Sunday, June 19, 2005
Reader Gordon emails:
I stumbled across your site looking for some info. I admit to having gotten a tattoo a couple of years back, and like many, I am now concerned that it might not mean what I hope it means. Am I correct in understanding that you're willing to help translate characters correctly for people in my situation? I'd love any info you might provide. Now that I am faced with the proposition of finding out I am not sure I want to know. Having it lasered off doesn't sound too pleasant.
Admittedly this tattoo is a combination of two ideas. The top character meaning "light" or having some inference to light. (not heavenly light, but actual light, though either will work.) The bottom two characters dealing with the idea of "Artist" or "Painter" I realize when placed on atop the other the grouping may mean nothing, or something else entirely, but I've always thought of them as top and bottom both withholding their individual meanings.
Go easy on me! I hope I am not terribly disappointed here. Thanks."
Although the calligraphy is bad, the characters are at least recognizable.
The top character 灯 is the simplified version of 燈, which means "lantern" or "lamp". 画家 (or traditional version 畫家) means "painter/artist", but in the tattoo 家 is missing a top dot.