Mar 19, 2008

The Teardrop Tattoo

Chances are, you've seen teenagers or even adults sporting this tattoo in Singapore. Called the teardrop tattoo, this tattoo is as symbolic as it gets. The tattoo is placed under the eye to create the impression that the individual is crying. I'm pretty darn sure most of these people that have this tattoo in Singapore, don't know the history behind the teardrop tattoo.

In prisons throughout the United States, there have been accounts of prisoners that have been forced to get the tattoo by their "sugar daddies". The tattoo would signify that the prisoner is a sissy.

It has also been documented that the teardrop tattoo originated in the Chicano gangs of California. To these gangs, the tattoo signifies that an individual has killed another person, particularly while in prison. The tattoo can also mean that a family member, close friend or fellow gang member has died. The likely cause of death would be gang related.

The teardrop tattoo can also stand for the number of years one has been in prison. In the United Kingdom, the tear tattoo would likely be on someone that has spent time in a young offenders prison.

There are two types of teardrop tattoos. The solid teardrop can mean that a murder was committed. If the teardrop is clear in the middle, it means that it was an attempted murder. An empty tear can also mean that a loved one has been murdered. Tattoos with an empty top and full bottom means the loved one has been murdered and the killer has been murdered by the tattoo wearer.



As you can see, the teardrop tattoo isn't just another tattoo. It's meaning and history runs deep. I think it's ridiculous that we have youths walking around Singapore with a tattoo they know nothing about. The tattoo shops are to blame as well. Tattoo shops should be educating their customers regardless of their age. Take EZ Tattoo for example. They have a strict no face tattoos policy. In addition, they will NEVER do a gang related tattoo. I think it's time we have a Tattoo Association in Singapore!



31 comments:

  1. Hi there,
    Singaporean have very little knowledge about tattoos period.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Now I finally know what the teardrop tattoo means. I didn't think very much of it when I first saw it on the biker dude that did my tattoo in Australia about 8 years ago.

    I just thought he must be really daring to do one so near his eyes. Of course he looked so damn fierce, I was too terrified to ask him anything.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh yah, thanks for the link on yr blog. Linked yours to mine too :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. to frost goh: I agree. Hopefully things will improve soon...

    to alyson: Haha...I always knew it was gang related. Just didn't know why they actually got them done.

    You know...people that look fierce and all, are actually nice people. Most of them just don't show their soft side. I've got some friends like that...

    You're welcome...Thanks for the link babe! =)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Finally! I thought no one here in Singapore knows what the tattoo means!

    Btw. Great blog with nice pictures!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Awww....thanks buddy!

    Haha...someone I spoke to recently remarked that it's a satanic tattoo. I was like WHAT? Excuse me??!

    Do you have any tatts? It's been a long time since I've eaten angkuquay. damn!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Alyson: the teardrop tattoo in Australia is forcibly applied to child molesters

    ReplyDelete
  8. The tear tattoo may mean child molester in Australia now or in some parts of Australia, but I know several people older than me and my age who have done time and to them the tear represents sentences.
    I.e. they got a tear each sentence they served.

    ReplyDelete
  9. the teardrop tattoo pre-dates all the prison and gang stuff. the design first came about in the early 1920's worn in memory of a lost family member, more specifically a son or a brother, much like the cobweb has different meanings in the traditional style of tattooing. lets not forget these images were worn by sailors long before the convicts adopted them and came up with their own definitions and meanings.

    ReplyDelete
  10. teardrops arnt always bad, sometimes it gets twisted, for instance, when i was 12 my dad died when i was in jail, i got a teardrop, y because for the next 18 months of my life i never cried once, till i got out and seen his grave stone that day i felt my first teardrop, so when u think of it its only what u think bout it, my side is different, a tear is what u make it, and mine is a fathers teardrop,

    ReplyDelete
  11. nah niggaz dat tat means u smoked anotha nigga for yo crew its mainly a blood thing zu-woop

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the info on the teardrops tattoo.

    ReplyDelete
  13. your not black stop lying, type normally

    ReplyDelete
  14. Now, for tattoo lovers, you can buy Shiroi Neko and Minute Mirth t-shirts at  www.shiroinekoonline.com . In case you don't know about Shiroi Neko  and Minute Mirth , well, Shiroi Neko and Minute Mirth is  tattoo clothing brands that have similar vintage tattoo style like Ed Hardy but they are not lame and gay like one. You can take a look at Shiroi Neko t-shirts at www.shiroinekoonline.com. It's the only place that you can buy authentic Shiroi Neko and Minute Mirth  clothing at lowest price. Visit our website  just once and your life will never be the same again.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I have 4 questions for you...

    1. Don't you think it is impolite to leave a comment filled with content that has nothing to do with the above post???

    2. I think comments like yours just cheapens the brand Shiroi Neko. Don't you?!

    3. Isn't Shiroi Neko doing well in the market? At least I thought it was. After reading your comment, I now think its some cheap brand that can't afford proper online advertising!

    4. Lastly, are you one of those people that is trying out affiliate marketing? Come on dude! This isn’t the way to do things. Being cheap ass won't earn you a dime! Do it the right way by spending money on Google Adsense. To earn money you need to spend money. It’s only a dollar a day!!!! See, you got a free lesson by yours truly Noel Boyd! 

    I hope you've learnt something today. If you leave another comment on my blog, I'll track you down using your IP address and beat you silly with Ed Hardy apparel & merchandise. After which, YOUR life will never be the same again!

    ReplyDelete
  16. tear drops are not always bad if you have not served any time in jail. more than likely if you have then they mean something bad. people that get them on the streets sometimes dont know the full eaning cause it has not been earned

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks for leaving a comment Carlos! Yeah, I totally get what you mean. I've seen young boys in Singapore with these tattoos and I'll bet my bottom dollar that they don't know what it stands for. They probably got it because they saw either a fellow or rival gang member with the teardrop tattoo and got it done to look cool.

    ReplyDelete
  18. i was thinkig of getting a teardrop tattoo for my sister who died. it wasn't gang related or anything like that, i just thought it would be a nice tribute to her. after reading the comments above i am not to sure???
    please advise.
    thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Cerys, don't bother too much about what you read. If that's something you really wanna do, go ahead!

    But remember that folks who know what the teardrop tattoo stands for, would obviously look at you differently. If you are the sort that doesn't give a hoot about what people think, then cool!

    ReplyDelete
  20. dont do it Cerys cause u will get a lot of dirty looks and it could keep u from getting a job. Just put a tatoo on your arm with RIP and your sister's name

    ReplyDelete
  21. Hi Im a Gipsy from Finland and I have a tear drop under my right eye that has an emty top and a full bottom,. In the gipsy culture this means that someone close to you have been killed and mine stands for my fathers murder in -86. R.I.P Armas Enroth. And I want to say that people that just make it to look cool,there totally ignorant. They dont now the pain and the dept behind that tatoo and they should think twice before making one! Just my word,may Allah watch ower us all! Kaale-Rom Omar E

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so sorry for your lose...and I hope the killer was brought to Justice! Ppl seem to not understand that teardrops aren't always gang related most ppl I know that have them are for in memory for someone. And not a lot of ppl understand the gipsy culture.

      Delete
  22. can tear drops be in color and do they have to be on the face i lost my baby sister going on 2 years now i thought about having one between thum and finger

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. yeh it has to be on the face. under the eye lids and it doesnt have to be in colour;) sorry for your loss xoxo

      Delete
  23. well thank u all for the input. i have had 2 family members that have been murdered, one for rape and one for the love of a woman. i was going to get their names on me but i think 2 hollow tears will do. and be alot cheaper. so thank you all, except you nigger guy. your a wanna be gangster prob living in your moms basement. fag

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw i am sorry for ur loss but dont be like that ;)

      Delete
  24. The tattoo on lil waynes eye lids saidz fear of god:/ hes apart of the illumiati shit :( but i still love him <3 the tear drops mean that he has killed a few people :( :\ xxoo love you lil wayne :)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I appreciate all the info on this...I was looking for the difference in meaning was thinkin about incorporating it into a tattoo in memory of my daddy...I lost him when I was 15...I was thinking a monarch butterfly with a teardrop but now I'm not sure I don't want one on my face because I'm in school to become a nurse...thank u very much again! :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for the info. I am a female and wanted a tear drop to rep the death of my mom but now I have changed my mind. Will def find some other way

    ReplyDelete

Please leave a comment but do note that comments are moderated on posts that are older than 7 days.