The tiger is one of the world’s most popular animals and has been for centuries. These large, endangered members of the feline species are characterized by their bold black stripes and killer instinct. There are nine subspecies of tiger, with Bengal and Siberian being the most recognized. The other subspecies are Bali, South China, Malayan, Indochinese, Javan, Golden, White and Hybrid.
The tiger is an extremely popular cat for its looks alone, but there are also so many great tiger tattoo meanings that people can use to make these designs even more special. On this page we will take a look at some of the most popular tiger tattoo meanings and why they might work for you.
The tiger can be seen as a strong, fierce creature that lives without inhibitions and is wild and untamed, characteristics many humans wish they could embody, thus making it a popular choice for tattoo art. If you want to get a tattoo that represents the “wild” meaning, you really couldn’t pick a better animal tattoo than the tiger. Though not completely necessary, with these designs you probably want to have your tiger’s teeth showing to keep people from thinking that you are using another tiger tattoo meaning.
Tigers can also be used as a symbol of power, strength and dominance. You don’t even need to see a tiger roar to know these things about it. If you want to use these tiger tattoo meanings, you really can just get a tiger’s head or a full-bodied tiger without having to add in any extra imagery. This tiger tattoo meaning is great for people who take pride in being physically strong or having a strong character.
Much like the lion, the tiger is also a solar animal and is considered to be fiery and passionate like the sun. Obviously this is a perfect tiger tattoo meaning for people who show passion in everything they do. To make this meaning come through clearer, you could even add in a sun behind the tiger, perhaps with the sun beams coming down around it.
Another excellent tiger tattoo meaning is protection. If you were looking for a tattoo design that represents your pride in protecting yourself and those around you, and you like the tiger, then this might just be the tattoo for you. Some people get these tiger tattoos with an adult and its cubs to make the meaning clearer, but the adult tiger by itself works too.
One tiger tattoo meaning that seems to be growing in popularity these days is sensuality. The reason for this is because the tiger is known for being an untamable sexual creature, so people who want to show that they have this type of wild side might find this tiger tattoo meaning to be perfect for them. With these designs, it’s key to get a lustful expression on the tiger’s face to make the meaning come through a bit better.
The lion is the most popular cat tattoo to represent royalty, but some people use the tiger to symbolize this same meaning. If you want to use this tiger tattoo meaning, you can add in some extra imagery such as a crown or shield. This is a good meaning for those who come from royal ancestry or who just want to use the tattoo to motivate them to try to make the most of their lives.
In many cultures tiger symbolism is prevalent, such as in India, where tigers are seen as emblems of destruction. It’s not too rare to still hear of tigers roaming into Indian villages and causing some issues. Destruction can be a positive or negative tiger tattoo meaning depending who gets the tattoo, though it isn’t one of the more popular meanings used these days.
In China, tigers are seen as the protectors of the dead and are used to decorate graves to ensure that the deceased makes a safe passage to the afterlife. In this way the tiger tattoo can be used with other designs to make a memorial tattoo. This is especially perfect if the person you’re memorializing happened to love tigers. This is one of those tattoo designs that should be done by a top artist since all of the design elements need to be detailed and blend well together.
As with most tattoo subject matter there are many tiger variations to consider when choosing a design. Some choose to use a more tribal design to depict power, fearlessness and spiritual energy much like the elite soldiers of a tribe. These designs are often done in dark black and use lines to create the shape of a tiger. Since these designs have less detail and require many lines to make the whole tiger, most people opt to get larger pieces on their backs or on their chests.
Another popular choice is that of the tiger cub, or baby tiger. These designs can show the innocence as well as kinship with young animals. Some use these tiger tattoo meanings to show their love for their kids or to represent their youthful sides. One great option with the tiger cub tattoo is to get a silhouette version that you can place on your forearm, wrist, or ankle. Of course, you could also get a fully-detailed tiger cub tattoo if you’d prefer one of those designs.
The eye of the tiger – a statement made famous by the hit song – is also a great choice for artwork. It can evoke the principle of survival and moving on instinct with ferocity and purpose. A person who prides themselves on having excellent survival instincts would be a perfect fit for the tiger tattoo. There’s no specific way to show this type of tiger tattoo meaning, though most people who use this meaning like that it is more private than the most of the other tiger symbolism.
Other variations of the tiger tattoo include the butterfly tiger, blue tiger, tiger lily and dragon tiger. All of these have their own cool designs and meanings, though only the blue tiger and the dragon tiger have actual tigers in them.
When you come up with a tiger tattoo meaning that you like, then it’s time to decide how you want the tiger itself to be designed. Do you want the tiger to be by itself or do you want to include other design elements to enhance the meaning? Do you want the focus to be on the tiger’s face or do you want to get the entire body? How important are the little details such as the fur and the whiskers? Do you want a stoic tiger or one that is chasing its prey? These are the types of questions that you need to ask yourself before you commit to a design.
After you’ve come up with your tiger tattoo design, now it’s time to think of the perfect place on your body to put it. If you have a large design in mind, then you only have a few places to put it, like your back, side, or chest. If you have a horizontally-long design in mind, then you might want it to wrap around a body part, like your leg or your side. These are all things that you can talk to your tattoo artist about before you commit to anything. Also be sure to tell your artist about the tiger tattoo meaning you want to use, too, so they can give you the best design possible.
And there you have it. You can probably see now why the tiger tattoo has been so popular for so long. There are dozens of fantastic tiger tattoo meanings that you can use and you can be sure that your tiger will look cool because, well, tigers are cool!