Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tatt's ink-redibly unfunny

The Sun recently printed an article about a man named Vince Mattingley and his tattoo. Since The Sun is a tabloid newspaper, I don't really believe the story. Then again, look at all the people I have documented here in my own site.

According to the article, means "Coca-Cola".

That is absolutely nonsense.

The two-character phrase actually mean "crooked official".

Plus, Coca-Cola is 可口可樂 in Chinese & コカ・コーラ in Japanese.


  1. I just discovered your blog. And I totally agree with you that many western people really misunderstand the meaning of tattoos on their bodies. Now you are helping out by correcting people's understanding. Great blog!

  2. How could anyone honestly think that meant "Coca-Cola"? It seems that this guy has had people maliciously lie to him about the meaning of his tattoo twice now.

    It is also very clumsily done.

  3. By looking at the photo closesly it appears that The Sun continued with the horrible "ink" puns. Why in the world would any self respecting person agree to being interviewed and photographed by what is obviously the lowest form of media? The tattoo itself is also really ugly.

  4. so what does this say? i don't think the first character is love, but i don't see the character for boy either.

  5. >Why in the world would any self
    >respecting person agree to being
    >interviewed and photographed by what
    >is obviously the lowest form of


  6. Money? Interview subjects generally aren't paid.

  7. Does the Chinese pronunciation for 屈臣 actually come close to "Vince"?
    Definitely a poor choice of characters, but I'm not sure there was any malice on the part of the waiter.

  8. The two characters actually are a brand name of a supermarket chain in China:
    Qu Chen Shi

  9. Andre,

    It is called A. G. Watson's, or 屈臣氏 in Chinese.

  10. "屈臣" probably was meant to be Vincent

  11. Emily:
    タ is "evening".
    丑 is a simplified form of 醜 "ugly, shameful".
    男 is "man".

    This was mentioned in this entry and the explanation came from this forum post.

  12. ever since we found your site in the office everyone has been asking for something translating. Here is a picture of one of my guys who wants to know what is really on his tee shirt.
    Could you help his out please? Sadly none of them have Chinese lettering for tattoos.

  13. 屈臣 is pronounced as waat-sun in Cantonese. It is a common phonetic transcription of that name and surname in Cantonese-language naming convention and media. Which makes sense given the Wiki link to the Watson's chain in Hong Kong.

  14. the tattoo actually said WATSON,
    i made up the coca cola story trying to get some free advetising for the studio i work in, although the sun would not mention the studio it did infact work, ive had plenty of work from it and a few good laugh's and to top it a big cheque from the sun
    cheer's Vince Mattingley

  15. Watson's actually has a brand of canned sodas (soda water and tonic water being the most popular)

    they possibly could have a cola as well

  16. finneganscake@hotmail.comJanuary 17, 2008 at 11:22 PM

    i love it.... ive been a tattooer in the u.s. for 14 yrs. i havent done a kanji for years (im good at my craft and people get what im best at). in other words, i dont do street shop walk-in flash. 'flash' are the sheets of kanji that people 'walk-in' and get that they dont really know the translation of. those 'sheets' are done half-assed by people who try to appeal to a market that have one foot in or a friend with a minor understanding of the translations that could be made between two culturs.

    you should look at the 'english' sayings that japanese rockabilly kids get tattooed on them in 'old english'.. its just as stupid<----.

    the funny thing is that it doesnt matter. it MEANS WHAT IT MEANS TO-----> THEM. its important to them. and most times they never know. i dont condone this kind of ridiculouseness,,, but, for those long time wearers of these nonsensical markings-- let them mean what you thought they meant.. thats what it meant to you when you got it. you dont live in asia. forget what some bitter 60 yr. old chinese dishwasher thought he was being clever about. its the spirit of the thing. theres no juxtaposition of asian and western phrasing or names. your reasons behind a tattoo is what your trying to remember, is what you remember over time.

    ,, that pic you have on the headline was done in the west by someone in the early nineties or late eighties from a 'sheet'. if you think someone understands chinese just because they tattoo your an idiot. we are asked to tattoo (in a street shop), 30-100 small images a week.. you think we understand them all? that isnt possible. we arent that smart. we practice a craft, not every language and philosophy and the translations there-of and their correlation with others of vast difference in the world.

    keep getting em'! its fun for everyone.

  17. and it's "Watson" in chinese