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Mermaid Tattoo Designs And Meanings-Mermaid Tattoo Ideas And Pictures

Updated on September 18, 2013
thelyricwriter profile image

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



When it comes to vintage maritime symbols, the mermaid ranks with the best. This old school tattoo design first became popular when sailors would sport the mermaid tattoo in the early 1900s. Mermaid tattoos were also viewed as a man's tattoo, but over time, the mermaid can now represent femininity. In modern times, the mermaid tattoo is often sported by women, but it can equally be found inked on men. Mermaid tattoo designs can include a variety of appropriate symbols, such as ships, anchors, nautical stars, and starfish. The mermaid tattoo gives you plenty of options as a tattoo design.

The mermaid has been a mythical figure for thousands of years. There are a variety of ancient cultures and civilizations that have associations to the mythical mermaid. From legends and folklore, the mermaid is often associated to sailors and the open waters. Most of these ancient stories talk about how mermaids would constantly lure sailors with their beautiful song, beautiful appearance, and seductive ways. It is believed that mermaids would lure sailors and seamen away so they could steal their treasures. Other stories talk about how mermaids would seduce sailors to their death.

Two ancient civilizations that mention mermaids are the Greeks and Romans. Ancient records show that mermaids were a big influence to coastal empires, such as Greece and Rome. The Greeks believed that mermaids were created with the union of gods and sea creatures. According to the Greeks, mermaids would commonly wait on rocks, trying to lure sailors to their death. The Romans and the goddess Venus are both associated to mermaids.

Mermaids are often portrayed in specific ways, as well as the mermaid tattoo. Long flowing hair is one main characteristic of mermaids. Most mermaid tattoos portray the mermaid as a small build. Mermaid tattoos often portray the mermaid as a seductive figure. She may have a seductive look on her face or she may have a seductive posture. Mermaids are often portrayed with maritime symbols, such as nautical stars, anchors, ships, or tropical flowers. Mermaids may be portrayed swimming on top of the water or on rocks.

The mermaid tattoo can be worn to symbolize a woman's traits. The mermaid tattoo represents a strong level of femininity. The mermaid is seen as a strong female figure, one that feels self-worthy, The mermaid tattoo can represent a female's attributes and characteristics. Women may choose a mermaid tattoo to symbolize their strong female character. Due to this, the mermaid tattoo can symbolize intuition and creation.

Mermaid tattoos can be designed in several different ways. Since the mermaid symbolizes seduction and sexuality by luring sailors and seamen, they are often portrayed in seductive ways. Mermaid tattoos can portray the mermaid topless or they may have a seductive body language. Once again, the mermaid may be portrayed in a sexual pose. For example, you may see mermaids topless upon an anchor or rock. In many cases, the long flowing hair of the mermaid covers the bare chest.

Although most mermaids are portrayed to have a small build, some mermaids are well over sized. The picture on the right is a great example of this. Mermaids can also be portrayed as a cartoon character. One popular cartoon character is Ariel from "The Little Mermaid". The cartoon version of the mermaid gives you a softer feel to your mermaid tattoo. This type of mermaid tattoo can symbolize love and faith. As you have read, mermaids can be portrayed in several different ways as a tattoo. Mermaids can make for a great full back tattoo, where you can have it designed with appropriate symbols.



There are several different meanings that can be associated to the mermaid tattoo. Overall, the mermaid tattoo represents everything about the female. Below, you can find more meanings associated to mermaid tattoos.

  • Seduction
  • Sexuality
  • Persuasion
  • Emotion
  • Untamed
  • Illusive
  • Intuition
  • Emotion
  • Freedom
  • Independence
  • Private
  • Self Love
  • Mystery
  • Creation

Mermaid tattoos can also portray a variety of different items, jewelry, and clothing. You may see mermaids holding fish bone combs, which is an ancient symbol of power and feminine strength. Mermaids can also be portrayed with mirrors, which is an association to the moon. Mermaid tattoos with mirrors may represent self value or self worth. It can represent how you view yourself. Mermaids are often portrayed with sea shells, such as a seashell bra, mirror, bracelet, or earrings.

Some people believe that the mermaid represents "magic". Not only because it is a mythical figure, but because the mermaid is only seen at certain times. It is believed that the mermaid can only be seen in the light of the moon. Mermaids can also be seen at dusk and dawn. Dusk and dawn are times that one may feel at peace, as if there is magic in the air. If you have been out at these times by yourself, you get a sense of happiness. Mermaid tattoos may portray a mermaid watching the moon or sitting on a rock in the moonlight. Mermaid tattoos can also portray the mermaid in the dark, whether it be the darkness of dawn or the darkness of the deep waters.

Mermaid tattoo designs may also portray the mermaid as an evil mermaid. These mermaids usually have fire red hair or clothing. They may be portrayed with their hair blowing up or around their body. The mermaids will probably be portrayed with an evil expression on her face. Some tattoos may show the mermaid with powers, such as moving the water with the wind or doing evil acts. On the other hand, some mermaids are portrayed to be good. These mermaids are often portrayed in a calm manner. You may see bright colors within such a tattoo, rather then dark colors that would be applied to an evil mermaid. You may feel that you have a mean streak in you. The evil mermaid could symbolize yourself, how you view yourself. The same can be said for someone who feels that they have a big heart. A good mermaid would symbolize that trait in you.

Mermaid tattoo designs can also portray the mermaid as a pinup. Pinup girl tattoos became popular around the same times mermaid tattoos did. Both of these tattoo designs are old school tattoos and have close associations to one another. Both of them were commonly worn on sailors and seamen. When the mermaid is tattooed as a pinup, she may be portrayed topless or totally nude. Some designs as this may show the mermaid swimming out of her tail nude. Mermaid tattoos that portray the mermaid as a pinup use the same maritime symbols as the others, especially anchors. This is just another example of the many ways that mermaids can be portrayed as a tattoo.

There are some very important things that you need to remember before you choose to get your tattoo. Make sure that you take the time to research your tattoo. Take the time to fully understand what your tattoo means and represents. Don't rush to get tattooed! So many men and women rush to get inked and they end up with regrets about their decision. If you are not sure about a specific tattoo, don't get it inked anyway. Take the time to think about it. Take the time to view as many tattoo designs as you can. This is an important part of the research process. This will give you an idea of what is available, plus you may pick up some great ideas to add to your tattoo. Tattoo artist will have their own designs, but they may not include something that you want added. Pay close attention to the tattoo designs you view. If you feel that the mermaid tattoo is not for you or you want to view more tattoo designs, please free to follow the links below. There, you will find more articles on tattoo symbols, ideas, designs, and meanings. Thanks for your visit.



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    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia







      Endless Sea






      I kindly thank you all for your time and comments. They are greatly appreciated. I apologize for the late reply. I stay so busy anymore and I honestly try my best to keep up. Thanks to all of you! You all are right, the mermaid has a rich tradition in mythology and maritime myths and stories alike. I love history and I am glad that you all enjoyed that part of this article. Best wishes to all of you and see you soon.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Now these tattoo's are really 'wow'!!

    • BeyondMax profile image

      BeyondMax 6 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Wow, so colorful, but some of them are kinda silly =) But cute.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 6 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wow and Wow! This is lovely :)

      i always love mermaid designs, tatoos, photos..this is great!

    • Fennelseed profile image

      Annie Fenn 6 years ago from Australia

      I can see how these seductive designs would appeal to the guys, but oh, how beautiful are the (female) mermaid tattooed legs, just beautiful body art. Mermaids have always been fascinating to me too. Lovely, informative hub. My votes and best wishes to you, Thelyricwriter.

    • Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

      Gypsy Rose Lee 6 years ago from Riga, Latvia

      Voted up and awesome. These are really terrif Ricky. I've always loved the little mermaid.

    • endless sea profile image

      Akhand Pratap SIngh 6 years ago from Lucknow(U.P.) India

      As a lover of mythologies and sea's I have always loved mermaids and their stories and now I got to read about tattoos. It was nice read

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi my friend,these mermaid tattoos are so colorful and very interesting !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Steven Gray profile image

      Steven Gray 6 years ago from Pensacola, Florida

      Very interesting. Thanks for compiling the history with some good photographs.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Mermaid tats sure do go way back and have a colorful history with mariners. Its cool to read about the mermaid traits and what one can symbolize for an inked female. Great pic selection too Ricky, what amazing style will you have for us next!

    • anusujith profile image

      Anoop Aravind A 6 years ago from Nilambur, Kerala, India

      Wow what a collection of mermaid tattoos... Thanks for the share...

    • daskittlez69 profile image

      daskittlez69 6 years ago from midwest

      That is a great tattoo.


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