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Jack Sparrow Tattoo Meaning and Popularity

Updated on April 16, 2012

One of the more unusual bird tattoo meanings

Despite being one of the more common birds in the world, not a great many people have a jack sparrow tattoo meaning that if you should choose to do so, you would be choosing a fairly unique design. Even when the jack sparrow is used as part of a tattoo design, it is usually mixed in with other, more exotic birds. However, despite their apparent plainness, the sparrow does seem to be held dear in people's hearts and perhaps this is why they choose to have jack sparrow tattoo designs instead of more ostentatious birds such as parrots or other exotic birds.

Symbolism of Sparrows

There is, however, a history attached to the sparrow tattoo, and one which most people would not be aware of. The jack sparrow was seen as a lucky bird by sailors in days gone by and many would have the tattoo of a sparrow on their arm after they had done many miles. This would indicate to those hiring their services, at a glance, how experienced a sailor they were. Quite often, these sparrow tattoo designs also incorporated an anchor, an obvious naval sign. The sparrow would usually be either sat on the anchor or would be flying around it.

However, the sparrow has not always been seen as a good sign. The jack sparrow tattoo has also been commonly seen inked, often quite poorly, onto the hands or arms of a prisoner. It is said that looking at the sparrow tattoo whilst locked in their cell, would remind them of the freedom that they would have upon release and may even have been a reminder to them to stay on the right side of the law once they had been released from their cell. Because, as anyone who has seen the sparrow will know, despite their plain appearance, they are an individual bird and follow no ones rules. You can often hear them chirping at each other in what sounds like quite a heated discussion!

Although the symbolism of sparrows is usually thought to be about freedom and individuality, sparrows are also well known for their loyalty to each other and, because of this, many couples have jack sparrow tattoo designs to show their mutual love for each other.

Example of a Sparrow Tattoo design
Example of a Sparrow Tattoo design

The significance of jack sparrow tattoo meanings though can be generally pinpointed to several key points. They are free creatures and are used to freedom of travel over long distances they are a 'home bird' and despite flying to the other side of the world to warmer climes, they always return to their home point later. Sparrows mate for life and are therefore an excellent symbol for love and loyalty in a tattoo

If you are considering a jack sparrow tattoo, whether to represent your own freedom or whether to tell the world about your life long love, it is worth taking a look around at the option available and choosing the right sparrow tattoo design that fits in with your own personality.


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