Whilst on holiday in Portugal this past week, I noticed a number of women with tattoos in strategic places. Of course such embellishments would normally be hidden from view but on beaches and by swimming pools much flesh is exposed and design secrets are revealed. Shirley and I are of course as tattooless as our two children are. Very probably the tattooed sector of society would think us rather square but we prefer our skins to remain unblemished and unadaorned. I guess we are crazy that way.
Having seen a wide range of tattoos of different design and merit, I decided to investigate what they might all mean and have come up with this basic visual glossary that I may extend after future beach holidays. If readers of this humble blog can assist my research I would be very grateful. So here we go.
Firstly: The Dolphin. There are many different dolphin designs. They can appear leaping on the shoulder blade, belly, upper thigh or breast. Basically this common design may be interpreted in this way "I lack design taste and a sense of the future but it is my dream to swim with dolphins - preferably dolphins that don't bite you - oh and the sea would have to be warm and calm and besides my mate Veronica got her dolphin tattoo first".
Secondly: The Mermaid. Again - quality and location of designs are variable but someone with a mermaid tattoo is showing the world that they like to go to the seaside where they sometimes eat battered fish. The mystical mermaid symbol represents a deep seated desire to meet a Premier League footballer and get married in Barbados.
Thirdly: The Chinese Symbols. Various Chinese symbols may be selected - all with different spiritual meanings that can inspire expressions of admiration from intimate onlookers such as "Oo! That's nice. Our Tracey wants one of them". The particular sophisticated shoulder example you can see above means "Pork Chop Suey with Fried Rice".
Fourthly: The Hummingbird. Obviously with its nectar sipping proboscis, the hummingbird is a subtle symbol of fertility. To wear this tattoo means that you're hoping to get laid - preferably by a Premier League footballer with a fat wallet and an Italian sports car. It shows you also like pizza and tequila shots and don't mind wearing dresses that are too tight and too short. Wearers will generally shop for their clothes in Primark.
Finally: The Tramp Stamp. These are etched on to the lower back where the wearer can't see them so the tattooist can pretty much do what he wants. There are hundreds of different designs. This particular one means "I haven't got the brains I was born with and I will leave a gap between my top and jeans even in the depths of winter just so that anybody who follows me can see the crap design on my lower back. Oh and I used to date a guy called Rory till he went off with Kaylee. The bitch."
Post script - Take a close look at this one:-
Written with very sincere apologies to any bloggers who have tattoos about their person.