Monday, December 13, 2004

"Healthy Catch Empty Achievement"

From reader "Christina S.":

"Hello, I’ve been to your site many times and I have a tattoo on my lower back in Chinese. I know there is not such thing as letters in Chinese NOW, but these characters are supposed to represent MIKE. Now I’m am really curious to what I have inked on my back. Can you help me? Thanks."

I feel really bad about this one, because it is no where near "MIKE". Especially the second character does not even exist in Hanzi or Kanji vocabulary. The closest one is "" which means "catch", but there is an extra dot in the tattoo.

= peaceful, quiet; happy, healthy

= catch, arrest; shoot with bow

= empty, hollow, bare, deserted

= achievement, merit, good result


  1. Don't feel too bad about it! I actually got a good laugh out of it. He has my name on his back as well. I guess I should say he has five unknown chinese characters on his back that are meant to represent Chris. The two of us know what the tattoo means to us....something that will bond the two of us forever and that's all that matters.

  2. but if you both wanted something that represented a "bond" between you, why get some characters in a foreign language that mean gibberish? Why not get a unique design that means something to both of you? Not to sound critical, I just don't understand the thought behind it.

    I would much rather have a unique drawing that I or my boyfriend did or that symbolized our bond, than have someone tattoo in English "Happy Shoot With Bow Deserted Merit," much less have it done in another language.

    Again, You have every right to do what you do, I just wanted to understand it.

  3. When we decided to get the tattoos we decided on what we thought was actual letters. But of course we now know that "letters" do not exist as they do in the English language. We did not decided to get tattoos that said giberish in a foreign language but that's the way it turned out.

  4. Although, if you can somehow interpret that random phrase to mean "who is like god", then I guess you could have Mike (or Michael anyway). Lessons learned, I hope.

  5. Hey Christina,

    I wouldn't get to bent out of shape over the tattoo. Besides, the tattoo isn't too bad, especially if you eliminate the third letter (meaning empty, hollow, bare, deserted).

    Nothing a little lazer surgery can't fix.

    In my opinion, a tattoo (whether right or wrong) should not make a person any less attractive.

  6. For Christina and others who thought they were getting actual letters tattooed on them in Chinese. What planet do you people live on? Anyone who has ever cracked a book should know that there are no "letters" in the Chinese language that correspond to English letters. Likewise, you can't just throw a bunch of characters together using English grammer and expect them to mean the same thing that they do in English. You shouldn't go tattooing foreign languages on your body if you can't grasp these basic concepts!

  7. I want to get my daughter's name, Jade, in Chinese on my arm, but all I get is her name's symbol. I never knew until today that they have no alphabet. So my question is, what does the symbols that they have for her name mean?