7 Celebrity Tattoos With Surprising Meanings

Does Sam Smith have the same tattoo as a mummy? What’s Macaulay Culkin’s deal with stolen spoons? And which German poet inspired one of Lady Gaga‘s largest tattoos? For the answers to these extremely pressing questions… keep reading!

Rihanna’s Egyptian Goddess

Rihanna‘s chest tattoo, depicting a kneeling Egyptian goddess, honors her late grandmother. In 2012, she revealed the art on Instagram with the caption, “Goddess Isis – Complete Woman – Model for future generations – #GRANGRANDOLLY – always in and on my heart #1love.” Billboard reported that the goddess symbolizes “the eternal mother, friend to slaves, sinners and the helpless.”

Macaulay Culkin and Paris Jackson’s Matching Spoons

In a July 2017 interview with Esquire, Culkin explained the inspiration behind his unusual ink- an inside joke with goddaughter Paris Jackson. The two routinely gift each other stolen spoons from restaurants, cafes, airplanes, etc. With each addition to the collection, Culkin reminds Jackson, “Don’t forget to be silly, don’t forget to take something away from this whole experience, and don’t forget to stick something up your sleeve.”

Halsey’s Upside-Down Horseshoe

Halsey shared with iHeartRadio in 2015, “In tattoo culture, you’re not supposed to tattoo a horseshoe upside down because it means all the luck is spilling out, so it’s actually bad luck. I got an upside-down horseshoe to signify that I don’t need luck. I work really, really hard, and I believe in the stars aligning, but I don’t believe that anything happens to anyone based out of sheer luck. I believe people work really hard, and they manifest what they want, and what they need, and what they’re hopeful for, and that’s what this is — a reminder.”

Sam Smith’s Parallel Lines

In 2015, Smith debuted four new tattoos on Instagram, the second featuring a set of parallel lines on his ring finger. The caption reads, “this tattoo is inspired by one of the oldest tattoos ever found on a mummified body.” According to Smith, the body was found “buried alone in the ice.”

Angelina Jolie’s Roman Numerals

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The Roman numerals translate to 13/5/1940, the date Winston Churchill delivered a speech and said, “I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat.” Jolie’s commemorative ink was acquired for her 2008 film Wanted. Her role as a trained killer in a secret society of assassins even allowed Jolie to show off existing tattoos, a rare opportunity for the actress.

Kesha’s Psychedelic Sea Creatures

Kesha Instagram

In 2016, Kesha sported a narwhal costume for Halloween. The day after, she immortalized her night out with a tattoo and the accompanying message: “so grateful for my beautiful magical friends. when u find the real ones hold on tight for dear life y’all. they’re what’ll keep u laughing when life throws you shitheads and douchebags.” Just a few months later, the talented singer/songwriter added her fourth aquatic-inspired tattoo, a pink and yellow orca. “Psychedelic whales are slowly covering my entire body…” she wrote in a January 2017 Instagram post.

Lady Gaga’s German Prose

The writing on Gaga’s left forearm features lines from Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke and the date 12/18/1974, a tribute to her aunt who died before she was born. The English translation reads, “In the deepest hour of the night; Confess to yourself that you would die if you were forbidden to write; And look deep into your heart where it spreads its roots, the answer; and ask yourself, must I write?”

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