Tattoo art started in 5000 BCE. Charles Darwin was the first person to use tattoo art. And wrote that Tattooing and permanent body decoration are common in all countries.
Tattoos can have many meanings, and they can be used in many cultures. Tattoos remain one of the most expressive ways to express your feelings. But not all tattoos can equally be appreciated. Bad, poorly designed or questionable tattoos are more common than you might imagine.
“Which type of tattoo makes you cringe the most?” someone wondered on Ask Reddit, and the responses started flowing in. We’ve compiled the top responses to our Ask Reddit query. These answers are a guideline on what tattoos to avoid before you permanently ink them.
One day, I met a man with a foreign-language phrase on his arm. I asked him what it said and he replied: «buy me a drink and I’ll tell you». I bought him another drink and asked once more. It turns out it said, «buy me a drink and I’ll tell you». Over the years, he received many free drinks.
An old tattoo of a woman that was poorly executed by a guy brought me to a Philly concert. My buddy says to me “if some tattooed guy screwed up a picture of my girlfriend that badly I’d kick his ass”. Well, about ten minutes later this young lady shows up, and damn if she didn’t look just like the tattoo.
Joker necks or face tattoos are a clear indication of this: “I have been in prison for cooking Meth in my trailer.”
The Welcome Collection includes clay figurines made from clay, whose faces have been painted and tattooed. This type of figure was first found in Japan’s tombs circa 5000 BCE.
Around 3300 BC is the oldest person to have tattoos preserved on mummified skin of a Bronze Age man. The man, named ‘Otzi the Iceman’ was found in the Otztal Alps glacier and he had an impressive number–57 tattoos.
The “Only God Can Judge Me” tattoo.
Everyone can judge you.
Babies with creepy faces that make you feel like you have a demon on your skin
One of my friends lost with another group of pals and had to have a tattoo of Scrat From the Ice Age on his inner leg.
Scientists have also found evidence that tattoos can be traced back to the Middle Kingdom period in ancient Egypt. Tattooing was also associated to barbarians during the Roman and early Greek periods (8th-6th century BCE). The Greeks may have learned tattooing from Persians. It was used to identify criminals or slaves trying to escape. The practice was continued by the Romans, who inherited it from the Greeks.
Tattoos still represent a fascinating artifact that links cultures and societies. Bad tattoos are getting more frequent thanks to a growing number of tattoo artists, and people who are interested in inking their skin.
A young man wanted to have his back tattooed. It said something like, “Lisa please forgive me.” I told asked him if this was some last-ditch effort to get this girl back. He said yes, and I told him this is a really bad idea you shouldn’t do this. He chose to get the tattoo anyway. The terrible thing he did will be remembered by both him and the girl. Or if it didn’t work out with them, whoever he dated afterward would ask him what terrible thing he did that was so bad he had to go get a tattoo to try to fix things with his ex. It seemed like it was a losing situation with that tattoo. My advice is if your tattoo artist is telling you that something isn’t a good idea to get, just take a moment and consider why.
An anchor next to you: “I refuse sink!” This is precisely what anchors are made for.
While we can argue for hours on what is a bad and a good tattoo, and agree on the fact that every ink artwork is deeply personal and can indeed be incomprehensible to an outsider, it doesn’t change the fact that bad tattoos exist.
Dr. Kirby Farrell, a University of Massachusetts professor specializing in anthropology, psychology, and history, thinks there’s a bigger explanation for bad tattoos. Farrell believes bad tattoos can be a sign that people are using self-defense strategies. They offer “physical and artistic representations of values you can identify with.”
A defendant in the courtroom I clerked in during law school had “homicide” tattooed on his face, over his eyebrow. It’s not a very attractive look.
Lips on your neck
You are probably a gangster with an attitude problem and want to fight.
I want a tattoo that has a biohazard symbol. People often ask me whether I am trying to be punk, edgy or something else. These people may respond in the same way, but I explain that it is because of my job. My job as a medical laboratory technician means that I am frequently exposed to biohazardous chemicals. I am just trying to be a good lab technician, and labeling myself appropriately.
EDIT: I was alerted by several people to the fact that the HIV+ status is indicated by the biohazard symbol. This information is very helpful, but my husband and me are happily married, so it won’t have any impact on our lives.
Here’s an old tattoo artist.
ESPECIALLY when they want them to be “unique”, so they have you spend three hours drawing up different ways of cramming little McKayzleigh and Brackxston’s names, birthdates, birth weights, blood types, and favorite ice cream flavors in there.
Fine, I’ll find a way. I am willing to work for my money.
“Oh, and can it also have a thin blue line in there for my husband?”
“And maybe some birds breaking off of it, ’cause my meemaw loves birds!”
Sighhhh. Yeah, okay.
“And can you do it on the side of my finger in white ink?”
F**k you, get out.
EDIT: Bonus points on these if they walk in holding a monogrammed Yeti tumbler full of the alcohol they’re trying to smuggle in.
Anything that is written in Japanese or Chinese on a tattoo. I’m currently learning Japanese and was amazed to see this tattoo which said “Sakana” (“fish). I asked him to explain what he meant with that tattoo and he replied poison. It is possible he typed “poultry”, into Google Translate LOL
Know a girl who tattooed her firstborn’s name… as a tramp stamp. It’s not something I want to see when someone tags behind me.
Barbed wire wrapped around arm. It doesn’t go all of the way. It hurts too much.
My leg ….. is adorned with a tattoo depicting a clown smoking a joint.
Edit: Many thanks for all the love and awards. Imagine the magnitude of my 9-year-old ink!
There are many tattoos that can be done in a couple, including names and portraits. Mostly when they proudly tell you it’s because they’ve been together for 5 months and just know they stay together forever.
Nothing super weird and usually things I didn’t feel comfortable putting on people, I would turn away. My coworker would take them and tattoo them. One of the tattoos was for a young girl turning 18 years old. She wanted a chain around her waist with a lock hanging on it just above her vagina and the words “property of Dave” or whatever the f**k her boyfriend’s name was. First off, she was 18 so I figured the relationship probably wasn’t going to last so I wouldn’t do it for that reason. Her boyfriend was sentenced in her death for murder. The girl made a terrible emotional mistake. My coworker, however, did it.
The stupid cliche “Life is one way, Death the other”
I once saw a guy with an Elephant tattooed across his crotch in a gym. Guess what the trunk looked like?
I have a tramp stamp that says “no regrets” in very fancy cursive. It’s the only tattoo my dad laughed at rather than cringe. I don’t have the ability to judge anyone.
F*****g wings. Where do you think you’re flying to??
I once stood next to a woman sporting a horrible tattoo that ran down her neck. “Only God Could Just Me” was her tattoo, in Asian characters. Also, she had a faded, badly drawn, and unattractive crucifix.
I Knew of a guy once who had “DUBSTEP” tattooed on his chest in VERY VERY large letters. He claimed that Dubstep was the future music and was here to stay.
It is funny to think that some people might have memes from 2017 in their arms or legs.
Had a lady come into the store I was working in with a big neck tattoo that said Daddy’s girl….may have been the most shocking one I’ve ever seen
A bullseye was one of my lower back tattoos. It helped me to understand why tramp stamps were called that.
Gifts from you to another person: Tattoos For example “For your birthday, I got your birth date tattooed on me!”
Just saw a couple of days ago writing on some dude: “Karna isn’t a b***h” – just as I wrote it.
Be happy, be free, live, laugh, stay positive, daddy’s lil girl, daddy’s princess…these tattoos they get. Give it thought and make it interesting.
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