Tattoo Ideas: Words & Phrases III

Updated on March 3, 2013
Soccer great David Beckham has several lettering tattoos
Soccer great David Beckham has several lettering tattoos

Soccer superstar David Beckham and hip-hop artist Eminem are just two well-known personalities who have chosen to decorate their bodies with lettering tattoos. In the form of words either done in English or translated into another language, lettering tattoos can be words, names, dates, phrases, lyrics. There is some debate as to whether or not characters (such as Arabic, Hebrew or Sanskrit) that are used in lieu of words can actually be considered "lettering", due to the fact that they do not utilize actual letters.

Eminem's most prominent lettering tattoos are the super-sized "D" and "12" on each of his forearms in an Old English script. David Beckham chose to tattoo the names of his children, Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn also in an Old English font. His wife, Victoria, went for a verse from Song of Songs 2:16 in Hebrew characters running down the back of her neck which translates to "I am my beloved and my beloved is mine." David Beckham later got a similar Hebrew tattoo on his lower arm to match his wife's.

Diagram of Eminem's many tattoos
Diagram of Eminem's many tattoos
"L Word" characters Shane and Carmen got matching tattoos before their wedding day
"L Word" characters Shane and Carmen got matching tattoos before their wedding day

In fact, matching tattoos among lovers and friends are becoming more commonplace these days, as the public graduates from simple ring finger designs and name tattoos to shared quotes and ideals of a higher consciousness. Angelina Jolie's infamous "Billy Bob" dragon in honor of then-husband Billy Bob Thornton was an obvious and explicit dedication to her love. On an episode of Showtime‘s "The L Word", Shane and Carmen celebrated their upcoming marriage by getting matching tattoos that had nothing to do with love nor marriage other than the fact that they were shared. When I was in college, my best friend and I saw the movie "Aimee & Jaguar" at a small, independent movie theater. We couldn't stop thinking about several great quotes from the film, so when we woke up one random morning with some extra cash and decided to get inked, we knew it had to be words from the touching and inspirational movie. We wanted it to be something we shared, but also something that made just as much sense when viewed separately as it did when viewed together. In the end, we paraphrased a line from the film, her getting "I don't want forever..." on her upper back and me getting "I only want now." on my lower.

BMEzine.com is an endless source of remembrance and inspiration when it comes to lettering tattoo ideas, and I am always impressed by the quality of words and phrase tattoos found on their site.

LETTERING TATTOOS Photo Gallery

Questions & Answers

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      • profile image

        Shaye 

        6 years ago

        Most of you guys are looking to other people's ideas for your own tattoo's!! My hard & fast rule is don't get it unless it means something to YOU!!

      • profile image

        Oscar Harvey 

        6 years ago

        im looking for a phrase to get tattooed down my rib cage symbolising not only family but everyone that has stood by me in the past few years something like " live for those i love" but not in those words any ideas?

      • profile image

        Brett 

        6 years ago

        Hebrew is not just a Jewish language but an ancient language, some hebrew quotes are very powerful and deep and hence the reason people wish to have them. I am not jewish but have hebrew script down my back (if im not for myself then who will be for me etc.... )I like the meaning of this quote and believe hebrew to be a very ancient spiritual language and that's the reason I choose to get it done

      • profile image

        Brett 

        6 years ago

        Hebrew is not just a Jewish language but an ancient language, some hebrew quotes are very powerful and deep and hence the reason people wish to have them. I am not jewish but have hebrew script down my back (if im not for myself then who will be for me etc.... )I like the meaning of this quote and believe hebrew to be a very ancient spiritual language and that's the reason I choose to get it done

      • profile image

        McInKed 

        6 years ago

        Why is everyone here asking for Hebrew translations at the top of this page, I am going to go out on a limb and say they are Jewish. I am not Jewish but if I was I most definatley would not have 20% of my body inked the way I do now, in fact no non medical needle would touch me with the intention of marking my skin. That seems like a much better way to show that particular cultures history and pride. Don't take this the wrong way Jewish people should have tattoos if they choose to but to put lettering in hebrew Seems like a huge slap in the face to me and I am not Jewish and do not know the exact rules of the faith but I would think that would be up there

      • profile image

        nic 

        7 years ago

        eu gostaria muito de saber o nome da tatto que a Shane fez junto com a Carmen na nuca '-' se alguem souber, fala ai, please *-*

      • profile image

        LOLLL 

        7 years ago

        you people gotta be more original!

      • profile image

        HELP 

        7 years ago

        hi imm booked in for a tattoo on thursday and im getting a tattoo of a girl and i want her to have a tattoo on herself aswell i think its sexy but i want something that means something... any help muchly appreciated :)

        P.s sorry if i make no sence...

      • profile image

        jay 

        7 years ago

        looking for a short quote along the lines of famous undercover ATF agent who infiltrated the hells angel, Jay Dobyns, "JHAP (Jesus hates a pussy," but don't want anything sac-religious....want it to provide courage when faced with challenges...im a bounty hunter and have to deal w/ some bad dudes and scary situations and need to constantly remind myself cant be a p***y

        also w/ all ive seen and been through growing up in north philly...lookiung for quotes such as "what doesn't kill u makes u stronger" but more original or even in latin or something....and a small background behind it

        kleimbach26@gmail.com

      • profile image

        Alan 

        7 years ago

        Hi, I am about to get a tribal design on the top of my back, I would also like my sons names however I am not entirely sure of what text would be best to suit the design, google image tribal tattoos for men and it can be found on second page, tattootrends.amild.us.thanks for your help. Aldorfc@hotmail.com

      • profile image

        Gary 

        7 years ago

        How u say "live everyday 2 the fullest.u never no what day will b ur last" in Arabic?can any 1 help?

      • profile image

        Rohan 

        7 years ago

        Hey can anyone send me a pic of the phrase " only god can judge me " in hebrew. There are many variations of this on the net and i am not sure which one is the correct one. rome2me@yahoo.com

      • profile image

        Claus 

        7 years ago

        hi, I want to get a word tattoo, i want a phrase or word that can help me get over or remind me that no matter how much things people can do to me, even if they are the people who are suppose to be closer to me, how many betrayals, Im going to be ok, and make my dreams come true, even if they think too little of me if they underestimate me.

        any ideas?

        clasan91@yahoo.com.mx

      • profile image

        tennisha caldwell 

        8 years ago

        i love tatts :)

        their fucking sick ;)

        they look sick;

        so anyways! i have this aunt...

        who im really close with whos a month younger then me!

        we wanna get matching tattoos,

        because were more like sisterss..

        not aunt & niece ;)

        soooo any idesss?

        contact me at my URL :)

        k thanks ! (L)

      • profile image

        kinkylildevil 

        8 years ago

        Hi I am looking for 'fairytales don't always have happy endings' translated into hebrew but vertically if possible, have been on the net and have lots of different variations of the phase so if anyone can help please e-mail me alex_bethan101@hotmail.com

        thanks

      • profile image

        mimeto_km 

        8 years ago

        Hi! i really want to make a tattoo and i'm looking for someone who can translate it to Arabic . If you can hepl me ,please text me to mimeto_km@yahoo.com . the quote i want is "you do not need wings to fly"

      • profile image

        Jessica 

        8 years ago

        You said that carmen and shanes tattoo had nothing to do with their love...not true. Carmen and shane have an argument after shane cheats in which carmen asks shane to be as civilized as a F***ing bird....hints the tribal bird tattoo on the back of their neck

      • profile image

        Kristen 

        8 years ago

        I was wondering what type of font this tattoo is. knpenner@yahoo.com

      • profile image

        Korissa 

        8 years ago

        "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Translated into Sanskrit please.

      • profile image

        Jaz 

        8 years ago

        these aare shite!

      • profile image

        avi israeli 

        8 years ago

        for christie this is what you need!!!!:

        " ?? ??? ??? ?? ?? ?? "

      • profile image

        Ian 

        9 years ago

        I love the one that says "Fall Seven Times, Stand Up Eight"

      • profile image

        rara 

        9 years ago

        what's 'integrity' in arabic? how its said in english and with arabic letters in the language - cant find it anywhere

      • profile image

        jordan e 

        9 years ago

        near and far, its where ever you are

      • profile image

        Anne-Sophie 

        9 years ago

        How do you say " You'll never become old and wise of you're not young and crazy" in french? please

        In French: Tu ne deviendras jamais vieux et sage si tu n'es pas jeune et fou .

      • profile image

        Tattoo Art 

        9 years ago

        hi i m finding one word substitute in tattoo design...that is love

      • profile image

        Savannah 

        9 years ago

        How do you say " You'll never become old and wise of you're not young and crazy" in french? please

      • profile image

        delia 

        9 years ago

        for the record, the languages mentioned (sanskrit, arabic and hebrew) do in fact have letters, not characters. they can be highly stylized as desired, but they are letters. chinese has characters. characters can stand for several ideas, whereas letters stand for sounds

      • profile image

        Cj 

        9 years ago

        I'm thinking of getting my very first tattoo and I'm a firm believer in not getting one unless it truly has a meaning. I want to get a short quote that means strength in coming out of a relationship, under my breast starting on my side and wrapping around right basically on the crease of where the underwire of a bra hits. I just got out of a 8 year relationship but I love him with all my being and want something to symbolize that love bc he means so much to me. any ideas email cjcutie21@yahoo.com

      • profile image

        kellb 

        9 years ago

        im almost 16 and i wanna get the words.. eyes are blind only the heart sees. from my neck to my spine OR should i get. in what is seen there should be just the seen .. in what is heard should be just the heard.. in what is sensed should be just the sensed.. in what is thought should be just the thought.. ideas???!

      • profile image

        sparta 

        9 years ago

        EEEEEEEEEEEMMMMMMMMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEMMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!!!

        He has 1 more tattoo!!! PROOF! His best frend who died 2006. y.

      • profile image

        JLA 

        9 years ago

      • profile image

        Ashley xx 

        9 years ago

        Hey everyone,

        After another hard breakup, i am tired of fighting for things that are really just not meant to be.

        Im trying to find a short quote/saying that means "What is meant to be, will be"

        Can anyone help??? Please email any ideas to admin@mailplus.com.au

        Thanks soo much!

      • profile image

        crunchydude. 

        9 years ago

        no way to peace

        Peace is the way.

      • profile image

        MJ  

        9 years ago

        I'm looking at getting the word Babygirl tattooed on my pelvic bone. I am looking for a font which is simple but also classic. Do you have any thoughts on how it could look. I am wanting to get it done quite soon. Thanks

      • profile image

        Mari 

        9 years ago

        Hi, i need som help, i'm gonna get a tatto that it's something special to me, a word or something nothing to big, i had a rough childhod that made me sick and still is but i'm not sure what i can have, something that can hold me up in hard times, somethings that have a meaning or something... ?

      • profile image

        Haley 

        9 years ago

        For all of you who want to translate a saying you can just go to google.com and type google translator in the search box and type in the words you want to translate and the language you want it to go to

      • profile image

        Haley 

        9 years ago

        For all of you who want to translate a saying you can just go to google.com and type google translator in the search box and type in the words you want to translate and the language you want it to go to

      • profile image

        Klint 

        9 years ago

        hey,

        I am trying to find a quote to represent what i believe in, something about forgetting the past and moving on with life. Something like "Always forward, never Back". Anyone have any good ideas that they could pass on, would be greatly appriciated. was looking at getting the tattoo in french also, but english translation is fine. My email addy is clint_hem@hotmail.com

        Cheers Krew

      • profile image

        christie 

        9 years ago

        i am also looking for the hebrew translation " If i am not myself who will be me?" please help! christiefknbaby@gmail.com

      • profile image

        KIRKY 

        9 years ago

        IM WANTING A TATTOO QUOTE OR PHRASE, BEFORE I GO TO FIGHT IN AFGAHNISTAN THIS YEAR. IF ANY BODY HAS ANY COOL QUOTES OR ANYTHING COULD U SEND IT TO KIRKY0335@HOTMAIL.CO.UK THANKS

      • profile image

        Nicole gerbil 

        9 years ago

        Hey my names Nicole im from Texas in Texas my family is very strict and they don't let me go on the internet so i had to come to my friends house in Miami and well i was just wondering where i can find outhow to translate the word FRIENDSHIP in hebrew.

      • profile image

        Brianna 

        9 years ago

        My love & I plan to get "I promise" tattooed on each other. I feel that mine's more meaningful, as promises mean the world to me, and when I promise something to someone, I will always stand by it, no matter what. That, & I promise to always love him faithfully & honestly, throughout the rest of my life. I plan to get it along my collarbone, in font simliar to the 6th thumbnail photo. I plan to get it very soon, so I'm definitely excited! :D Good luck with everyone elses ideas! [pelase don't take mine :(]

      • profile image

        fff 

        9 years ago

        hey sophie

        the translation in hebrew looks that way..

        ?? ??? ??? ?? ?? ??

      • profile image

        steadfast 

        9 years ago

        im looking for a single word that would look good across the top of my back in old english...either a single word or a short quote, any ideas?

      • profile image

        Erin 

        9 years ago

        eem ayn ani li, mi li?if i am not for myself, who will be for me?uh'she'ani l'atzmi, mah ani?and when/if i am only for myself, what am i?v'eem lo achshav Emah-thai?and if not now, when?pirkei avot1:14

        if you want to actually see the lettering, i can send you a picture i have on my computer?

        trstmecompletely@gmail.com

      • profile image

        sophie 

        9 years ago

        Hi,

        i am looking fot the translation for "if i am not myself, who will be me?" In hebrew please?

        Hope you can help!\

        sophie

      • profile image

        Adam 

        10 years ago

        Ive been thinking of a tattoo that is a single word, phrase, scripture to get but i have been very stumped. The most important things to me is LIFE, FAMILY, LOVE, and INTEGRITY. If you have any ideas, please send me the via e-mail. agoode2007@yahoo.com

      • profile image

        Rosalind Turner 

        10 years ago

        Sorry, to comment or send a design, please respond to raynortros@yahoo.com...thanks

      • profile image

        Rosalind Turner 

        10 years ago

        I am looking for the word BABY in caligraphy and some type of fiminine design at the beginning and the end of the word, is there a designer ?

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