Anchor tattoo meanings
There are plenty of images in pop culture today that have evolved over time from ancient civilizations to mean different things in modern culture, and many people have no idea where these images originated from. This is certainly not true of the symbol of an anchor. Anchor tattoos are one of the oldest and most popular tattoo designs out there, and the anchor itself has remained a recognizable nautical symbol for more than a century. Although anchor tattoos are commonly associated with sailors, you certainly don’t have to be a sailor to get an anchor tattoo inked on your body. In general, the meaning of an anchor tattoo can represent any number of things, including stability, fidelity, love, pride, strength, protection, home, a strong foundation, or even hope, which makes an anchor tattoo a great tattoo design for just about anyone, male or female! If you are considering getting an anchor tattoo, check out the following anchor tattoo meanings to decide which might be the best fit for you!
Meaning of a christian anchor tattoo
The first anchor symbol has been attributed to the Christians, who apparently used the anchor in place of the cross while suffering persecution at the hands of the Romans. Take a look at an anchor and you’ll see why they used the anchor as a secret Christian symbol: with the straight vertical line and the horizontal bar below the ring, an anchor does resemble a cross quite a bit. For early Christians, the anchor symbol represented determination, loyalty, strength and devotion. Despite their hardships, the devoted Christians could not be pulled away from their faith, much like an anchor cannot be swayed by currents and changing winds.
Anchor tattoo meaning for sailors
In addition to Christianity, the anchor symbol has also been connected to Mediterranean seafarers and sea gods, but anchor tattoos really became a popular tattoo design amongst sailors in the 1900s. In many cases, sailors who successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean would get an anchor tattoo as a symbol of their safe return home. This meaning of an anchor tattoo translates even for non-sailors in modern culture, and many people today choose an anchor tattoo meaning home or as a representation of a safe port. After sailors, anchor tattoos became popular among the Navy and Marines, who often incorporated a picture of their ship or the number of their outfit in their anchor tattoo design. Read more about the eagle, globe and anchor tattoo for this particular meaning of an anchor tattoo.
Anchor tattoo meaning for girls
One of the most popular anchor tattoo meanings for girls is a symbol of returning home, a safe harbor, or a tribute to someone who keeps you grounded. Instead of getting the initials or the name of the person they love inked on their bodies, some girls may choose to get an anchor to commemorate their strong bond with their boyfriend or husband. An anchor tattoo meaning doesn’t have to symbolize a romantic relationship though. Some girls may opt for an anchor tattoo to represent their father, a friend, or another important person in their lives. Similarly, guys may get anchor tattoos as a tribute to their mother, girlfriend, wife or sister.
Because the real-life function of an anchor is to keep a ship steady in rough waters, the most common anchor tattoo meaning for girls is stability. One of the most famous anchor tattoos for girls can be found on the side of the one and only Lady Gaga, who recently debuted her „Stamp of His Mermaid“ anchor tattoo in honor of boyfriend, Taylor Kinney. Another celebrity with an anchor tattoo is Miley Cyrus, who got the symbol inked on her wrist in May 2011, while she was in Brazil. According to Miley Cyrus, her anchor tattoo meaning represents a „safe port“ or a safe place to return to – her home and family.
Traditional anchor tattoo meaning
Although anchor tattoos have been around since the 1900s, when sailors began to spread the idea of anchor tattoos around the world, the most popular anchor tattoo design today is still the traditional anchor tat. In recent years, anchor tattoos have become trendy for men and girls of all ages, but the anchor tattoo design has remained largely unchanged. Although some people may put a personal or modern spin on their anchor tattoo, the traditional anchor tattoo meaning of protection or safe travel typically still prevails. Essentially, the meaning of a traditional anchor tattoo is exactly what an anchor aboard a ship is meant to do – keep one grounded.
Anchor tattoo meaning family or love
Similar to the meaning of Miley Cyrus and Lady Gaga’s anchor tattoo, many people opt for an anchor tattoo meaning family or love. For the most part, families are strong and stable, and an anchor tattoo meaning family or love may be inked as a symbol of the bond between husband and wife, mother/father and children, or among siblings. Some people may opt for an anchor tattoo with „Mom“ and/or „Dad“ incorporated in the design, as a tribute to the most constant and positive influences in their lives. Along the same lines, couples may opt for matching anchor tattoos meaning love as a symbol of their relationship, and may choose to include other popular images like flowers, a heart, wings or nautical stars.
Eagle, globe and anchor tattoo meanings
Eagle, globe and anchor tattoos are very specific types of anchor tattoo designs, typically inked on the bodies of Marines. An image featuring an eagle perched on a globe in front of an anchor is the official symbol of the United States Marine Corps, and many proud Marines choose to get this anchor tattoo meaning inked on their arm, leg, back or chest. Some Marines may accompany their eagle, globe and anchor tattoo with the words „U.S. Marine Corps,“ or „The Few, The Proud, The Marines,“ which is a popular slogan of the corps. „Semper Fi“ is another phrase commonly inked in eagle, globe and anchor tattoos, which is short for „Semper Fidelis“ – a Latin phrase meaning „always faithful“ or „always loyal.“
Sailor Jerry anchor tattoo meaning
Known around the world as the „father of old-school tattooing,“ Norman „Sailor Jerry“ Collins was given the nickname „Jerry“ by his dad, who noticed a similar disposition between his young son and the family mule. When he became a teenager, Jerry began hand-poking Pelikan tattoos as he traveled around the country aboard freight trains. He eventually enlisted in the Navy, and, during his travels through the Far East, he began to cultivate a life-long obsession with Asian art, imagery and culture. After his Naval stint was completed in the late 1920s, Jerry settled on the then-remote island of Oahu, Hawaii, where he soon catered to the constant flow of sailors and soldiers who landed in Hawaiian ports and wanted tattoos.
Sailor Jerry tattoos were traditionally characterized by bold lines and amazing attention to detail – qualities that are revered by tattoo artists to this day. Jerry often incorporated anchors into his tattoos because, for sailors, the anchor is the most secure thing in their lives when they are at sea. For this reason, a common Sailor Jerry anchor tattoo meaning is stability, or something that keeps you steady, which is why Sailor Jerry anchor tattoos are often emblazoned with „Mom“ or the name of the wearer’s sweetheart. Jerry created one-of-a-kind tattoos, incorporating both American designs and Asian-inspired coloring in his work, but never forgetting his sailor roots. Sailor Jerry’s legendary craftsmanship was considered classic, but groundbreaking, and remains unrivaled even today.
Anchor tattoo designs
Because of their versatility when it comes to layout and meaning, anchor tattoo designs are some of the most popular tattoo designs among both men and girls today. In most anchor tattoo designs, the anchor looks the same, although it may vary in size and color depending on the wearer. However, when it comes to the images that can accompany an anchor in a tattoo design, the possibilities are virtually endless. If you are a sailor and you want to get an anchor tattoo, you may decide to incorporate a nautical star or a sparrow into the design, both of which are also popular maritime symbols. If you want an anchor tattoo meaning protection or safety, you may opt for a simple outline of an anchor on the wrist or side, which are popular tattoo locations for girls (including Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus!). For a guy who wants a tattoo tribute to his mother but with a unique twist, he may choose an anchor tat with a banner that reads „Mom.“ For newlyweds, an anchor tattoo meaning fidelity or stability could be a nice touch, especially if the spouse’s initials are somehow incorporated into the anchor tattoo design.