Prison Tattoos and Their Secret Meanings

November 2, 2013 in Art, Body Art

The trend for tattoos is not exactly breaking news. In the last couple of years, tatts have gone from somewhat of a fad to a raging, unstoppable pandemic. Whether you get a tattoo to express your individuality, for artistic expression, or just because Bieber got one, there is no denying its popularity.

We recently discovered a much more intriguing side to tattoos and tattoo… prison tattoos and their secret meanings. After this blog they’re probably not going to be as secret any more, but you get the point.  If you know of any that we haven’t included below, please leave us a comment and we’ll add it to this ever-expanding list!

1- A.C.A.B

It stands for “All Cops Are Bastards”. This tattoo is commonly found on the bodies of British Prisoners.

A.C.A.B

2- The number Of The Beast – 666

This tattoo represents evil. Prisoners who want to showoff their power in prison carve this tattoo.

666

3- 1488

It is a combination of two numbers, 14 and 88. 14 represents a fourteen worded quote by Nazi leader “David Lane” who said “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children”. The number 88 represents 8th alphabet making 88 as HH. HH is a shorthand of “Heil Hitler”.

1488

4- AB or 12

It symbolized the affiliation to “Aryan Brotherhood”, one of the most dangerous prison gangs.

Aryan Brotherhood

5- Five Dots

It is a pattern know as “quincunx”. The four outer dots represents four prison walls and the fifth inner dot shows the criminal.

Five Dots

6- Five-Point Crown

This symbol shows affiliation one of the biggest Hispanic gangs in US, “Latin Kings Gang”.

Five-Point Crown



7- HH or 88

The number 88 is a shorthand of the 8th alphabet H. Thus 88 means HH and HH means “Heil Hitler”.

HH or 88

8- La Eme

La Eme means “The M”. This shows the connection with the largest gangs in US – “The Mafia”.

La Eme

9- MS 13

A person with this tattoo will belong to a 70,000 membered gang “Mara Salvatrucha gang from El Salvador”.

MS 13

10- Norteño

This shows the association with “Neustra Familia” gang which links to Hispanic gangs in Northern California.

Norteño

11- Playing Cards

This does not show connection with a gang. A person having this tattoo will be a gambler.

Playing Cards

12- SUR 13

A person inked with SUR 13 would be a member of Sureños , a Southern California gang controlled by Mexican Mafia.

SUR 13

13- Teardrop

An inmate with a teardrop right below the corner of the eye would be a murder. Sometimes, a number of such teardrops show that the person has multiple victims.

Teardrop

14- The Clock With No Hands

This tattoo is a representation of long prison sentence. It symbolizes “doing time”.

The Clock With No Hands

15- The Cobweb

This tattoo signifies a lengthy term in prison.

The Cobweb

16- Three Dots

This tattoo illustrates “gang life style” and its secret meaning is “my crazy life”.

Three Dots

17- Cross on the Chest

In Russia, this is the highest rank which a convict can avail. It symbolizes “Prince Of Thieves”.

Cross on the Chest

18- EWMN

This tattoo is used to show the relegation of some prisoners. It stands for “Evil, Wicked, Mean, Nasty”.

xcls-00025
And don’t forget, if you’re looking for a piece of original art to hang on your walls, check out artFido HERE!


artFido Popular Art Button For Blog

Currently trending on artFido:

Spectacular Butterfly Sculptures by Yumi Okita

North Carolina-based artist Yumi Okita creates beautiful textile sculptures of months, butterflies,

Russian Photographer Brings Fairytales to Life With Magical Photos

Margarita Kareva is a Russia-based photographer who specializes in fantasy art photography. Her pho

422 Million American Express Points for Collector who Purchases Ancient Cup!

A Chinese collector who bought an ancient Chinese ceramic cup for a record HK$281 million ($39 milli

Hyper-Realistic Body Painting Like You’ve Never Seen Before!

Alexa Meade thinks completely backwards. Most artists use acrylic paints to create portraits of peop

The Archibald Prize 2014 Winner is Fiona Lowry!

Congrats to Fiona Lowry who is the winner of the 2014 Archibald Prize with their portrait of archite

Stunning Photographs of Wildlife by Spanish Photographer

Spanish photographer Marina Cano is known for her stunning photos of nature and and its wildlife. Al