For the better part
of the last century, hand tattoos were perhaps the defining
demarcation line between the tattoo enthusiasts and aficionados and
the truly hard-core. And to be hard-core meant not giving a damn
about whether or not the world knew you were tattooed and to caring
even less about what said world thought about it.
These are the Top Ten ways we've found at The Vanishing Tattoo for
individuals to express themselves in eight letters, on eight
fingers, over two sets of hands.
1. HOLD and FAST - first done by sailors. A reminder and a
superstition, a tattoo that was inked as a talisman to keep from
falling out of the rigging of a sailing ship. Such a fall might well
have been crippling or meant death.
2. LOVE and HATE. Made famous in the film noir classic, Night of the Hunter.
Worn on the hands of preacher Harry Powell played by
3. HARD and LUCK. A tattoo that was often see in prison. A variation
is Carey Hart's - HART and LUCK - a great play on his last name.
Tough to sympathize with a man who is a millionaire and is married
to Pink. But Hart has struggled to overcome some tough obstacles in
life to achieve his considerable success, not the least of which was
4. HARD and TIME. Another prison tattoo. A variation is HARD and
5. LOVE and PAIN. Awwwwhh, for all the romantics out there who are
6. ROCK and ROLL. If you're gonna be a rock star, it pays to brand
yourself I guess.
7. BORN and LOSR. This kind of typographical error normally drives
me crazy, but we have to acknowledge the limitations of eight
fingers. Reminds one of some of the bizarre things you see on Vanity
Occasionally you will see the words, BORN TO LOSE or BORN LOSER,
tattooed on the bodies of those doing prison time.
8. FUCK and YOU! A tattoo from the punk movement, and it goes to
show you just how important punctuation and the exclamation mark
really are, although their use in this instance might be a slight
case of overstatement. And just who is you? Mom and Dad? All of the
rest of us? Or just the guys in the rest of the band who didn't like
your lyrics or your chord changes?
9. FUCK and OFF!. Another tattoo from the punk movement that
captures its air of anarchy with beauty and grace.
10. Number ten is a toss-up - you decide. TRUE and LOVE or LTFC and
ESUK. What's that you say? Some men have actually had LTFC and ESUK
tattooed on their fingers. Take a pen and spell out the letters on
each hand. Now intertwine your fingers. 'LETS FUCK'
Like I said, welcome to the world of the hard-core.
Honorable Mention: Motorcycle Mechanic and Guru,
Jesse James - on
the palm of his hand had legendary tattoo artist Jack Rudy ink Pay
Up Sucker, surrounding a dollar sign.
Other Celebrities with Finger Tattoos - Colin Farrell,
Anderson, Carmen Electra,
Portia de Rossi,
Tommy Lee. And
Celebrities you wouldn't think of with hand tattoos,
and Jessica Lange!
I saw a girl in
Austin, Texas once with her knuckles tattooed "FUCKED UP" -- "FUCK"
on one hand, "EDUP" on the other. I wish I had a photo of her!
Also seen: HARM FULL - crazy out there, man!
Many of the girls on
SuicideGirls.com have finger tattoos. LADY LUCK being the most
popular, other popular ones include SHOW GIRL, LIVE FAST, HALF FULL,
and of course their names. Check out
SuicideGirls.com to see a whole host of finger tattoos on these
After doing years of
research and hours and hours of searching the Internet, it's always
a little exhilarating and gratifying in some great "Cosmic Sense" to
find a new site about a subject you find intriguing.
You have to check out
Knuckle Tattoos - and once again I am amazed at the art, vision
and ingenuity of body art beatniks, tattoo story-tellers and finger
fables. Every knuckle really does tell a tale.
And the photos are
Hand tattoos in
history and around the world...