Many celebrities have chosen to put Chinese tattoos on their bodies. Have you ever wondered what they mean?

David Beckham's Chinese Tattoo

David Beckham's Chinese Tattoo

David Beckham's Chinese Tattoo

It means

"Death and life have determined appointments, riches and honor depend upon heaven."

It is one of the most meaningful Chinese tattoo I have seen on celebrities. The tattoo was done by one of the best tattoo artists in Hong Kong called Gabe.

Another good translation in English is

"Life and death are decided by fate, wealth and honor are from heaven."

In fact, this is a well-known saying originating from the Analects, a brilliant book (you can get it from Amazon.com for under a $10) noting the remarks of Confucius.

The characters from top to bottom are:

  1. Life -  Pronounced "xeng" in Mandarin, "sang" in Cantonese.
  2. Death - Pronounced "si" in Mandarin, "sei" in Cantonese.
  3. Has - Pronounced "you" in Mandarin, "yau" in Cantonese.
  4. Fate /Determined appointments - Pronounced "ming" in Mandarin, "ming" in Cantonese.
  5. Riches - Pronounced "fu" in Mandarin, "fu" in Cantonese.
  6. Wealth and Honor -  Pronounced "gui" in Mandarin, "gwai" in Cantonese.
  7. From/depend upon - Pronounced "you" in Mandarin, "yau" in Cantonese.
  8. Heaven - Pronounced "tian" in Mandarin, "tin" in Cantonese.

Cher's Chinese Tattoo

Cher's Chinese Tattoo

Cher's Chinese Tattoo

Even Marcus Camby is one of those celebrities who first displayed prominently kanji tattoos, Cher is definitely the pioneer.

She had her Chinese tattoo done in 1983.

The character on her right arm is pronounced "li" in Mandarin, "lik" in Cantonese. She meant to have it mean "strength".

It is the Chinese character which usually stands for for power. It is also the first character of a Chinese double character word for strength. It is best to use the double character if one wants to refer to strength. However, many people nowadays mistakenly use the first character only.

Larry Hughes' Chinese Tattoo

larry_hughes

Larry Hughes

Larry Hughes' Chinese Tattoo

Larry Hughes' Chinese Tattoo

The character means loyalty/loyal. Pronounced "zhong" in Mandarin, "jung" in Cantonese. Larry Hughes said "It's about loyalty to the game and loyalty to myself.

Marcus Camby's Chinese Tattoo

Marcus Camby

Marcus Camby

Marcus Camby's Chinese Tattoo

Marcus Camby's Chinese Tattoo

"I was one of the originators of the Chinese characters," said Camby, who broke into the NBA in 1996. " I want to be the best. And I've got a lot of love for my family." But why in Chinese? "I was into a lot of Chinese flicks," he explains, "a lot of kung fu movies."

The characters from top to bottom are:

  1. Strive to be the best/ Encourage - Pronounced "mian" in Mandarin, "min" in Cantonese.
  2. Clan - Pronounced "zu" in Mandarin, "juk" in Cantonese.

Nick Carter's Chinese Tattoo

Nick Carter's Chinese Tattoo

Nick Carter's Chinese Tattoo


Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter uniquely combined Greek mythology and Chinese art. His Chinese tattoo is the Chinese tranlation for "Poseidon" - the god of the sea in Greek mythology.

The characters from top to bottom are:

  1. Sea - Pronounced "hai" in Mandarin, "hoi" in Cantonese.
  2. God - Pronounced "shen" in Mandarin, "sun" in Cantonese.

Chinese Zodiac Symbols(Characters)


Chinese Zodiac Symbols "Characters"

Chinese Zodiac Symbols "Characters"

Can't find the Chinese tattoo symbol you want? Join www.MiamiInkTattooDesigns.com and Get Instant Access To Over 25,000 Tattoo Designs!

If you want to add something to this article? Write a comment, thank you 🙂

Mike

About Mike