Saturday, February 2, 2008

Like Father, Like Son

Over three years ago, my friend John Pasden sent me a tattoo photo he took of an Australian acquaintance. The tattoo was "Death before Dishonor" in Chinese, however the orientation of characters was reversed, therefore the youngman is proudly displaying "[I] rather to be a coward than die honorably" on his forearm.

A few days ago, I took a peek at BMEzine's tattoo gallery and saw this:

is a Chinese idiom which means "like father, like son". Once again, the orientation of characters are reversed & the phrase is now gibberish.

His father must be really proud of his idiot son.


  1. Another questionable Japanese tattoo can be found at BME this month.

    It reads, in actually quite a nice font, 不安のない, which according to the poster is supposed to mean "no fear," but is really more like "no uneasiness."

  2. And I just realised the same poster has a tattoo on his other thigh, also in Japanese, reading no regrets

    This time the meaning is correct, but one kanji is missing a stroke.

    Why do they do it??! Why??!!

  3. Hello from Australia. A friend of my son anted a tattoo of the greek PI symbol. So he, being a reasonable artist, but not alas a scholar, drew it in outline on his arm and got it inked in by the tattooist

    Trouble was he did it using a mirror so the image was reversed. It took a few months of showing it off, with his no sleeves shirt, before a true geek was brave enough to point it out.

    It didn't matter much as it was only maths geeks who would have been laughing at him.

  4. Greek pi symbol? well, as far as I know the symbol is the Greek equivalent of the letter P, with the capital: Π and the lower case: π (though the handwriting is a little different than this) writing in reverse would not matter that much unless that "reverse" means "upside-down"