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December 16, 2004

Three-dots tattoo

Sinosplice has an intriguing question about Chinese three-dots tattoos.

Tian over at Hanzismatter is doing a good job showcasing bad tattoo choices Westerners make. This post has nothing to do with that kind of tattoo. I'm talking about a kind of tattoo that Chinese people themselves get. I've seen it on multiple occasions. It's a small tattoo consisting of three dots (usually, I think) on the back of the hand near the base of the thumb. I keep meaning to ask people about the meaning of their tattoo when I see it, but somehow it's never convenient.

While Wikipedia comes closest to an answer to the three dots mystery, one of the comments to the post should receive an award for inventiveness. Brilliant. (Not my comment, obviously.)

Posted by Ghost of a flea at December 16, 2004 07:44 AM

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It's the Predator comment, no doubt -- great one!

Posted by: Varenius at December 16, 2004 03:50 PM

I don't know the origins of it, but it's common around LA. It denotes gang affiliation. Among Hispanic (MS13, EME, et al) gangsters it's tattooed on the web between the thumb and forefinger, and is called 'mi vida loca' (my crazy life). I wouldn't be surprised if the Hispanic gangs adopted it from Asian gangs. Someone with that tat most likely ran with a gang at some point in their life.

Posted by: iron_llama [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 27, 2005 08:16 AM