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

Written by Gabriel Cruz - Slang & Language Enthusiast

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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)



  • (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.



  • (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. 



  • (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


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



  • (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. 



  • (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


  • (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. 



  • (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


  • (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. 



  • (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. 



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



  • (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


  • (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. 



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



  • (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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