10 Cool Facts About Tattoos


Most of the cool facts I’d been finding about tattoos haven’t really been all that cool, until I found these facts. There were a TON of them so I narrowed the list down to MY top 10 favorite.

10) The word “tattoo” comes from the Polynesian word “ta” meaning “to strike”, which describes the sound of a tattooing spike being knocked on skin.

NPG 5868; Sir Joseph Banks, Bt by Sir Joshua Reynolds

The first recorded references to the word “tattoo” is in the writings of Joseph Banks,a naturalist aboard Captain Cook’s ship. Before Captain Cook brought the word to Europe, tattoos in the West were known as “pricks” or “marks.”

9) The word “tattoo” is often misspelled as “tatoo” and is one of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language.

8) The first professional tattoo artist in the U.S. was Martin Hildebrandt, a German immigrant, who arrived in Boston in 1846.

7)  The Iceman (3300-3200) is the oldest physical body in existence AND has the oldest tattoos that have been preserved. He has a black cross tattooed over the inside of his left knee, six straight lines on his lower back, and parallel lines on his ankles, wrists and leg.


When scientists X-rayed his body, they discovered joint disease under each tattoo, which suggests the tattoos were meant to relieve pain.

6) Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, had a tattoo of a snake around her wrists, which she covered with a diamond bracelet at formal occasions. Churchill himself had an anchor on his foreman.


5) Some of the funniest tattoo misspellings include “Beautiful Tradgedy”, “Tradgey/Comedy”, “Fuck the Systsem”, “Chi-tonw”, “I’m Awsome”, “Sweet Pee”, “Tomarrow Never Knows”, “Leave a coment below”, “Your Next”, “Exreme”, and “Eat & Drink Today Fore We Die Tomorrow”.


4) The Latin word for “tattoo” is stigma.

3) Early tattoo methods included using chisels, rakes, or picks. Soot-covered thread was also used. The thread would be sewn through the skin.


2) After the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped in 1932, many worried parents had their children tattooed on them.


1) Americans spend approximately $1.65 BILLION on tattoos annually.


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