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Skull Crossbone Tattoos And Meanings-Skull Crossbone Tattoo Ideas And Designs

Updated on May 27, 2012
thelyricwriter profile image

Richard Hale is a tattoo enthusiast who studies and researches tattoo symbolism, meanings, and history.



The skull crossbone is a symbol that has been associated with many negative things for much of history, such as danger, poison, and death. The skull crossbone has been a longtime symbol of rebels and pirates also. Although it has been viewed and associated with many negative things in the past, today, it really isn't viewed in that manner. Skull crossbone tattoos are a popular form of skull tattoos that can be designed in several different ways, some being quite unique. In this article, we will learn how skull crossbone tattoos are designed, learn the meanings behind the skull crossbone tattoo, and you will have a chance to pick up ideas for your skull crossbone tattoo design.

The skull crossbone tattoo has been a symbol of biker groups for several different years. For bikers, the skull crossbone tattoo matched the biker's personality, which was rugged, fearless, and tough as nails. In most cases, when it comes to bikers, the skull crossbone tattoo has a high symbolic value. This permanent tattoo was a statement, for others to beware. These skull crossbone tattoos could also be designed with numbers and specific symbols that distinguish the biker's group or affiliation.

There are several different variations of the skull crossbone tattoo, some being totally of the map. The original and most common skull crossbone symbol is painted white with a black background. Some our totally opposite, such as a white background with a black symbol. The skull crossbone tattoo is often inked in solid black ink, when the design is portrayed as the logo. Women have begun to take advantage of this distinct symbol and have turned it into a softer tattoo per say. The skull has been replaced with a heart and the crossbones are located below the heart. There are a few pictures of this design in this article. As far as skull crossbone tattoos go with women, this is a popular variation.

The most popular variation of skull crossbone tattoos is the flaming skull crossbone tattoo. This is the one of the most common tattoos seen among men. The skull is usually very detailed in design, looking very realistic. The skull may be portrayed with shades or a bandanna. The crossbones may be located behind the skull, through the skull, or below the skull in such tattoo designs. The flames and fire that are added really set the tattoo off. It gives it a fierce look that will catch the eyes of others.

Another softer version of the skull crossbone tattoo and surprisingly popular is the Hello Kitty crossbone tattoo. Hello Kitty's popularity is sometimes mind blowing and women have rushed to get Hello Kitty tattoos by the thousands. Once again, for women, this is another softer side to skull tattoos. Another variation is the candy skull crossbone tattoo. The candy skull was created to celebrate the "Day of the Dead", which is a Mexican tradition and holiday. The candy skulls are quite creative and they are painted in a variety of different colors. This variation is another example of the softer side of skull tattoos. With all the different variations, the skull crossbone tattoo is considered to be very diverse. This is one reason why skull tattoos are very popular and highly sought after. Once you get to looking at crossbone tattoos, you may just be surprised at the unique and unusual designs that are available to you.



There are a variety of different meanings that are associated to skull crossbone tattoos. Even though your tattoo represents what you want it too, there is symbolic value behind them. Below, you can find these meanings.

  • Danger
  • Beware
  • Toughness
  • Death
  • Fearless
  • Eternally
  • Rebellious
  • Vengeance
  • Respect
  • Die Hard

Although men and women get skull crossbone tattoos for a variety of different reasons, one choice stands above them all. Many men and women choose to get a skull or skull crossbone tattoo when they have had a near death experience. The skull crossbone tattoo is used to represent this. Maybe you have been involved in a bad car wreck or motorcycle accident. Everyone thought you wouldn't make it out, but you did. If so, the skull crossbone tattoo can be there to remind you of that and it can be there to remind you of how fragile life really is. As far as symbolic value goes, in this case, it ranks very high.

The skull crossbone tattoo can also be designed with other tattoo symbols. Some people to choose skull crossbone symbols within Gothic tattoos, perhaps with vampires or demons. Skull crossbone tattoos may be portrayed with the grim reaper or other dark symbols. However, as you read above, the skull crossbone tattoo is not solely associated with bad and dark things. Sometimes, all we need is just a little motivation and inspiration to go about our day. Especially for those of you that know how short life is, your skull crossbone tattoo can be the permanent marker to remind you to take full advantage of your time.

Before you choose to get your tattoo, there are some important things to remember. You want to make sure you know what your tattoo represents and means before you get it tattooed. Make sure you take the time to do your own research on the tattoo before you get it inked. Don't rush to get inked. Those who rush to get inked on an impulse usually regret their tattoo later on down the road. Remember, most tattoos are for life. Laser removal is not guaranteed to remove it if you don't like it. Take your time, do your research, and make sure it is exactly what you want. If you take the time now to weigh out all your options, you will be much better prepared. If you feel that the skull crossbone tattoo is not for you, be sure to follow the links below to view more tattoo symbols, designs, ideas, and meanings. Thanks for your visit.



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    • thelyricwriter profile imageAUTHOR

      Richard Ricky Hale 

      7 years ago from West Virginia

      *Alocsin, great to have you drop in. Well, they feel since the skull represents death and that slim balance in between, it can be tattooed in near death situations also. A reminder to enjoy life.

      *Max, great to have you drop by pal. lol That was, :) Thanks Max, it means a lot.

    • BeyondMax profile image


      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Yep, I was shocked as well about relation to the near-death experience. I associated it with rebellion mostly. The one with the flower cracked me up LOL What a great source of information! It's just mind-blowing, Ricky!

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I see this a lot -- did not realize it was to commemorate a near-death experience. I always thought they were just into pirates. Voting this Up and Interesting.


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