Teardrop Tattoo Meaning

By on December 11, 2016

While the teardrop used to have only negative connotations, the meaning has started to change over recent years. In the past, the teardrop tattoo was generally placed beneath one or both of the eyes. While it first meant that someone had been in prison, the tattoo started to mean that someone had killed someone. With each murder, another teardrop was added beneath the eyes.

Teardrops have also been used to mean that someone had to spend a long time in prison. In Australia, inmates who had been put in prison on sex crimes or child molestation charges were forcibly given teardrop choose to signify their crimes. In other prisons around the world, the teardrop was used as a way to indicate solidarity with a loved one who was behind bars.


The Teardrop Tattoo Meaning

Other than prison-related meanings, the teardrop has also been used to show that a loved one has died. Someone close to the loved one would get the tattoo as a way to seek closure and remember the loved one who passed away. According to some, an outline of a teardrop is used to mean that a friend died. If the outline is filled in, then it means that the tattoo wearer sought revenge for the friend’s death.

Like the name suggests, the teardrop is typically placed below the eyes to show where a tear would actually fall. Since this can be a problem in the workplace, some people use the tattoo in other locations as well.


The Infamous Past of the Teardrop

Famously, this tattoo is typically used to denote jail inmates and murderers. In the movie “Crybaby,” the teardrop was famously worn by Johnny Depp. Since then, rappers, celebrities and movie stars have gotten inked with this tattoo. Many people now copy these celebrities without realizing the original meaning of the teardrop.

If you are thinking of getting a teardrop tattoo, you may want to rethink your decision. While some teardrops mean non-jail or non-murder related things, they are still used by gangs as gang-related symbols. Other people may not be aware that an outline means a loved one passed away, so they may think that you are in a gang or were recently released from prison.


Teardrop Tattoo Meanings

Among other things, this tattoo can refer to:

– The loss of a family member or friend
– Time spent in prison
– The wearer murdered someone
– The wearer was raped in prison
– The wearer loves someone in prison

Today, popular stars wear this tattoo. Amy Winehouse had a teardrop tattooed on her body to mark her grief over her husband’s sentence in prison. Rappers Lil Wayne and the Game both have tattoos to mark the death of a friend. Meanwhile, basketball player Amar’e Stoudemire has a teardrop tattoo to remember the death of a brother who passed away tragically in a car crash. While the tattoo meaning is starting to change, it is important to remember that the teardrop’s meaning is not always a good thing. If you work in an office or want your tattoo somewhere visible, remember that other people will not realize that you have it for an alternative meaning.


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