Thursday, July 8, 2010

from: james h.
date: Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 3:52 PM
subject: Lost In Translation

I ran across your blog in the hopes that you might be able to translate my tattoo. A buddy of mine has the exact same tattoo and he got me it as a gift for my birthday. Over the years I've questioned the authenticity of the meaning and turns out he has know idea what it translates to. He told me it was kanji for "Fear No Man" , but I've looked in to it and know where can I find any similarities between what I have and what I have researched.

I would appreciate your help in translating my tattoo so I could have some peace of mind.




棺材佬 means "coffin man".

However, the middle character of 木見才 does not exist in Chinese character list.


  1. The middle character is not 材. It is composed of 木見才, but I cannot enter this as a single character. 榭 is close, but not correct either.

  2. Middle character: There's no such character in Chinese. It's called pseudo-Chinese: made up characters to look Chinese made for and by foreiginers so these buttheads could look sophisticated. The only logical one is due to the whole thing when said: guan [coffin] _X_[inaccurate, incomplete or totally wrong, at best we could only guess at its meaning contextually] lao [from Cantonese: means "mature man"]: usually, we'd say "guanxi" meaning "relationship", but with how the 1st character's written, it's evidently NOT "guan" of "guanxi", so the other guess = "guancai" to mean "casket", to be logical.

  3. PROBLEM SOLVED: Middle character = 身材! So the first character 棺 plus the second with the meaning of "figure / nice body" inside the "casket", represented by 身 inside of 材 of the second pseudo-Chinese but it actually has the wrong meaning?

    材 of 身材 [figure] is NOT the same as 材 of 棺材 [coffin; casket].

    棺 "身材" 佬 might mean: A mature man with a nice figure who's body tragically needs to be put inside a coffin?

    This stems from one Hollywood celebrity who also has the same "tattoo" but I forgot the person's name and that same person might have removed this tattoo upon hearing about the true meaning of it, perhaps? Somebody was copying off another's work? Even in pseudo-Chinese? WOW!!! Really got some suckers there.
    This was actually archived on Hanzismatter's old archives:

  4. "A buddy of mine has the exact same tattoo and he got me it as a gift for my birthday."

    What are friends for??

  5. The middle character is 榭 in mandarin "xiè​" meaning kiosk or pavilion...

    棺 alone still means "coffin" and 佬 is "man" in cantonese ... so you have something like coffin pavilion man

  6. The correct usage is in Cantonese is 棺 財 佬. It means the man who runs the Coffin Department.
    棺 木財 佬, 木財 is a wrong character.