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Old 11-03-2003, 06:52 PM
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The significance of barbed wire tattoos

I haven't really payed much attention to these before... Once in awhile I see a fellow walking around with a tattoo of a strand of barbed wire around his biceps.

Then, the other day I saw two guys chatting at the gym and they both were sporting barbed-wire tattoos on the upper arm.

Is there some hidden meaning to this? A secret society?
Old 11-03-2003, 07:03 PM
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It means, "I'm a badass."
Old 11-03-2003, 07:09 PM
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As far as I know, it just looks cool.
Old 11-03-2003, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by FilmGeek
As far as I know, it just looks cool.
Or so we are asked to believe.
Old 11-03-2003, 07:41 PM
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I think it became a lot more popular after the release of the film Barb Wire.
Old 11-03-2003, 09:01 PM
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Isn't it a very handy way to cover up any "name" or other embarrassing tattoos if you can't afford the removal costs?

Corrvin
Old 11-03-2003, 09:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Corrvin
Isn't it a very handy way to cover up any "name" or other embarrassing tattoos if you can't afford the removal costs?

Corrvin
Too thin.

My company commander in boot camp (18 years ago ) proudly displayed some real beauties he wore on his back and chest. A huge panther, an eagle, some other creatures. He explained how each one covered a different girl's name.
Old 11-03-2003, 09:21 PM
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mmmm

On the subject of Tattoo animals... well, I got a tattoo of two pigs "Makin' Bacon" on my arm. Not exactly fierce or tough guy-ish, but makes me laugh every time I see it.
Old 11-03-2003, 09:53 PM
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Among some groups, a barbed wire tattoo means you've been in prison.
Old 11-03-2003, 11:19 PM
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It's a hard time to try decoding tattoos. What may have had a subcultural meaning at one time is about three weeks tops away from becoming just another cool image.

I always enjoy asking people with Asian symbols inked on them why they have "Dumbass Whiteboy" tattooed on their arm in Korean. Sometimes they look startled, and look down. This means two things: I am a jerk, and they're not sure they've done their research correctly, but they have the tattoo anyway.
Old 11-03-2003, 11:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by No Disguise
It means, "I'm a badass."
Or "My wiener is really small, so I must overcompensate."

The first thing I think when I see one is "Man, what a poser."
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Old 11-04-2003, 06:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by GMRyujin
Or "My wiener is really small, so I must overcompensate."
I think it's

"My wiener is really small, so I must overcompensate, and a tattoo is cheaper than a sports car."
Old 11-04-2003, 06:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by 2trew
I always enjoy asking people with Asian symbols inked on them why they have "Dumbass Whiteboy" tattooed on their arm in Korean.
The last time I walked into a North-American tattoo parlour, they had a wall of Chinese characters people could choose from. Several of the translations were wrong. And anyway, why would you want to have something on your body written in a language you can't read?
Old 11-04-2003, 06:55 AM
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David Beckham (English footballer, yes we know America has never heard of him, and rarely accused of being the sharpest tool in the box) has a cool tattoo of his wife's name (Victoria, aka "Posh Spice") on his arm in Hindi script. Apparently he felt that would be classier than plain old English.

You won't be surprised to hear that David doesn't read Hindi, so how was he to know that it was spelt wrong? It says 'Vihctoria'.

So that doesn't make him look like an idiot at all.
Old 11-04-2003, 10:32 AM
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I think barbed wire is also relatively cheap as far as armbands are concerned. With a more complicated pattern, it takes a lot of work and skill for the tattoo artist to match up the pattern on the inside of the arm, so if you want a continuous Celtic knot or Greek key pattern, it's going to cost a lot more money than a strand of barbed wire.

Of course, a lot of tattoo artists will either not try to match the pattern where the band joins or put in some other design to break the pattern and make it easy to connect, but from a practical standpoint, barbed wire is one of the cheapest and easiest armband designs.
Old 11-04-2003, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Futile Gesture
David Beckham (English footballer, yes we know America has never heard of him, and rarely accused of being the sharpest tool in the box) has a cool tattoo of his wife's name (Victoria, aka "Posh Spice") on his arm in Hindi script. Apparently he felt that would be classier than plain old English.

You won't be surprised to hear that David doesn't read Hindi, so how was he to know that it was spelt wrong? It says 'Vihctoria'.

So that doesn't make him look like an idiot at all.
[slight threadjack]
I'm still mystified by English speakers' belief that their names exist in all other languages andin their writing systems. Yeah, sure, there are synonymous names within the Romance languages, but, why, oh why, do Bob and Ted and Mary and Alice think that there's a Chinese or Hindu or Japanese or Navajo or Inca equivalent for their names? Why?

Oh, yeah, just in case... a spiderweb tattoo over the elbow is supposed to mean you've killed someone.
[/slight threadjack]
Old 11-04-2003, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
do Bob and Ted and Mary and Alice think that there's a Chinese or Hindu or Japanese or Navajo or Inca equivalent for their names? Why?
Well, in some of those languages, a Western name will be adapted to fit their language. For example, my own name, Rik Osborne, becomes Rikku Ozubo-n in Japanese, and is written with the appropriate characters for that pronunciation.

Let's see... the characters probably won't work here, but I'll try it:

????????
Old 11-04-2003, 12:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by gluteus maximus
[slight threadjack]
I'm still mystified by English speakers' belief that their names exist in all other languages andin their writing systems.
What makes David's 'Vihctoria' even more ridiculous is that Victoria is a well known name in Hindi (it being the name of the Queen, Empress of India) and the translation is available and not difficult to obtain.
Old 11-04-2003, 01:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Phase42
Well, in some of those languages, a Western name will be adapted to fit their language. For example, my own name, Rik Osborne, becomes Rikku Ozubo-n in Japanese, and is written with the appropriate characters for that pronunciation.

Let's see... the characters probably won't work here, but I'll try it:

????????
Exactly my point, Rick.

No, your characters didn't post here, but, since you've chosen Japanese, there are three ways for you to "render" your name...



four ways to "render" your name with Japanese...




... five, five ways to try to have your name "expressed" in Japanese:


1) You could translate the meaning of your name... generally, "Richard" is said to be of Germanic origin, and to mean "hard" or "rule"... in which case, you could choose the Japanese Chinese characters that approximately translate into "hard" or "rule".

2) You could use Japanese katakana syllables that approximately match your name, which it seems you have done, thus resulting in "rikku"... but it has no meaning at all in Japanese. If you want to switch to "riiku", you can have your name rhyme with the Japanese-English equivalent of "leak".

3) You could use Japanese hiragana syllables that approximately match your name, but again, they would have no meaning in Japanese.

4) You could try to match the pronunciation of your name to some Japanese word, and then use the hiragana letters that spell that Japanese word. The only thing that comes close is riku, which means "land".

5) You could match the pronunciation of your name to some Japanese word, and then use the Japanese Chinese character for that word. Again, in the case of "Rick", the choice is limited to riku, which means "land" (the noun, not the verb).

I don't have time to go into your surname... where is your tattoo?
Old 11-04-2003, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Oh, yeah, just in case... a spiderweb tattoo over the elbow is supposed to mean you've killed someone.
Teardrop tattoos at the corner of the eye mean the same thing.

But the real reason for tattooing a barbed wire around your arm is practical. It keeps cows out of your armpit.
Old 11-04-2003, 10:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Little Nemo
Teardrop tattoos at the corner of the eye mean the same thing.
I thought they meant someone you knew died, usually in some gang related thing. So, the tear shows that you always are sad about it, it always will pain you, and you will always remember them.
Old 11-05-2003, 01:12 AM
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I'm pretty sure a "tatt-ed tear" means you've killed someone. At least, I THINK that's what all the rap songs are trying to impart to me.
Old 11-05-2003, 02:51 AM
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we call those "prison tears" in this part of the world; my understanding was that they meant you have been in jail. One tear for each stretch inside you've done.
Old 11-05-2003, 03:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Little Nemo
Teardrop tattoos at the corner of the eye mean the same thing.
I know plenty of people who have spiderweb tattoos in all number of places and not a single one has killed anyone. They just think it looks cool, or it meshes with a particular design. there is NO tattoo that means anything to anyone but the person who put it there, even if that person means it as their own personal billboard, not everyone is going to get the same meaning. Nor does a teardrop mean anything other than lack of creative design.
Old 11-05-2003, 06:17 AM
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Having a tatoo on your right arm, just above the elbow, means you've been to see a tatoo artist.

I'm pretty sure all other tattoos mean the same thing.
Old 11-05-2003, 07:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Little Nemo But the real reason for tattooing a barbed wire around your arm is practical. It keeps cows out of your armpit.
Finally! I knew we were going to get to the bottom of this. As far as I can see, it works quite effectively, too. I haven't seen any cows anywhere close to the fellows who sport these adornments.

I bet it keeps the elephants away too
Old 11-05-2003, 09:09 AM
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There's a huge, huge disparity between "meanings" of prison tattoos, prisoners not being the sort of guys who are really down with hard and fast rules. You'll usually hear the teardrop tattoo as being a tribute to a dead brother-in-arms, but the other meanings given (killed someone, prison stretch, nothing in particular, etc. etc.) are far from uncommon.
Old 11-05-2003, 09:46 AM
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<gross photo warning>

There's a photo on the Web, you can find it on the rotten.com Web site, of a spiderweb tattoo positioned at a very unique location.

You can find it -- if you dare -- by going to dailyrotten.com and searching on "Spiderman's Backdoor."

</gross photo warning>
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