奇怪的漢字紋身 – bad Chinese tattoos

Last week was really stressful for us, all the government paperwork made me so annoyed that all I want to do is 483d8598b56edcd9c056c612a3eca428write a funny and light blog post. So we chose one of our favorite topics – bad Chinese tattoos.

I’m not a big fan of tattoos, but I have nothing against them. I can even admit that when I was in my ‘rebellious’ years I even thought of getting one. I saw those cool tattoos on my favorite music players and I thought how cool it would be to have one too.
Every now and then I can see really gorgeous tattoos online and I think a lot of them can be considered as some kind of art. Sadly, some of them are not. Now when I can actually read the characters I’m glad I didn’t permanently damage my skin like people who walk with 左宗棠雞 General Tso’s chicken on their arm thinking it means courage or love. I mean, c’mon, at least pick a food that is more local, like 臭豆腐 stinky tofu.

But it’s not only food that’s been tattooed. Part of menus, bad translation, fake poems – you name it. I don’t know if I should feel sad for people who trusted the tattoo artist or just be amazed how could you make such a big step without checking it, at least online. Probably both, 15749244812_39190427df_obut at least we can laugh about it and hopefully learn from their mistakes.
So remember: don’t let anything to be tattooed on your body if you’re not sure of its meaning.
Unless you want to become ‘famous’ like that Norwegian boy who tattooed a McDonald’s receipt on his arm. 

Here’s our top list of the bad Chinese tattoos with their real meaning – I know you might seen most of them but I hope some of them will be new to you! And hopefully no one you know is on this list! 😉

1. Golden pig (also the pig character is flipped)
12. Cheap bitch

3. Poverty/poor

4. I don’t eat meat but I bite
45. A criminal that’s hiding
56. This is tattoo
67. Noodle
78. Bitter dumb-ass (to make it more funny, the first character is upside down)
89. Coffin man (I don’t even know how to feel about it)
910. I commit all types of crimes (and getting that tattoo with this typewriter-styled font was one of them!)
1011. Hand slippery (seems ironic to put it right above the butt crack)
1112. Good paragraph stop power slippery (I really tried to find a better translation but it seems to be just a bunch of random signs together. Anyone has any idea?)
1213. Chicken (Literally chicken. In Cantonese chicken also means a prostitute so if a woman has a tattoo like that…)

1314. Hemorrhoid (not a tattoo but still made me giggle, even thought I feel sorry for this little guy)
1415. Eunuch
1516. Get humiliated after death (WHAT…THE…HELL?!)
1617. Sweet and sour pork (at least not orange chicken)
1718. Freshly made chicken fried rice (who else got hungry?)
1819. Crispy and refreshing fishball soup (bet it has been done by Hong Kong artist)
1920. Slippery
2021. You’re welcome (in very unfortunate place known as the tramp stamp)


22. Mad diarrhea (classic, right above the butt crack – perfect location)
2223. ‘Wiggle wiggle’ or Sing doesn’t know how to describe walking worm.
2324. Chicken noodle soup
2425. Shit (the person really had to piss off the tattoo artist)




I guess people shouldn’t trust Google Translate that easily – you can end up with a ‘Translate Error’ restaurant (very popular chain of random restaurants with really bad VPN) or some bad tattoo.

Do you know any other funny tattoos? Or maybe something similar happened in your language? Or maybe you’ve seen bad Western tattoos on Asians? Share what you’ve got and let’s laugh together – weekend is coming! 🙂

62 thoughts on “奇怪的漢字紋身 – bad Chinese tattoos

  1. I read you write this text, I laughed for a long time, thank you bring me joy in the morning. I think some Westerners tattoo Chinese characters may be based on an artistic point, the moment does not take much, if not understand the true meaning of the tattoo master is in the text.:)


  2. Oh Lord.. So wrong on so many levels!!

    I have three tiny tattoos myself. I did them between age 20-23, but I don’t particularly regret them as they are tiny and relatively hidden, so I don’t think they will ever be a big deal even when I will be older.

    That being said, use your brain folks!! Do NOT tattoo words or symbols you are not 100% familiar with!

    Also, carefully pick the position of a tattoo; you want it in a place that you can easily cover/ hide in case of need. Be smart about it for God’s sake!


  3. I didn’t even realize that that could happen…I don’t think I will ever get a Chinese character tattoo. And I will probably make sure of the translation and what the characters look like before I did.


  4. Too funny 😛 seriously considered getting tattooed while in the Navy, then I went overseas and saw the crazy shit my ship mates came back with and decided against it… I do wonder how often these tattoo guys get their asses handed to them for pulling that…


  5. So funny. Reminds me of the Navajos in American western films who solemnly said lines such as: “You have a little penis,” in their native dialect, knowing the actors and directors had no clue.


  6. Honestly, if you don’t like the phrase in your mother tongue, it wont be any better in another language. At least with your mother tongue, most likely you wont mess up the meaning. Haha. xD

    I saw a woman that had “Cheap” in the back of her neck. I don’t think she meant that in Mandarin..but…yeah.

    My husband was laughing when we went to TJ Max because one of the Chinese Characters that was supposed to mean “Harmony” was actually “Liquid poop.” Even at the store you have to be careful….


    1. oh wow, he should have taken a photo of that shirt! 😀 like that poor little guy with hemorrhoid blouse 🙂 I really wait to see people with ‘kielbasa’ on their arms, that means sausage, but someone could think it has some deep meaning 😀


  7. And what about the tattoo artists that have a book with “the Chinese alphabet”?? Like A is 安, B is 比, etc. People get some crazy random characters put together hahaha.

    I don’t remember any crappy English tattoos on Chinese persons right now (but I know I have seen them!!) but it is pretty common to see someone with a t shirt that says bitch, fuck, and things like that 😀 And complete “English” gibberish on clothes is actually the norm. If you can find a piece of clothing with a correct sentence in English now that would be quite a feat hahaha.


    1. we all laugh from the tattoos but on the other hand you’re right, people put their trust to the artist and then bam, mad diarrhea at the back. but I also think some of them are done by Western tattoo artist who just put random signs


  8. The joys of chinese tattoos! I have also one but it is actually the name of my wife on my spine (MIL and wife were checking on it so the tattoo artist didn’t screw up in China… )

    A friend of mine actually did one of the food tattoos on purpose so he can order his favorite dish around the world without any troubles. 🙂

    Oh and before I forget. In Finland we had this cashier in a nearby supermarket. Let’s just say she was a bit of the bigger size…much bigger size and the tattoo on her neck said ‘fat pig’ in chinese character. I tried few times to get a picture of it secretly but was kind of impossible with people all around


  9. Have you ever seen the website Hanzi Smatter? It’s got loads of crazy tattoos with interesting descriptions of the mistakes.

    I have a tramp stamp. I was 18 and it just seemed like the right thing to do. I don’t regret it, I guess. I can’t even see it! My friend has two Chinese characters on her hips. One of them she thought meant peace, but actually it is the character 治


    1. I don’t like the name of it because it suggest every girl having it is ‘too fun’ to be around, especially with’you’re welcome’ there, but some of the tattoos can be pretty there too 🙂 I thought of having there a bird so… I should be happy it was just a thought because knowing me I would keep staring at it 😀 I will surely check out the site you mentioned!


  10. I can’t make out that X word, what is that? 處女止X流, 處女 = virgin, virgin stopping something flowing…?

    Personally, I think words tattoo are the most stupid of all tattoos, regardless of what word you use. At least images are abstract, but words are clear cut with definite meanings, and people will change as we age, so whatever words that you think is cool now will inevitably be the opposite of cool as you get older. And it be too late to undo the tattoo…


      1. That is not 康文, that is 處女, virgin. I think I can make a bit of sense of it now. I suspect the person who draw this tattoo is playing with words and pronunciation.

        You know how to pronounce 止功, right? There is something else that is pronounced the same way, but different words. A certain female organ?

        流, as in, 你当我流嘎?!(you can ask Sing what it means)

        Then you combine those together… 😀


  11. The Spanish or Catalans love tattoos and sleeve tattoos. A lot of girls have sleeves too or extremely large tattoos their chest. Sometimes it looks amazing. Other times I wonder what it’ll look like when their 50, 60 or if they’ll regret it. Sometimes I think their arm’s dirty until close up! Some people can sleeve tattoos off, others no, but it helps if the arm’s muscular! As for me, no tatoos. I’d only regret it.


  12. hilarious! some years back, after a decade in China, I went home to Aus and noticed someone with some tatts of Chinese characters, you know, the usual, 珑 , 兔子 老虎 -she had her kids’ birth years tatooed on her arm. I went up to her, thinking that someone who would bother having Chinese language would be interested in China, and interested in speaking to someone who had actually lived there for a decade -WRONG!
    now the fashion in Aus is to have Arabic tattoos.

    I guess there are a lot of Arabic speaking people in Australia getting a good giggle out of what they see permantly written on other people’s skin!


  13. Great topic. 🙂 I appreciate some tattoos as works of art. But honest, the art only looks lovely on smooth, young skin. Just imagine the person when they are 70 yrs. and older. Ugh.

    I can only read less than 10 characters in Chinese. So I can imagine some people not having a clue what their tattoo ideogram means without checking a dictionary or someone who was fluent in reading and writing Chinese.

    Why food? How dumb.


  14. This made me laugh so hard. I often wonder what all these Chinese character tattoos really say. My step-sister got one on her foot when she started walking and trying to get into shape. She only walked for about a week before she got the Chinese word for “persistence” tattooed on her foot. Hopefully the tattoo says something more like, “yeah, right” because her fitness craze lasted less than a month.


  15. i love tattoos and have two chinese words inked. Believe me i was soooo glad to find out that they really mean what i wanted them to mean once i arrived here in China

    btw. reblogged that one as i like that post a lot


  16. The person with the Chicken tattoo, that’s her Chinese Zodiac tatt. It should be 公雞 for Cock or Rooster, but I assume since she’s a woman she went with the female version of Chicken.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. “16. Get humiliated after death (WHAT…THE…HELL?!)”

    I think he was going for “Death Before Dishonour”


    May have been going for “Smooth” or “Slick”


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