Sunday, July 11, 2010

from: Paul W.
date: Sun, Jul 11, 2010 at 9:47 PM
subject: Tattoo Question


I saw your blog on Mental Floss and thought you could help.

I have a tattoo, it's supposed to be kanji for hope, but I haven't been able to find a symbol that matches it and has the same meaning.

Actually, I haven't been able to find the symbol at all.

Is there anyway you might be able to tell me?

Thanks in advance,

Paul W.


means "date, period".


  1. I'm guessing it was supposed to be the Japanese 期待 (kitai; anticipation, expectation, hope) and it just got unfortunately abbreviated? (Not that having a 期待 tatoo would be great either...) Blah.

  2. Sigh, I feel sorry for all these people blindly getting tattoos and then finding out years later that it doesn't quite mean what they thought it meant.

    just out of curiosity, are you Chinese or Japanese, Tian? :p

  3. It could also have been the chinese 期望 which got abbreviated. (希望 is hope, too, but I think it's the verb, whereas 期望 is a noun? Maybe 希望 is used as a noun too? I'm not sure)

  4. Anon: 希望 is more often translated as "wish" to 期望's "hope." As in English, both can be used as either verb or noun.

  5. Actually,"願"(简体 "愿")might be a more appropriate word for hope in English.