A tattoo might be small but no matter its size, it can still have a powerful meaning. Below we explore some well-known tattoos that have strong symbolism behind their designs, whether you have it done in Thailand, Singapore, Australia or anywhere else on this planet that we all share. 

Semicolon tattoo

 

American Amy Bleuel first used the semicolon tattoo after she struggled with depression and addiction. 

 

After Amy was raped and her father died of suicide, she decided to get something personal to commemorate being a survivor of difficult life circumstances. She founded the charity Project Semicolon and used the symbol to educate and raise public awareness about depression and mental health. 

 

Amy said the semicolon represented the symbol writers use when they ‘could’ve ended their sentence but chose not to.’ She says ‘the author is you and the sentence represents your life.’

 

Sadly, Amy died of suicide in 2017. Her mark on the world and on people’s lives is forever etched into our culture. 

 

Teardrop tattoo

 

Unlike the semicolon tattoo to symbolise survival, a teardrop tattoo has negative connotations. This type of tattoo is closely connected to gang crime and prison culture, and can mean the wearer has served time in jail or murdered someone. 

 

However, there are instances where the wearer may have got the tattoo to represent their sorrow due to the loss a family member or friend so it’s important to reserve opinion or judgement as you don’t always know the meaning of this symbol. 

 

Three dots in a line tattoo

 

When three dots are designed in a straight line, they are thought to represent that a sentence is not yet complete. This can mean the wearer is still on their life’s journey, or is going through a process of change.

 

This type of tattoo is also known as an ‘ellipsis’ and can have a spiritual meaning with the three dots illustrating a number of different spiritual concepts. 

 

Three dots in a triangle tattoo

 

This is another tattoo with three dots, but it has a completely different meaning due to how the dots are placed on the skin. When someone has a tattoo featuring three dots in the shape of a triangle, rather than in a straight line, this is thought to represent ‘my crazy life’. Although the tattoo isn’t connected to a particular gang, it is often found to be worn by those in prison and is associated with the overall gang lifestyle. 

 

The tattoo can be produced using simple materials or tools and is often created through a stick-and-poke method. 

 

Yin and Yang tattoo

 

Yin and Yang tattoos date back to ancient times within Chinese philosophy, and symbolise the joining of two opposites.

 

Traditionally, the Yin and Yang symbol represents how good and evil are attracted to each other and that both are needed to create a whole. 

 

There are many different ways to interpret the Yin and Yang sign, including connecting the earth to its inhabitants as well as symbolising Taoism. 

 

The tattoo can also represent how opposites can attract, with the black side (Yin) representing femininity, darkness, and the spirit of all things, whereas the white (Yang) symbolises masculinity, light and the form of all things. 

 

Before you get a tattoo, it’s important to research if there are any associated meanings behind its design so you are comfortable with what it might represent to ink it onto your skin.