Tuesday, August 24, 2010

from: Maija M.
to: tiangotlost@gmail.com
date: Tue, Aug 24, 2010 at 11:21 AM
subject: A promise to my Mom


I got this tattoo to honor my Mom after she died from early onset Alzheimer's. At the time, I went back to school while I took care of her and got a degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. The location has a special meaning to me and the characters were written for me by one of my teachers.

The two characters are supposed to read "Ma Carol" and the squired symbol then makes it Ma Ma and Carol Carol (my Mom's name and my middle name). Also, I believe the characters can be read as "path" and "promise" as in I promised to help care for others on my new path as a healer.

However, I'm embarrassed to say I've forgotten which character is which and also want to find about about other possible interpretations.

Thanks in advance,

Maija M.

Ma Carol 2 Tattoo

Top character is correct for "mother".

However tattooed character is not , which means "road / path".


  1. Bottom kind of looks like 卡渃 kǎruò squished together, which sort of sounds like Carol. A bit of a stretch ;)

  2. If I did not know that the top part was supposed to be 妈, I would have assumed it was two characters 女马 (or maybe 文马). I guess the person that did the tattoo tried to make it so there are two characters on both the top and bottom.

    Isn't 卡罗尔 more common as the way to write the name "Carol" in Chinese?

    I don't know how 卡渃 is supposed to mean anything like "path" or "promise."

  3. I suppose the teacher was from Mainland China? as the character are in Simplfied form. I believe the bottom 2 characters are 卡诺. the later character does mean "promise".


  4. Wait a sec.
    Is the one at the bottom right 渃 or 诺?
    It's kinda hard to tell.
    渃 (ruò) might sound a bit like Carol.
    But 诺 (nuò) means "promise."

    It can't be both of these characters.

  5. Looks to me like it's 渃 and not 诺... I think the worst thing about the tattoo was making one Chinese character (妈) the same width as two, thereby making it look more like 女马 (woman horse). Size consistency is important in Chinese.

    Kind of reminds me of a recent Jackey Cheung song, "月巴女且"--Two Chinese characters were purposely broken apart into four, but look okay when you read from left to right.

  6. To me the bottom looks like it says 犬 or 'dog' and MAYBE.... if its not a 'ね' or a'ぬ' hiragana under there, then it's the WORST 湛 I've ever seen?!?

    犬湛 - Pure dog? Smiling dog? WTF I CAN'T EVEN... *shakes head*

    But that would mean it was Chinese on top but Japanese on the bottom so... ROFL.

    wear (a smile);