A couple of years back, I wrote about the excellent Hanzi Smatter, a site “dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters in Western culture”. He spends much of his time explaining what Chinese characters in tattoos really mean. You know, as in this might mean ‘tranquil’ or it might mean (gulp) ‘cheap’.
But now that the fad-following hipsters of a decade and a half ago have graduated to jobs and families, they are going to tattoo-removal specialists in droves, trying to erase an embarrassing reminder of the mistake they made one drunken night so many years ago: They were permanently inked with an Asian-language word that didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t say quite what they thought it did.
The article also refers to lower back tattoos as ‘tramp stamps’–something I’d never heard before. I guess it’s a pretty common location for a tattoo, but I’ve never associated it with skankiness (though there is that quote from Wedding Crashers). I always thought it was a smart spot for tattoo–as your lower back is easily concealed or revealed.
As a bonus, here’s a pretty average SNL sketch about removing those pesky lower back tattoos.