Anchor Tattoos: Designs, Meanings, and Other Ideas

Updated on January 26, 2016
thelyricwriter profile image

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.

Source

Anchor Tattoos

An anchor is one of the more popular tattoo designs around for both men and women. The reason it's so popular is its versatility. The anchor is a framework that the artist can hang a number of different elements and symbols on it, including ships, ship wheels, sharks, fish, or stars. Along the same lines, since anchors can come in a variety of different sizes, you can get it anywhere on the body.

This article will go over anchor tattoo designs, showing you the range of different options available. We'll also discuss their meaning and significance. In the end, we hope that you are able to find ideas and inspiration for your next tattoo.

Anchor Tattoos: History and Meanings

Source

The anchor tattoo has stood the test of time and still remains a popular maritime symbol. A long time favorite among seamen, the anchor is one of the oldest tattoo symbols. The Marines and Navy are the two most common groups known to wear anchor tattoos. The anchor has a history beyond tattoos though. This popular and well known symbol has been around for centuries.

Although the anchor is most commonly associated with sailors, it also has an association with Christianity. Christians actually used the anchor to replace the cross when they were a persecuted minority. When Christians were under Roman control, they spent most of their time hidden. Christians used the anchor to resemble the cross so there would be no sign of the religion and to signal other Christians in secret.

Top 10 Anchor Tattoos Online

It wasn't until the 1900s that anchor tattoos began to catch on. Sailors were among the first to get them, in an effort to symbolize their association to the sea. Sailors that crossed the dangerous Atlantic Ocean would get the tattoo as a symbol of their accomplishment, so it quickly came to mark out experienced sailors. Later on, the Navy and the Marines began to sport the same design to represent their affiliation. They would commonly pair a picture of their ship or the number of their outfit with an anchor tattoo. They wore this tattoo with pride and it also represented America. For example, they could use an American Flag wrapped around the anchor or have an eagle within the tattoo design. Even today, the Navy and Marines sport anchor tattoos.

It is believed that pirates also had anchor tattoos, though the skull and cross bones are commonly associated with them. When we look at the anchor in nature, it really only serves one purpose: to hold the ship steady in water. When the anchor is dropped, the water can't budge the ship. We can actually grab some of the anchor's symbolic meaning from these facts. Besides affiliation, "stability" may be the most common meaning of the anchor tattoo.

Anchor Tattoo Designs

Source

When we look at the anchor in general, we can come closer to understanding all of its symbolic meanings. As you just read, one meaning of the anchor tattoo is "stability." This one meaning can be evoked in different ways. For example, it could symbolize that you are steady in life and that everything in your life is falling into place.

Another variation is that you have stable surroundings. In most cases, this refers to your family. With lots of anchor tattoos, you may see a ribbon across with "FAMILY" on it. Families should be close, strong, and stable. A few anchor tattoos in this article have "MOM" and "DAD" depicted on them. You can also get creative and add your children's names inside the design. For all of these, the tattoo symbolizes a strong family relationship.

Source

The anchor tattoo can also represent someone in a stable relationship. In most cases, it is usually worn by a man to show he is in a committed relationship. It is not common, but women can wear the anchor tattoo for the same thing. Some couples may choose to get matching anchor tattoos to symbolize their relationship with each other.

The anchor tattoo can be portrayed by its self or with a variety of different symbols. Symbols that are commonly associated with the anchor is flowers, hearts, wings, nautical stars, ribbons, eagles, and skulls. Some anchor tattoos can be ordinary or traditional looking and others can be quite colorful with a variety of different colors used in the design. In most anchor tattoos, the anchor is tattooed in the center of the design.

Remember to do your own research on the anchor tattoo design or any other tattoo design you may be considering. It is always best to know the meaning behind each tattoo design you are considering. There are thousands of tattoo designs, style, and meanings. Don't rush into the tattoo process and get inked before you do your research. You don't want to get a tattoo that you will later regret. Take your time and choose a tattoo design that fits you. Check out the samples below.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        JessM30 

        11 months ago

        Hi love your info on the anchor tattoo its the exact reason why I got my (*Stability*)

        I have tatto of a small anchor on my left rib.

        ~º~

        I grew up in a home that didnt have much stability. We live off Social Security and food stamps. We bounced in and out of my grandmothers house because of money issues and soon my mom believe she need a man to be able to have a stable life. I hated that feeling so I got the tatto of an anchor which for me represents keeping myself anchored, that I can keep myself stable through my own strength. That I dont need help from anyone else i control and anchor my own life.

      • profile image

        Jessica 

        11 months ago

        Hi thanks for you info..

        i have a small tattoo of a anchor on my left rib for me it represents my own stability. I grew up in home were we didn't have a real stable home we bounced in and out of living with my grandma and so the anchor for me represents my hope to keeping myself stable not having to depend on anyone else strength but my own.

      • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        John, thanks for dropping by. I always enjoy hearing the history and story behind someone's tat. LOL That is way too cool! Royal Navy, that is awesome. Such a great story and thanks for your service John!!

      • profile image

        john anker 

        6 years ago

        i have a tattoo on my right arm of an anchor with a memaid entwined i also served 10 years royal navy look at my surname

      • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        Gypsy, thanks for the info my dear. I will have to check in on it. Still working on your request. I haven't forgot ya:) Best wishes.

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

        To help you out friend I checked yup there are tattoos related to Popeye I just don't know how many or what the story behind them are. Just put Popeye tattoos in any search engine.

      • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

        Richard Ricky Hale 

        6 years ago from West Virginia

        *Ana, thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Glad you enjoyed this article and coming from your background, I am honored:)

        *AE, always a pleasure to see you. The foot is a great choice. You can show it off when you want to or cover it up if need be.

        *Gypsy, glad to hear from ya again. Popeye? Interesting. I wonder if there is tattoos?

        *Frank, the tank! Expanding the knowledge my friend. I feel my brain swelling!

      • Frank Atanacio profile image

        Frank Atanacio 

        6 years ago from Shelton

        u see you learn something new I thought anchor was just the symbol of sailors..great share thelyricwriter

      • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

        Gypsy Rose Lee 

        6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

        Lovely pics, great info. Lot's of sailor fans out there. Reminds me of my favorite sailor - Popeye.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        6 years ago from Southern Illinois

        These are really beautiful too Ricky. I like a tattoo on the foot. I do not have one, but if i did it would be on my foot..Thank's again...

      • Ana Teixeira profile image

        Ana Teixeira 

        6 years ago from Oporto, Porto, Portugal

        I really enjoyed this hub. I'm from Portugal, and as you might already know, we have a long tradition in sailing and discovering new lands upon the unknown sea. I knew that most sailors tattoo anchors and of course I could deduce the connection with the sea.. but I also enjoyed your explanation about "stability". Really interesting hub, specially if someone is thinking of getting an anchor tattoo! =) keep hubbing!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, tatring.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://tatring.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)