8 Skull And Crossbones Tattoo Ideas For The Rebel In You

Unleash your inner rebel and go beyond the usual with this uber-cool symbol.

Written by , MA Sangita Goel MA linkedin_icon
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Aparna Harry MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years
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People have gotten skull and crossbones tattoos ever since tattoo art gained popularity in the medieval era. While pirates wore them on the sea as a sign of intimidation, many others flaunted them as a symbol of rebellion. However, in the contemporary world, the meaning of the symbol has started to vary. If this has got you eager to experiment with this design, you have landed on the right page. In this article, we discuss the meaning of this symbol and suggest a few unique tattoo ideas based on it. Keep reading!

Skull And Crossbones Tattoo Meaning

This famous tattoo features a skull with two crossed bones either in front of or behind it. The history of this design can be traced back to ancient civilizations. It was first seen in ancient Egypt on the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh, Tutankhamun. The crossbones represented the staff and flail in a cross-diagonal layout that the Pharaoh was often seen holding during his life while the symbol together signified his power in the afterlife. In Italy, the skull and crossbones were discovered in various Christian catacombs dating back to the second century CE symbolizing death and passing from life. During the same period, the skull and crossbones symbol was used to represent the Latin term ‘Memento mori’ that was in vogue in Rome, which meant ‘Remember death’.

  • In the early 12th-13th century, the symbol was used on the Jolly Roger, a pirate flag painted with skulls and crossbones that the pirates would use to identify their ship. Eventually, it became the nautical symbol often associated with pirates and danger.
  • In the 19th century, it came to be adopted by a secret society and represented mystery.
  • Today, the chemical industries use the symbol to label poisonous substances. It is used on power boxes to warn people and children of high voltage.
  • It can also represent a bold heart and fiery spirit.

The skull and crossbones symbol changed connotation and became a popular tattoo subject among individuals who liked to rebel against societal mores. See 8 exciting designs and learn the meaning associated with them below.

Skull And Crossbones Tattoo Designs

Over time, the sign of skull and crossbones became associated with fearlessness and rebellion. They can be customized to suit your preferences. Let us explore a few unique ideas below:

1. Traditional Skull And Crossbones Tattoo

A woman with a traditional skull and crossbones tattoo on her back
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

This black and gray traditional skull and crossbones tattoo has an edgy look to it. It represents your bold and fearless personality. Its location makes it noticeable while sending off a warning message to not mess with you.

2. Pirate Skull And Crossbones Tattoo

A woman with a pirate skull and crossbones tattoo on her arm
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

It offers a fun twist to the classic pirate skull and crossbones tattoo. This tattoo features the skull adorned with flowing whitish-cobalt blue hair. It also wears a pirate hat. The hair adds a soft and humorous touch to this otherwise edgy tattoo.

3. Vintage Skull And Crossbones Tattoo

A woman with a vintage skull and crossbones tattoo on her ankle
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

The dark hollow behind the skull gives the tattoo an eerie aura. The realistic depiction of the skull, the cracks in it, and the vintage-themed shading create curiosity among the viewers and increase the appeal of the tattoo.

4. Small Skull And Crossbones Tattoo

A woman with a small skull and crossbones tattoo on her thigh
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

This minimalist skull and crossbones tattoo is perfect for people who want to control when their tattoo is visible to others. Its bold outline and light shading add a softer edge to the rugged essence of the design. It warns others not to provoke the dangerous storm brewing behind your cool and sweet personality.

5. Black Skull And Crossbones Tattoo

A woman with a black skull and crossbones tattoo on her back
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

This tattoo makes excellent use of blackwork in contrast with the natural skin tone of the tattooed person to create a beautiful masterpiece. The permanent tattoo silently warns people to beware of you and not to invite your wrath. It also tells unwanted strangers that you are off-limits.

6. Old School Skull And Crossbones Tattoo

A woman with an old school skull and crossbones tattoo on her upper arm
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Old-school tattoos typically feature bold black outlines and traditional motifs, and this one is no different. This classic Jolly Roger skull and crossbones motif has large and hollowed out eye sockets and a nose to honor your confrontational nature. It is ideal for those who want to embrace their rebellious and strong personality.

7. Skull And Crossbones Finger Tattoo

A woman with a skull and crossbones finger tattoo
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

This tiny skull and crossbones finger tattoo in black ink looks absolutely striking. The white highlight on the crossbones accentuates the design of the tattoo and gives it an edgy look. The tattoo is bound to hurt owing to its location, but the results are worth the pain.

8. Skull And Crossbones Hand Tattoo

A woman with a skull and crossbones tattoo on her hand
Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

This tattoo combines death with life. The flower with skull and crossbones symbol represents the Latin term ‘Memento mori’ which basically means that one must remember that one must die. The flowers indicate the beauty of life while the skull and crossbones signify the inevitability of death.

The skull and crossbones symbol was used by pirates in medieval centuries and later discovered in tombs. It came to represent danger, lawlessness, death, and poison. While tattoos that depict it may not signify all that, they are generally taken to showcase a rebellious and daredevil spirit in contemporary times. The symbol can be combined with many elements such as flowers, a scythe, or a bandana to give it a unique vibe. You can customize the design according to your preferences and create a piece that holds great significance to you. Check out the list of our skull and crossbones designs and select one that appeals to you the most!

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Sangita Goel

Sangita GoelBeauty & Lifestyle Writer

Sangita is a content writer with a passion for exploring diverse genres. She has written 100+ blogs on an array of topics, including relationships, travel, beauty, and fashion. Armed with a master’s degree in history from Indira Gandhi National Open University, she has leveraged her curiosity to write captivating, engaging, and informative articles. In her free time, Sangita indulges in...read full bio

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