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100 Meaningful Semicolon Tattoo Ideas [Ultimate Picture Guide]


If you’re thinking about getting a semicolon tattoo, you’re in the right place.

Today, we’ll share some of our favorite semicolon tattoo designs, as well as delving deep into the meaning of this unique tattoo symbol.

flower semicolon tattoo on arm

Semicolon tattoo meaning

Chances are that if you’re looking at semicolon tattoos, you already know what they stand for.

Just in case, though, let’s go over the meaning of the symbol in tattoo art.

A semicolon is, as we all know, a punctuation mark, in the form of a dot over a colon. Its purpose in writing is to separate two main clauses with a more pronounced pause than a colon would provide.

flower semicolon tattoo

Project Semicolon

Semicolon tattoos, however, are not just a reference to a punctuation mark. In this context, the semicolon refers to Project Semicolon – broadly speaking, a movement for the prevention of depression and suicide.

Project Semicolon was founded in 2013 by Amy Bleuel. Her father’s suicide and her own struggle with mental illness, depression, and suicide attempts prompted her to start a movement providing hope and support to those who need it most.

semicolon arm tattoo

Thanks to social media and support from musicians and other celebrities, Amy’s project developed a global reach, creating a supportive environment and sending out a message of hope.

The semicolon is the project’s main symbol. The reason behind this is that a semicolon indicates a pause, not the end of a sentence.

In other words, when an author uses a semicolon, they choose not to end a sentence. In this metaphor, the person struggling with depression is the author – and the sentence is a moment in their life. The semicolon, therefore, stands for the decision to keep living.

semicolon ankle tattoo

As you’re browsing semicolon tattoo images, you’ll see the phrase “My story is not over” featured in many of them.

This sentence is closely connected with Project Semicolon, referring again to the notion of choosing to carry on living.

butterfly semicolon tattoo on arm

Who chooses semicolon tattoos?

Given their meaning and context, semicolon tattoos are particularly common among suicide survivors and their families, as well as anyone who supports Project Semicolon – for any reason.

Near the beginning of the movement, drawing a semicolon on your wrist was a sign of support for the project.

For this reason, many of the tattoos that followed are also being placed on or near the wrist.

cat semicolon tattoo on hand

Semicolon tattoo ideas

Although the semicolon is a very simple symbol, there are tons of ways to represent it in tattoo art. Let’s consider some of the most popular and interesting ideas for semicolon designs.

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Simple semicolon tattoo

There’s something beautifully elegant about a minimalist semicolon tattoo. Simple and discreet, this is the most basic, direct depiction of the semicolon.

One advantage of this choice of design is that it can be small enough to easily fit anywhere you like – even behind your ear or on your finger.

semicolon ear tattoo

semicolon finger tattoo

That’s because it’s an exceedingly simple design, with no particular detail to convey. It can therefore be safely scaled down to such minuscule areas.

Tiny, simple semicolon tattoos are also a good choice if this will be your first tattoo and you’re worried about how you’ll handle the pain. A tattoo like the two examples above would only take a few minutes to complete.

That being said, a simple semi colon tattoo doesn’t necessarily have to be small. Depending on where you want to place it and how discreet you’d like the tattoo to be, it’s all up to you!

semicolon back tattoo

Semicolon watercolor tattoo

The watercolor tattoo style takes inspiration from the look of a fresh watercolor painting. Most watercolor designs involve a black shape or outline with a vibrant, colorful fill or background.

So, if you’d like to inject a splash of color into your semicolon tattoo, consider a watercolor element. The watercolor style is a great choice of semicolon tattoo for men and women alike.

watercolor semicolon tattoo

The design above follows the standard approach to watercolor designs. There is a solid black element – the semicolon – with blended, vibrant colors forming the background.

The watercolor element certainly draws the eye to the tattoo. It also adds a lighter dimension to the design, injecting joy and energy into the tattoo.

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semicolon arm tattoo

Meanwhile, this design presents an alternative to the traditional watercolor, in that the black, solid shape is missing.

Instead, the semicolon shape is left ‘blank’, framed by the watercolor. Therefore, the negative space of the joyful watercolor is what creates the semicolon.

watercolor semicolon on wrist

Similarly, this design uses watercolor negative space. However, in an interesting move, the artist added an extra element – in the form of the paint ‘dripping’, or running down the width of the wrist.

In this way, the watercolor is extended after the semicolon – perhaps indicating that the metaphorical story continues.

semicolon arm tattoo

Lastly, above we can see yet another take on the watercolor semicolon. The relatively large shape of the semicolon is filled with watercolor splashes.

It lacks an outline or a frame, which gives the tattoo a vibrant and modern look.

Arrow semicolon tattoo

The arrow is a highly meaningful and versatile symbol. By combining a semicolon with an arrow in a single design, you can enhance the meaning of the tattoo and achieve an elongated shape.

semicolon arrow tattoo

On its own, the arrow in tattoo art typically represents determination, the achievement of goals, and a journey. It can also mean protection from harm and the notion of constantly moving forward.

Combined with the semicolon symbol, the arrow highlights the idea of the drive to keep living, the determination to survive even the hardest times, and hope for the future.

semicolon arrow tattoo on finger

Usually, this combination takes the form of an arrow with a semicolon halfway along the shaft, as in the example above.

It’s easy to see the symbolism there – the semicolon indicates a pause, but the arrow keeps on going nonetheless.

semicolon arrow tattoo on foot

The tattoo above, meanwhile, complicates the basic design by adding the word ‘warrior’.

Arrows – especially in Native American symbolism – signify protection and the way of the warrior, so these elements make for cohesive meaning when combined together.

Note that the ‘i’ in ‘warrior’ has been replaced with a small semicolon. This tattoo is therefore also an example of a semicolon ‘disguised’ in a larger design.

semicolon back tattoo

This example takes the basic design of a semicolon along the length of an arrow, complementing it with the phrase “My story isn’t over”.

As mentioned before, this sentence is closely associated with Project Semicolon and with the meaning behind the semicolon symbol.

We have a whole post – complete with a large gallery – dedicated to arrow tattoos, so make sure you check it out for more inspiration!

Semicolon tattoos with birds

Another popular choice is a semicolon complimented with a flock of birds, usually breaking away from the top part of the symbol.

bird semicolon tattoo

The meaning of birds in tattoo art and in wider symbolism is complex and varied.

In this case, they usually represent human life, freedom, the connection between heaven and earth, as well as the link between the present and the future.

semicolon arm tattoo

For more information on bird tattoos – including their meaning and bird tattoo ideas – check out this post.

Semicolon tattoo with a butterfly

Butterflies are another element that commonly appears in semicolon tattoos.

The meaning of a butterfly wonderfully compliments that of the semicolon. Butterflies represent the soul, hope, change, life, and resurrection.

butterfly semicolon tattoo

There are plenty of creative ways to combine these two elements into a single, cohesive design.

The example above uses a semicolon to stand in for the butterfly’s body. The wing is rendered in gentle, black, curving shapes, matching the look and style of the semicolon.

semicolon back tattoo

This tattoo is based on a similar idea – the semicolon appears at the butterfly’s body. However, it takes a topside view of the butterfly, with much more detail on the wings.

The colorful shading on the left wing creates an interesting contrast with the outline-only flower pattern on the right.

This could indicate transition from one beautiful thing to the next, with a semicolon ‘pause’ in the middle.

semicolon chest tattoo

Lastly, this tattoo does a bit more to ‘hide’ the semicolon within the design. The beautiful watercolor rendition of the butterfly draws most of our attention, and the semicolon body is only noticeable after closer inspection.

Semicolon heart tattoos

The heart symbol, as we all know, represents love, life, and passion. It’s therefore unsurprising that it’s a common addition to the semicolon in tattoo designs.

The heart doesn’t necessarily need to represent romantic love, either. It can indicate support, the love of life and the world, the feeling of being loved, or self-love and appreciation, for example.

heart semicolon tattoo

A popular way to combine these two symbols is to tattoo the outline of a heart, with a semicolon along one of the sides.

It suggests enduring love and hope, despite the ‘pause’ given by the struggles of life.

watercolor semicolon tattoo on arm

Here, we can see another example of the same idea but represented in an entirely different style.

The eye-catching watercolor rendition of the heart is vibrant and light. The semicolon, meanwhile, is clearly visible, though a bit more discreet among the splashes of color.

semicolon ankle tattoo

For an even simpler rendition of this idea, consider replacing the top part of the semicolon with a heart. This approach preserves the meaning of the two symbols, all while combining them into one.

Final words

Hopefully, this post has provided you with plenty of inspiration for your very own semicolon tattoo. For even more ideas, check out the gallery below!

cat semicolon tattoo

dragonfly semicolon tattooflower semicolon tattoo

semicolon neck tattoo

semicolon sleeve tattoosemicolon wrist tattootree semicolon tattoowatercolor semicolon tattoo on wristwhite ink semicolon tattoo

bird semicolon tattoo on leg

butterfly semicolon tattoo on wristbutterfly semicolon tattoo on legcat semicolon tattoo on wristdragonfly semicolon tattoo on wristflower semicolon tattoo on armflower semicolon tattoo on armheart semicolon tattoo on wrist

watercolor semicolon tattoo on wrist

semicolon arm tattoosemicolon arm tattoosemicolon ear tattoosemicolon finger tattoosemicolon hand tattoosemicolon sleeve tattoosemicolon wrist tattoowatercolor semicolon tattoo on arm

bird semicolon tattoo

butterfly semicolon tattoo on armbutterfly semicolon arm tattoodragonfly semicolon tattoodragonfly semicolon tattoo on handflower semicolon tattoo on backflower semicolon tattooheart semicolon tattoo on wristsemicolon ankle tattoosemicolon arm tattoosemicolon arm tattoo

watercolor semicolon tattoo

semicolon ear tattoosemicolon finger tattoosemicolon hand tattoosemicolon wrist tattoo

bird semicolon tattoo on arm

butterfly semicolon tattoo on wristbutterfly semicolon tattoo on armcat semicolon tattoo on armdragonfly semicolon tattooflower semicolon tattooheart semicolon tattoosemicolon ankle tattoosemicolon arm tattoosemicolon back tattoosemicolon ear tattoosemicolon finger tattoosemicolon wrist tattoosemicolon wrist tattoowatercolor semicolon tattoo on ribwatercolor semicolon tattoo on armwatercolor semicolon tattoo

bird semicolon tattoo on wrist

butterfly semicolon tattoo on armbutterfly semicolon tattoo on wristcat semicolon tattoo on handdragonfly semicolon tattoo on wristflower semicolon tattoo on armflower semicolon tattooflower semicolon tattoo on backheart semicolon tattoo on wristsemicolon ankle tattoosemicolon arm tattoosemicolon arm tattoosemicolon ear tattoosemicolon finger tattoosemicolon sleeve tattoosemicolon wrist tattoosemicolon wrist tattoosemicolon wrist tattoowatercolor semicolon tattoo on armwatercolor semicolon tattoo wrist

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