tattoo on your body.

Known for their crowing and their aggressive nature, the rooster has been a popular choice in tattoos for many years. In this post, we intend to give the reader a good idea of the symbolism behind the rooster tattoo and why many choose to have this bird immortalized on their skin forever.

In this post, we will address the symbolism of the rooster and what it represents in different cultures. By the end, we hope you have a better understanding of the rooster and all that it embodies.

What is a Rooster

A rooster is a male chicken. They are also known as cocks or cockerels. The word “rooster” comes from the United States and is now a term used throughout New Zealand, Australia and North America. A cock is the name for an older rooster while a cockerel is generally used to name a rooster a year old or younger.

The rooster is very protective of his hens, but he has a big job as he is polygamous. Instead of guarding specific eggs, he will guard the general area where the hens are and attack any other roosters that happen to wander into his territory.

The crowing sound that so many of us associate with an alarm clock is also a call to let other males know to not enter his territory. It is also an alarm to alert his hens that danger is present.

Rooster Tattoo Symbolism

As far as symbolism for the rooster tattoo, there seem to be a few things we can talk about. This all depends on what part of the world you live in. However, one trait that seems to translate to all parts of the world is the aggression of the rooster. They will attack any other males in their vicinity and they are born with this attitude.

Rooster Tattoo Variations

When looking at rooster tattoos, there are many variations that seem to be popular when seeing what is inked on the skin of tattoo enthusiasts. Because the rooster can symbolize different traits depending on who you ask, the variations and styles of tattoos will differ as well. Below we will look at a few different variations of the rooster tattoo that we have seen and discuss the meaning of the tattoos and what they might represent.

Fighting Rooster

The fighting rooster tattoo is also a popular choice when deciding on what tattoo to get. There is some obvious symbolism with aggression. These birds are very territorial and will protect their hens and territory with their life. In addition to their natural personality, some cultures have and still partake in cockfighting. They are also known as gamecocks as in the fights are watched as sports are as entertainment. The cocks are specifically bred and trained to have strength and stamina. These cocks are raised as high-level athletes and while not all cockfights end in death, some may take enough damage that it ends up killing them.

No matter how tragic seeing this type of fighting might be, it is still known as heritage and tradition in some cultures.

Pig and Rooster Tattoo

The pig and rooster tattoos are pretty well-known in tattoo culture. According to traditions of the sea, this tattoo is good luck and will keep a sailor from drowning in the ocean. As with most tattoos from the time, they were born on the sea and therefore, had a meaning that coincided with life on the ocean.

In this case, the pig and rooster tattoos would save lives. However, you had to have them tattooed on your feet so in this case, a rooster on one foot and a pig on the other.

There are two popular opinions on where this idea came from. First is that the rooster and pig aren’t able to swim so they would try to get back to shore as quickly as possible if they were to ever go overboard or end up in the ocean.

The other idea comes from the ships keeping pigs and roosters on the ship in wooden crates. If the ship were to sink, the wooden crates would float, and these animals would survive. Therefore, having these tattooed on their feet was known to be good luck on the open sea.

Zodiac Rooster Tattoo

The year of the rooster happens to be 2017 and we won’t see it again until 2029. In the 12-year cycle of the zodiac, the rooster sits at 10. The rooster represents fidelity and punctuality in the zodiac. Back when there were no alarm clocks, the rooster’s early crow would awaken the villagers, so the people could get to work on time.

The rooster is also known to take away evil spirits in Chinese culture, so we can understand why the rooster tattoo is so significant in the Far East.

Japanese Rooster Tattoo

In Japanese culture, the rooster crowing is representative of the boisterousness of the gods. It also represents courage and auspiciousness. If you travel to Japan, you may very well see chickens and roosters lingering around the shrines as they are also known to be the errand messengers of the gods.

Korean Rooster Tattoo

In Korea, the rooster is seen as an intelligent creature that understands time. It is known to be a good omen when spotted and therefore, revered in Korean culture. Their willingness to fight until the very end represents their strength and conviction which are admirable qualities that most hope they can conjure by getting a rooster tattoo.

Just because one culture says a certain animal symbolizes a trait to them doesn’t mean it has to mean the same for you. The beauty of getting a tattoo is that everyone has a story and every tattoo has meaning to that person. Whatever your tattoo represents, make sure you wear it proudly as it is not easy to go back once you get it.

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