Tuesday, January 24, 2006

"Dare not to Accept"


Reader Johan L. forwarded this photo to me from another site. Someone has already commented about the tattoo:

"Wow. It almost seems like this is the biggest cliche female tattoo I've seen. It's a lower back tattoo, it's got a dragon, tribal, random water splashes, roses, AND kanji! That is some sort of record."


Especially when (dare not to accept) is one of the most common courtesy phrases used in Chinese. This is equivalent of getting a tattoo that says "Thank You, Come Again" in English.


  1. Wouldn't 不敢当 be translated as "Not dare to accept" instead of "dare not to accept"? For example, "That's a really classy tattoo you have there." "I wouldn't dare accept your compliment (because I really, really don't deserve it)".

    "Thank you, come again" - heh.

  2. "Thank you, come again" ... well, at least it's tattooed in the right place so the guy can know she appreciated it when he ...

  3. I was amused and pleased to stumble across your blog today. My husband and I are big proponents of NOT getting tattoos done in languages you do not understand and cannot read. My husband like to say, "stupid white boy has a tattoo that says he's gay!" Having spent a short two months in China and seen some of the English displayed on their clothing and other materials, my position is none but strengthened on this issue. Another example is when we were in Mexico on our honeymoon, a beautiful Latina walked passed us in a tight fitting t-shirt that boldly displayed the words "I NEED MORE SEXY". Needless to say I am still kicking myself for not getting a picture. Thanks for trying to make the world a more culturally competent place!

  4. Two things:

    "Thank you, come again" would actually be kind of an interesting tattoo to see.

    I, too, need more sexy.

  5. Reminds me of a tattoo I saw a year or so ago on a girl from my high school. In high school she had a "questionable" reputation, meaning there were a lot of questions about her reputation, particularly from interested guys.

    Anyway, saw her at the waterfront in a midriff baring baby-doll T showing off her lower back tattoo. In a similar style to this one, with tribal motiff and flowers was a nice big 天 (Tian) just peaking out of her extremely low-riding jeans. My girlfriend's comment? "I'm sure there's a pretty long list of guys that followed that sign and can vouch." I didn't even want to ask the girl what she thought it meant or why she got it.

  6. "Aha, so that's what it said" :)

    I guess this is definitely one tattoo guys would appreciate seeing on a "goodlooking" woman... The question is though if this is meant to be on a "professional" or just some girl being facetious and ironic (and maybe rebellious against stereotypes for women). Then again, there are people who like to have casual "relations" with no strings attached...

    All in all I think this was one of the less clever things to have on the nether regions of your back. Not to mention the giggles it will spread among anyone reading chinese characters.

    With hopes they all have a fine time,

  7. A less literal English translation is more along the lines of "You're too kind."

    Anyhow, maybe the girl just got tired of people complimenting her derrière, and opted to get a response tattooed above it. ;)

    Now, if she's still wearing high-cut shirts in another 30 years, she ought to get it replaced with another common phrase like "對不起"

  8. I'm a regular reader, I've got your feed, but I like this post as well, because of the most cliche girl tattoo. I always wonder what some of these people will say when they are grandmas?

    Maybe society is changing but there are still some jobs where having a tattoo is frowned upon at least on the lower back it can be hidden relatively easy.

    I'm in China now and I haven't seen as much dumb English as when I was living in Japan, it is too damn cold to see many tattoos but if I ever get to take a picture of a dumb ass one I assue you I'll send it in.

  9. As I understood, Chinese dragons have 5 toes. Korean and Indonesian dragons have 4 toes and Japanese dragons have 3 toes. But you can hardly say she is being consistant with chinese characters, Japanese dragon, a tribal design and other weird stuff.


  10. Actually, here is how Chinese dragons work:

    5 toes - emperial dragon, used only by the emperor and his ordained structures

    4 toes - offcial government dragon, used by other Chinese officials

    3 toes - common dragon, used for decorations of temples and buildings not of emperial or goverment decree