Top 8 Above Knee Tattoo Ideas With Their Meanings

Glamorize your knee with some interesting and captivating ink designs!

Written by , MSc Manjari Uppal MSc linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (Mass Communication & Journalism) Joyce Joyson MA (Mass Communication & Journalism) linkedin_icon
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An above-knee tattoo may be unconventional as far as traditional tattooing is concerned, but it is quite the raging trend in the present-day world. This unexpected placement stays mostly hidden, unless you wear shorts or a mini skirt and then it reveals itself in a burst of delightful surprise for all to see. While most people may think it’s cool to get their knee tattooed, that area is one of the most painful placements. The above-knee area strikes a sweet spot, enabling one to adorn one of the most powerful joints in their body with a creative yet personal work of art. Discover some classic and unique tattoo designs that work wonderfully in this placement along with their meaning in this article. So keep scrolling and be prepared to take notes!

Above Knee Tattoo Meaning

The area around the knee is a very unique tattoo placement that does not have a specific universally attributed symbolism or philosophy. Therefore, how these tattoos are perceived may vary from person to person. Nonetheless, we can speculate a few meanings based on some general ideas.

  • For instance, as we learn to physically navigate through life while growing up, often stumbling and injuring ourselves, our knees frequently provide us support, taking the brunt of multiple hits and enabling us to get back up on our feet. So the knee area can be associated with gratitude, support, and resilience. It may symbolize the wearer’s attitude of facing and overcoming challenges.
  • Some may choose this placement as it gives the wearer the freedom to either conceal or flaunt their tattoo as they please.

These tattoos can shape or define the wearer’s aesthetic style, making them appear interesting and unique. Embrace the charm of this tattoo placement and move on to the next section for some cool and charismatic above-knee tattoo ideas.

8 Amazing Above-Knee Tattoo Ideas

An above-knee tattoo can work as a piece of perpetual ornamentation gracing your joint prominently, becoming the perfect accessory for short-length outfits. And there are so many tattoo styles and designs to choose from! The following ideas may interest you, so take a look.

1. Butterfly Above Knee Tattoo

A butterfly above knee tattoo
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

The butterfly is not just an aesthetically pleasant element but also a powerful symbol of transformation, resilience, personal growth, and freedom. Based on the style of the tattoo you choose, you can focus on the beauty or the grit of the creature, adding enhanced value to your design. For instance, this American traditional tattoo shows a vibrantly colored butterfly placed above the knee, immediately drawing the eyes, and making the wearer appear cheerful and creative. Consequently, a gothic abstract tattoo would evoke contrasting emotions in the observer.

2. Birth Year Above Knee Tattoo

A birth year above knee tattoo
Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

Everyone’s birth year is important to their individual identity, so it naturally plays into the symbolism of the tattoo. However, its personal meaning depends on the wearer as they can get their own, their parents’, partner’s, or children’s date of birth etched on their skin. One can also get the birth year of a deceased loved one as a homage to their life. Combining the numerical with other design elements like vintage or tribal motifs, or small floral shapes, can increase the appeal of the tattoo.

3. Small Above Knee Tattoo

A small above knee tattoo of a triangle
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

As trendy as the above-knee placement is for first-timers, it can be a daunting experience. A small tattoo can be executed quickly, therefore assuring newbies of minimized pain exposure. Further, those with a minimal aesthetic style would also appreciate simple, unassuming designs like a simple and elegant triangle tattoo. It symbolizes the fire element but also has spiritual roots in certain beliefs like the Holy Trinity in Christianity. Similarly, one can opt for any icon-style or simple shape tattoo that means something deep for them.

4. Mandala Above Knee Tattoo

A mandala above knee tattoo
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Mandalas are often created using unique patterns and striking shapes, making them a super popular tattoo element. They signify the concept of a cyclical life that continues growing, thereby fortifying the belief in everlasting life. Getting this tattoo may help achieve a sense of inner balance and, paired with the above-knee placement, may show the wearer’s conviction to charge forward in life with optimism that they shall be able to brave through all odds.

5. Cross Above Knee Tattoo

A cross above knee tattoo
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

A cross is a straightforward symbol of the Christian belief, representing the sacrifice and love of Jesus Christ. The cross stands for forgiveness, resurrection, redemption, hope, and faith. Outside of symbolism, the cross is also an aesthetic symbol that has become popular as a style icon in recent times. A minimal cross in any size can express the wearer’s belief or rebellion and make for an intriguing above-knee tattoo.

6. Simple Above Knee Tattoo

A simple above knee tattoo of a rose
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Not a fan of complex, multi-layered symbolism in your tattoos? No problem! You can always go for a simple design that is more recognizable for its beauty than symbolism. For instance, a tattoo of a simple highlighted rose, complete with colored leaves, may symbolize passion, wild resilience, and self-growth, but it works as brilliantly just as an aesthetic adornment too. Select your favorite colors or a unique artistic style to further enhance its visual appeal.

7. Text Above Knee Tattoo

A text above knee tattoo
Image: Dall·E/StyleCraze Design Team

As far as symbolism goes, textual tattoos make the message clear and decisive. This text tattoo featuring the word ‘Family’ in gorgeous calligraphy, positioned among fresh-looking foliage, showcases how important the word is for the wearer. It expresses love for their kin and hopes for their collective growth, represented by the newly sprouting leaves in the tattoo. Likewise, you can opt for any other word that has significant meaning to you and pair them with other endearing elements like hearts or flowers.

8. Cool Above Knee Tattoo

A cool above knee tattoo of a realistic moon
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

The idea of getting a tattoo above the knee itself is cool because of how your knees are usually hidden, especially on formal occasions. However, if you would like to take things up a notch, go for out-of-the-box subjects in a bold artistic style. This tattoo features a realistic full moon, with detailed shading work to show the craters on it, mimicking its appearance as shown on satellite photos, making for an impressive piece. Eventually what is cool is determined by the wearer, further personalizing the allure of their above-knee tattoo.

So there you have it; our innovative list of chic and stunning above-knee tattoos. We hope you have understood that the placement of the tattoo itself is what draws the attention of onlookers, immediately stirring their curiosity and feeding their interest in you. However, you can intensify that impact with your choice of tattoo style and design. You can opt for minimal designs that you get to share with only close friends or go for large-size, elaborate ones that will have a roomful of strangers talking to and about you. The above-knee placement does not have a universal symbolism, so there is no right or wrong way of getting these tattoos done. Ultimately, it is up to you to consider your convenience and aesthetic preferences to arrive at the perfect design for yourself.

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Manjari Uppal

Manjari Uppal Beauty & Lifestyle Writer

Manjari is a beauty and lifestyle writer with over three years of experience in writing across different niches, including beauty, health, wellness, and technology. She first discovered her passion for writing in school and has since honed her craft to perfection.
Read full bio of Manjari Uppal