Tattoo quotes and Tattoo Sayings are very popular nowadays. People who have these type of tattoos vary from teens that want to make a statement to Hollywood stars that want their fans to remember something. Because of the interesting stories behind each quote, we decided to create a list of the 100 best tattoo quotes!
Certain quotes can represent something different for each person. To some, it might be a reminder of a memorable part of their life, or the expression of a constant state of mind, or even a simple life-lesson which can be applied in everyday living. So if you are about to get a tattoo quote on your body, remember that you’ll have it forever, so it should still be meaningful to you 20 years down the road! From inspirational quotes to those that remind us of a special memory – see if one of these 100 best tattoo quotes is the right one for you.
The Best Tattoo Quotes:
Before actually inking your tattoo quote, you need to decide on the following elements:
- Color. Do you want all black for a bold statement? Or use color to brighten it?
- Font. The type style you choose for your tattoo quote makes all the difference – make sure it’s legible!
- Design. Do you want to have just words or do you want to add some style into it?
- Language: Do you want it in English (or whatever your native language may be), or do you want to take the more exotic route and use a foreign language?
Here’s a list of the best 100 tattoo quotes we have found to help you make your decision.
1. There Are No Rules That Can Bind You When You Find Your Other Half
When you have found your true love, nothing can keep you apart. Even torn-up skin, apparently.
2. All is fair in Love and War
The only way to get away with murder? War or passion.
3. What to Do With the Time Given Us
There are many tattoo quotes from Lord of the Rings, but this one is less common.
4. Miles To Go
A line from the Robert Frost poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” this quote hints that the owner of this tattoo intends to live fully before dying.
5. I am, I am, I am
This famous quote is from Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar,” and is actually a source for literary controversy. No one can decide if the word is actually “bray” or “brag.” The consensus seems to be that whichever word, Esther’s heart is proud to be alive.
6. Be the one to guide me, but never hold me down
These tattoo quotes are asking someone to be there every step of the way to help, without hindering progress.
7. Beneath Lay Words That Suffocate
Some tattoo quotes don’t make perfect sense, but I think what this is trying to convey is: It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
8. But love, I’ve come to understand, is more than three words mumbled before bedtime…
For lovers of sappy romantic literature, there’s no better choice of tattoo quotes than something from a Nicholas Sparks book.
9. Celebrate this chance to be alive and breathing
If you’re an optimistic person, then this quote is perfect for you. Embrace life and enjoy it!
10. A Back Full of Poetry
This large back piece of tattoo quotes from Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost and William Shakespeare is very unique.
A different take on the traditional “Mom” tattoo – great tattoo for those who want to commemorate their fathers.
12. Do not go gentle into that good night
The poem, by Dylan Thomas, actually reads: “Do not go gentle into that good night/Old age should burn and rave at close of day/Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” Written while his father was dying, it means not to give up life and die quietly, but to fight death until the end.
13. If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite
From “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell,” by William Blake. We look at the world filtered through our own experiences, coloring the way we see the world. If we learn to see things as they are, then we can appreciate life, and find a deeper understanding of this world.
14. To Love and Be Loved
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need!
This isn’t so much a tattoo quote as it is a list of words. And even though it should say “belief” instead of “believe,” it’s still a nice message for life.
16. Dream as if you’ll live forever
This quote, attributed to James Dean, ends with “live as if you’ll die today.” Another message about embracing life and living it to the fullest, because you never know when it will end.
17. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery
A quote from Bob Marley, which means that in order for you to be truly free, you must not let others get inside your head and dictate how to live your life.
18. The Mirror of Erised
In “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone,” Harry comes across the Mirror of Erised. The inscription on the mirror reads “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi,” which, when seen in a mirror, reads “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.” (Editor’s note: A few commenters pointed out that the tattoo incorrectly says “woshi” instead of “wohsi,” so I’ve fixed it in the text ~JH)
19. Everything has beauty
It means that everything is beautiful, but each one of us has his/her own perception and opinion. One person may see something as beautiful, but another may not see it the same way.
20. Fairy tales do not tell children that Dragons exist…
This is a paraphrase of a quote by G.K. Chesterton, which has been attributed to Neil Gaiman. An interesting choice for tattoo quotes.
21. Fall down seven times, stand up eight
The quote means never give up.
22. Fate fell short
It means that if your ultimate plan in life didn’t happen, then a different plan must have been made for you.
23. Dark Nights, Bright Days
Don’t lose hope. For every problem, there’s always a solution. Every cloud has a silver lining. And all that jazz.
24. In the beginning
The opening sentences of the Bible. Bible verses are often used as tattoo quotes for people who are very religious.
25. Dear Lover, Give me One Last Painful Kiss
A line from the song “Dear Lover” by Social Distortion. The person is asking for one last moment before his/her lover leaves.
26. The Serenity Prayer
Adopted by Alcoholics Anonymous, this prayer was written by Reinhold Niebuhr in the 1930’s.
This Latin phrase has been used as a motto in army regiments, and has been interpreted many different ways. The basic meaning behind it, though, is “the strong fear nothing.”
28. Have Faith
A simple statement.
29. Heart Means Everything
Not the best quality tattoo, but a nice sentiment.
30. Oh, How seldom we belong but how elegant our kiss
From the song “Memphis Will Be Laid to Waste” by Norma Jean
31. How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
A quote by Alexander Pope.
32. I am enough the way I am…
You are good enough as is, don’t go changing!.
33. I am not afraid I was born to do this
Tattoo quotes are often taken from pop music or literature, but how about this beauty from Joan of Arc?
34. I am the architect of my own Destruction
This means that if I fail in life, then at least I’m the one responsible for it. Or maybe this person is just a self-saboteur.
35. I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
A quote of the poem “Invictus,” by William Ernest Henley. This means that I’m in charge of how to run my life.
36. i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart.)
a beautiful tattoo quote from the poem by e.e. cummings.
37. I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep
Another quote tattoo from the Robert Frost poem “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening,” with an additional line.
38. I mourn for those who never knew you
I see this tattoo as a tribute to someone who has passed away. An example would be that I mourn the fact that I met my husband after my grandpa died, so my husband was never able to meet him.
39. I must learn to love the fool in me..
This quote is about loving yourself by Theodore Isaac Rubin.
40. Latin, Part Deux
“I will either find a way or make one,” or, where there’s a will, there’s a way!
41. I should have been a pair of ragged claws…
So many tattoo quotes from poets appear on this list, but this one has the best title: “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” by T.S. Eliot.
42. I will strive with things impossible
A line from Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar.”
43. If You Want To Sing Out, Sing Out
A line from the Cat Stevens song, “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out,” this tattoo is basically saying “You do you, Boo.”
44. I’ll find a way to see you again
A song about the one’s we’ve lost by Rachael Yamagata.
45. I’m gonna fight for what’s right…
You gotta fight…for your right…to paaaaaaarrrrtaaaay! Wait. That’s something else.
46. Isaiah 1:18
Another tattoo for lovers of the Lord.
47. Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…
Just make sure you don’t catch cold.
48. Join us in the shadows where we stand vigilant
Gamers gonna game. This is from the oath of initiation for Dragon Age.
49. Kiss me I’m Irish
That’s a strange place to put that.
50. lay down, lay down and wait like an animal
Oh, Bukowski, you crazy f@%*.
51. Learn from yesterday Live for today Hope for tomorrow
52. Let it out, Let it in
Let peace out, let love in, I guess?
53. Life goes on
“Ob La Di, Ob La Da, Life goes on…”
While this quote is often attributed to the diametrically opposed likes of Maya Angelou and George Carlin, it’s actual provenance seems to be from Vicki Corona, in a booklet on Tahitian dance.
55. Here I Go Again On My Own
Except the Whitesnake lyric is “like a drifter,” not a twister.
56. Live each day as if it were your last
A tried and true sentiment
57. Live Laugh Love, Part I
Not really a quote, but definitely words to live by.
58. Live Laugh Love, Part II
A different take.
59. Live the life you have imagined
Follow your dreams!
60. Look after my heart I’ve left it with you.
Nothing like true love.
Have mercy on those pecs!
62. Love is all you need..
There’s nothing you can do that isn’t done.
63. Love without cause
I don’t really get this one…don’t you love someone because of who they are?
Handwritten message from Dad. A sweet way to remember someone.
65. My life is my message
You don’t need words to show the world who you are, only deeds.
66. never forget who you are
Wise words from The Lion King.
67. Not all those who wander are lost
Another Tolkien fan.
68. One good thing about music, when it hits you you feel no pain
Famous line from Bob Marley
69. Only you
I feel like this needs some punctuation.
70. or else, shall we & why not
A quote from the poem “I Know a Man” by Robert Creeley.
71. Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation
A quote from Albert Einstein.
72. And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…
Please don’t get a quote from Twilight.
73. She flies by her own wings
Take charge of your own life.
74. So dear I love him…
John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” Not Shakespeare, as Google might have you believe.
75. Sometimes you need to let things go..
Truer words, my friends, truer words.
76. Take a chance, they don’t come much bigger than this
“If you change your mind, I’m the first in line, Honey I’m still free, take a chance on me!”
77. take care of the sense, and the sounds will take care of themselves
From Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”
78. Thanks for kissing me that day, thanks for slapping me
I don’t know what this is from, or if it’s from anything at all. It’s interesting, though.
79. That which does not kill me makes me stronger
A paraphrase of the classic from Nietzsche. I don’t know about the holly, though.
80. The Greatest Thing
This is a good example of a weird font choice. Don’t get curli-cues just to get curli-cues.
A quote from John O’Callaghan.
82. The woods are lovely dark and deep…
Yet another tattoo quote from Frost’s “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
83. there is always hope
And hope is what keeps us going.
84. To thine own self be true
An oft quoted line from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” said by Polonius to his son, Laertes.
85. This heart beats for only you
86. To die would be an awfully big adventure
A line from J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan;” though definitely not the one I’d choose!
87. To live would be an awfully big adventure
This is the quote taken from the movie, “Hook,” as spoken by Robin Williams’ Peter.
88. To sleep, perchance to dream…
This quote from “Hamlet” is a reference to suicide, so, hopefully the owner of this tattoo misunderstood it.
89. We Deserve Love
This is from “The Perks of Being a Wallflower,” by Stephen Chbosky.
90. Found it!
Lucky for them.
91. we live with the scars we choose
An interesting choice, and a metaphor for tattoos themselves.
This is an interesting choice of tattoo. It is the inscription at the entrance to the Capuchin Crypts in Rome, where the interior is decorated with the bones of 4000 monks. It says, “We were what you are, and what we are you will be,” which is to say, we were once alive, and now we’re bones, and someday, you will be, too.
93. We will all laugh at glided butterflies
A quote from the mad King Lear.
94. Quod me nutrit, me destruit
“What nourishes me, also destroys me,” and what would that be?
95. With pain comes strength
Sort of another take on “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”
96. If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?
Lyrics from Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars.”
97. You Only Live Once
Mae West’s take on “live life to the fullest.”
98. You are what you love
Whatever you love and care about is what matters, and not the other way around. Apparently, this is from a Fallout Boy song.
99. What would you die for?
This quote is a paraphrase of one from Martin Luther King, Jr., which says “No one really knows why they are alive until they know what they’d die for.”
100. You must be the change you want to see in the world
This quote is often attributed to Ghandi, though he never actually said those exact words. It is believed that this quote morphed – like a game of telephone – from this: “If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change. As a man changes his own nature, so does the attitude of the world change towards him. We need not wait to see what others do.”
Get your own tattoo quotes
Remember, like we suggested earlier in the introduction, make sure the quote you choose has meaning for you; be sure to properly translate anything in a foreign language; pick a font that doesn’t obscure the lettering. For some Design inspiration, you can check out our 50 Tattoos for Women and our 50 Tattoos for Men.
Some other quotes just make no sense at all and these should not be embossed on you. You should be careful in choosing your words because these will be imprinted on you permanently. Always be yourself; don’t decide on something just because it’s trendy, but also don’t shy away from something trendy if it means something special to you. We hope that you have been inspired by our list of 100 best tattoo quotes.