15+ Slang Words For Tattoos (And How To Use Them)

There used to exist a stigma that tattoos were for criminals, uneducated, and the savage. Today, however, tattoos are perceived as a personal and artistic expression of one's self. Here are some slang words for tattoos that you may have not known. Enjoy reading!

Slang Words for Tattoos (in Alphabetical Order)

Cadaver

Meaning:

  • (Noun) Someone who doesn’t speak or react whenever getting a tattoo. 
  • Example: Mike was a cadaver the whole time he was getting that tribal tattoo on his back. The dude is numb.

Carving

Meaning:

  • (Verb) It means tattooing the outlines of thick lines of a design. Some might use it to describe the act of tattooing itself. 
  • Example: The carving session got interrupted when the earthquake struck. 

Dealers

Meaning:

  • (Noun) Customers of tattoo artists that like to bid or lower the price. 
  • Example: I hate dealers. It’s like they don’t respect what we do as artists. 

Getting Inked

Meaning:

  • (Verb) This slang means getting a tattoo. 
  • Example: I finally convinced my parents to allow me to get inked. 

Gun

Meaning:

  • (Noun) This is the slang term for the tattoo machine. “Gun” is used because it shoots out ink. The “gun” is usually composed of a needle, frame, and ink tubes. 
  • Example: Some expensive parlors have diamond-crested guns just for flexing. 

Ink

Meaning:

  • (Noun) A tattoo, tattoo design, or any artwork done on the skin. 
  • Example: The Rock had this epic Samoan ink on both of his giant biceps. 

Ink Slinger

Meaning:

  • (Noun) A tattoo artist. Since the machine is the “gun,” then the “slinger” is someone who uses the “gun.”  
  • Example: The ink slinger near us is a genius. She designs the best tattoos. 

Meat

Meaning:

  • (Noun) People or locals who frequently visit a tattoo shop. 
  • Example: The meat really liked our designs. They come in every other week. 

Pounding Skin

Meaning:

  • (Noun) A somewhat scary slang for tattooing someone. Do not be afraid as tattooing is often done in a professional manner.  
  • Example: Jasper had his skin pounded with a picture of his girlfriend. Hopefully, they don’t break up. 

Showcase

Meaning:

  • (Noun) A regular customer of a tattoo artist who proudly exhibits much of their work. 
  • Example: Randy’s showcase has this gorgeous angel-themed tattoo on her back. It looks like a Renaissance painting. 

Tat

Meaning:

  • (Noun) An abbreviation of tattoo. 
  • Example: Gang members usually get their tats after passing the initiation. 

Tenderfoot

Meaning:

  • (Noun) “Tenderfoot” is someone new to the art of tattooing.  
  • Example: Have some faith. He might a tenderfoot but his drafts are really amazing. 

Tramp Stamp

Meaning:

  • (Noun) A vulgar and somewhat offensive slang for a tattoo located on the lower back, near the butt. 
  • Example: My mom had a tramp stamp, which she got during her college days. She doesn’t really talk about it. 

Works

Meaning:

  • (Noun) The needles and tubes used by a parlor. 
  • Example: Works need to be inspected to prevent any debris or dirt from clogging.

Wrestlers

Meaning:

  • (Noun) Someone who gets a tattoo but struggles during the pain. 
  • Example: You need to be careful around wrestlers. They may faint or suddenly move, which may interrupt the session. 

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