Semicolon Tattoo Meaning with Ideas and Designs

On sighting a semicolon tattoo, the first thing that comes to mind is that the wearer is one crazy grammar nerd.

Not until recently did I understand that this tattoo goes way deeper than it looks.

In fact, this small looking tattoo holds such deep meaning behind it. Such that you cannot help but appreciate anyone wearing it.

If you have been aiming to get one,why don’t we give you a head start by taking a look at semicolon tattoo meaning?

Semicolon Tattoo Meaning

Apart from the fact that they look very pretty, semicolon tattoos go way beyond a grammar punctuation mark.

In the real sense of the word, writers use a semicolon when they want to continue with a sentence even when they could have ended the sentence. With this understanding, you have a better understanding that people wearing this tattoo could have chosen the easy way out, but they instead kept pushing on.

Some of them have tried committing suicide and ending it all, but the will to live won over the will to die.

The tiny looking tattoo signifies hope and optimism for anyone wearing it. Most times, people that has this tattoo inked into their skin are people that have had decided to keep pushing even when life seems uninteresting.

You may wonder if people just woke up one day and decided to tattoo semicolon tattoos on their bodies.

Here is the story behind this popular tattoo.

In 2013, Amy Bleuel started a nonprofit movement called “Project Semicolon.” The idea behind it is to raise awareness about mental illness, suicide, addiction and self-harm. According to their Instagram page, their slogan reads: “The author is you and the sentence is your life.”

It means that you have the willpower to continue even when it looks like all odds are against you.

The movement encourages people going through depression to know that they are not alone. The semicolon tattoo is a way to show solidarity to anyone going through this phase and could use a shoulder to lean on.

The movement became a rave such that people started drawing temporary and permanent semicolon tattoos on conspicuous parts of their bodies. At a time, the semicolon tattoo was all you could see on social media. People who had the tattoo were happy to post and share photos showing off their semicolon tattoos.

Bleuel’s father died through suicide in 2003. After that, Bleuel herself struggled with mental illness and saw no other way to encourage others than to start the movement.

Speaking to USA Today in 2015,Bleuel said that she thought it wise to share her story of survival to inspire others who may be going through the same struggles. It was her way of starting a conversation about suicide and mental illness in honor of her late father. For her, the conversation will create awareness and help lower the rates of suicide from mental health. 

Although Bleuel later died by suicide in 2017, the movement, “Project Semicolon” is still on and one that many people identify with.

Why Semicolon Tattoos are Popular

Now that you know the logic behind semicolon tattoo, you at least get the picture why they are popular.

Life itself is hard. People go through a lot in their daily lives not to talk of the stress that accompanies it.

You may be surprised to learn that the number of people coming down with depression on daily basis is always on the rise. For those that can’t handle it, they seek the quickest way out by committing suicide.

But it doesn’t have to be so.

People have lost loved ones through this means. And because we all are going through issues in life and some of us are still holding on, it helps to encourage others to keep pushing against all odds.

The idea first started with people using markers to draw semicolons on their bodies. But seeing how important the message is, many have gone on to have it inked on their skin permanently.

So, semicolon tattoos are not just popular because they are cute, they carry a heavy message behind them.

Popular singer, Selena Gomez, who has hers on her left wrist, is among the millions of people who wear this tattoo with pride. 

Whenever you see someone with this tattoo, know that they are either honoring a loved one, or sharing their message of survival. Or they could just be showing solidarity for people going through mental health.

Best Placement for Semicolon Tattoo

One thing I love about semicolon tattoos is that you can make them as minimalistic or as bold as you like. That means that you can place them wherever you prefer.

Most often, people tattoo this on their wrists, back of their necks, ankles, foot, rib cage, shoulder, and even on their fingers.

The best placement for semicolon tattoos is the wrist. It’s very attractive on the wrist and also very easy to see.

Some people use the love sign in place of the dot in the semicolon. Others also draw other characters or pictures around the semicolon.

While the wrist is the most popular place people wear this tattoo, you can tattoo yours on any part of your body that you feel comfortable with.

As long as it still holds the message for you, then that’s all that matters.

Frequently Asked Questions About Semicolon Tattoos

Should I go for a temporary or permanent semicolon tattoo?

It all depends on your preference and why you are getting the tattoo in the first place. If you are comfortable having a permanent tattoo on your body, then you shouldn’t have any problem tattooing this permanently on your skin. If, on the other hand, there is a day set out to remember people going through mental health, you can wear a temporary one to mark the day. But if you want to honor the memory of a loved one with this tattoo, you can make it a permanent one.

What does a semicolon tattoo with an arrow mean?

The arrow means that before you move forward, you first have to get pulled backward. The arrow and semicolon tattoo signifies that you have the option to give up the will to fight but you instead continue pushing on.

Why is a semicolon tattoo used as a symbol for depression?

It’s because a lot of people suffer from depression as a result of mental health. The tattoo passes a message to people going through depression that they are not alone. It’s like a survival mark that urges people to keep fighting even in the midst of the storm.

When can I wear a temporary semicolon tattoo to show support for the movement?

Since you don’t want a permanent tattoo on your skin, you can have this tattoo temporarily tattooed on you in the month of September. September is known as the National Suicide Prevention Month. 

Can anyone get a semicolon tattoo?

As long as you are up to 18, you can get a semicolon tattoo. If you are under 18, you will need to get an approval from your parents or guardian before you can get one.

How much would I spend to get a permanent semicolon tattoo?

The amount you will spend depends on the size and color of the tattoo. If what you want is just a tiny semicolon symbol in black ink on your wrist, you should budget between USD $50 to $100. The bigger, the more it will cost you. However, do bear in mind that the amount you spend will also depend on who (a professional or an amateur) and where you are getting the tattoo done.


Now that you know what semicolon tattoo means, you sure will be glad to wear one.

Not only are you passing across the message of staying strong in the face of trials, you are also reminding yourself that there is more to life than giving up too quickly.

So go ahead and wear your tattoo with pride. You deserve it!

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About the author

I’m S.R Bhuiyan, a proud Tattoo artist. I will share the body art journey with you here in PrettyJust. I have 10+ years of experience in the field of tattoo, piercing, nail art, and skincare. Check out my bio which has my tattoo studio/cat/travel pics!

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