Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mark of the Bovinae

Here is a question for all the ladies out there:

Would anyone of you mark yourself with a tattoo saying you are a "cow", or perhaps a "heifer"?

If your answer is "no", then why would you do it in another language that you probably don't fully understand?

Granted, there are cultures that do regard highly of the animal, but it is doubtful in the Western world. Just think when is the last time some guy could start a conversation by complementing a woman's cow-like features?

The character is a general term used for any member of the Bovinae family. If there is not a secondary character to specify, then on a female could be interpreted as "cow".

Update: Correctly Done and it means "pig".


  1. 3 possibilities:
    a) she wanted to signify that she was born in the Year of the Ox/Cow and really, really, stupidly forgot to consider the implications.
    b) it was supposed to be something else and the tattoo artist screwed up.
    c) she's a dairy farmer...?

  2. I have a necklace with that symbol on it, that I got because it was supposed to be the "Year of the Ox." I had MANY chinese people ask me why I had the word for "cow" around my neck, before I stopped wearing it. It's even funnier since I am in no way overweight.

  3. I hope this lady will always keep in a good shape, otherwise she will be the BUTT of all kinds of jokes.

    No pun intended.

  4. It is also interesting to point out that, the character 雞 for "year of rooster" could also mean "chicken" without any secondary character to specify.

    In Chinese slang, "chicken" means "prostitute".

    In American slang, "chicken" means "young gay male".

    And "chickenhead" is used to referring to "someone likes to perform fellatio on others".

  5. Perhaps she mistook the image for a stylized Christian cross?

    But my first thought was that she was born in the Year of the Ox.

  6. This guy must have had the same idea as her. Gross, a big hairy cow.

  7. The "Cow/Ox" necklace is nothing to be ashamed of. Standard operating procedure in Chinese families is for birth-year jewelry to contain the character corresponding to the animal for which the year is named, and the word used for that year is, indeed, cow.

    Wear it with pride, round-eyes! :-)

  8. And of course, it's common to use 牛 as an abbreviation for '牛屄' -- "fucking awesome,' a colloquialism commonly heard at Beijing rock shows.
    So maybe this person knows more than you give them credit for.

  9. When referring to "The year of the bull/cow/ox", isn't the character 丑, rather than 牛 (which just means "bull/cow/ox")?

  10. i want to hump her leg

  11. Maybe she is from a culture where cows are respected. You can't tell by her lower back what culture she is from. She could be Indian, for example. Not everyone with hanzi/kanji tattoos is a stupid white american (though most are).

  12. Is it possible that it was a mistake.. after all the chinese tattoos that i've seen missing a stroke, or with a longer stroke, I wouldn't be surprised. She may have wanted to write something like 生, which means life.

  13. In Japanese, the tattoo on the girl's back is read "inoshishi" : which is a type of wild boar found in Japan.
    Slightly better(?) than Pig => "buta" => 豚

  14. just echo what Brendan said ---

    the character "cow" in Chinese has become more and more common in slang to express positive meaning like "awesome" or "bullish', esp. in Beijing. That's not bad to wear it.