Fashion in the ‘90s was totally out of this world. No, literally…Y2K was quickly approaching, the whole world thought we’d soon be living in a space station – and everybody was imagining what they’d be wearing there. Parents might not have been as quick to warm up to the trend, but no one was really asking their permission anymore. Among other rebellious trends that popped up were excuse after excuse to add some height to your shoes without actually looking like an adult: hence, the platform. The motto of the ’90s was, put platforms on everything! The future was bright, and the fashion was showing it: everything was made of fun plastics and rubbers, and colored in carefree neons and monochromes.
Cool, clear, and comfortable – for about 5 minutes, before your feet drown in sweat. They’re great shoes for the beach and terrible for everything else, but hey, fashion is not about efficiency.
When these hit the market in the 90s, we had to have one in every color. It wasn’t long before shoe-shopping trips to Chinatown became more focused on all the amazing food that had been hiding, but now they’re making a comeback.
Nothing says adorably repressed femininity like a Mary Jane shoe. Designed as the foot-friendly picture of innocence and often recruited for designated school uniforms, this shoe quickly became reclaimed in the 90s as a personal choice – and not always a rule-abiding one, at that.
Steve Madden Slip-Ons
Girl-ish, but classy. Black, but not goth. These shoes were an everyday go-to with Capri pants and hair bandanas – which are also coming back, but not (never!) all in one outfit.
Adidas Shower Shoes
Even more of a fashion statement today than they were in the 90s, these shoes were originally for shuffling around the locker room after practice. Today, they’re for shuffling around Instagram.
Iridescent Sandal Heels
These are self-explanatory – nothing said “future” like iridescent materials. And now, nothing says “retro” quite like it, either.
These were originally like a walking toy for kids, but today, those kids who loved them then are adults, and this is the ultimate party shoe.
Because all the other kids with their pumped up kicks can’t get air like this.
In an effort to be fun and quirky, some people get tattoos using foreign characters somewhere on their body. Most of the time, they have absolutely no idea what the tattoo actually says or symbolizes, which can lead to some very funny moments.
The Dreaded Toilet Demon
Apparently, this tattoo translates to “Toilet Demon.” This is of course very interesting because we honestly don’t know what the person who got this tattoo was going for in the first place.
Either way, Toilet Demon is still pretty funny, because it sounds like some odd slang that someone would use in regards to trouble in the bathroom.
Maybe it Was Intentional?
So most people don’t actually know what their tattoo says when they get it in another language. But maybe, just maybe, this person actually did know, and that’s the exact reason they got this tattoo. Perhaps they just really love spring rolls? We could see that.
Well, chances are that the tattoo is in fact a mistake and she just didn’t know what it was actually saying, but we’d like to at least try and give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she knew all along what was going on.
A Madman’s Love
Looking to get a tattoo that says something about your faith and your love? Well, if that’s true, you should definitely make sure that it says what you want it to say. Ironically though, this tattoo blunder is actually perfect, because “madman” is pretty accurate for people that would do this.
You do have to be pretty mad in order to get a tattoo in a foreign language that you yourself can’t read. After all, why would you place that much faith in some stranger giving you a tattoo?
What Does it Mean?
It’s bad enough when a foreign tattoo has one translation that you didn’t expect them to mean, but when they have multiple, well, you clearly should have done a lot more research. It’s especially bad when every single one of the other available translations is still silly or ridiculous.
That just means that you failed in the endeavor to an extreme degree. You managed to make a fool out of yourself twice as much, which makes the whole thing twice as ridiculous as it already was. Whoops.
What is Female Vapor?
We’re not quite sure what this tattoo says overall. In fact, we’re a little concerned with what the tattoo artist was trying to do, because this sounds a little inappropriate if you managed to put them all together. Then again, that tattoo artist was probably trying to get a laugh in the first place.
Unfortunately for this woman, we doubt she’s laughing nearly as much, seeing as how she got something extremely questionable permanently put onto her skin. That’s truly a joke in extremely poor taste that no one should do.
She Loves Miso
We have to wonder how many tattoos are actually just talking about food when the person getting them thought they were getting something else. Kind of like the spring rolls, though this time it is actually miso soup. Don’t get us wrong, miso is delicious.
But is it really so amazing you would be willing to get it tattooed on your body? That’s exactly the reason we feel that this poor woman had no idea she was getting these words on her body. Otherwise, most people wouldn’t get something like that.
It Isn’t Mexican, it Says Mexican
The person who got this tattoo apparently thought it was supposed to mean brave or strong or something, but the reality is quite far from the truth. The funny thing is, the tattoo isn’t Mexican, it apparently says the word, Mexican. We didn’t know what that was supposed to look like.
Apparently, it’s this. Because us English folk can’t really tell the difference in all of these foreign alphabets, a tattoo artist could tell us just about anything and we would probably believe it. That’s the problem with ignorance, so why take a stranger’s word?
The Turkey Sandwich
Here we are again with another tattoo that has to do with food. We’re not quite sure why there are so many of these. It’s just something that seems to happen a lot, as evidenced by how many have been mentioned on this list already, and it’s not even that far underway.
This time, it’s a turkey sandwich. Somehow we doubt that the woman in question here loved turkey sandwiches quite this much. Or maybe she did, but it seems like she really didn’t know what it meant before getting it. That’s rough, buddy.
To be frank, something appears to be off with this hand in this photo. But we’re here to talk about the tattoo. As you can clearly see in the image itself, supposedly Ariana Grande wanted to get a tattoo about one of her songs, but it ended up being about grilling instead.
Now, we’re not going to make a ridiculous claim about how someone like her could never be into grilling. However, we do have to say that it seems fairly unlikely that she does do any grilling. That’s just an assumption on our part though.
We really don’t know why people are willing to risk a permanent joke on their body if they themselves don’t know the language. That said, the one bit of good news is that most of your English speaking friends probably won’t recognize it and therefore can’t laugh at you.
That doesn’t change the fat that something silly is permanently inked on your body, but it really could be a whole lot worse if you think about it. Sometimes optimism is the only thing to make someone feel better in this situation.
Empty Head Indeed
This one is actually pretty accurate, considering that you would have to be pretty empty-headed in order to get a tattoo in a foreign language when you don’t even know what it means. Maybe that sounds rude of us, but come on, it is a little ridiculous.
At least they look cool or meaningful to people that don’t actually know any better, but a lot of good that does when someone who is informed shows up. Well, maybe they’ll just laugh silent instead of embarrassing the person with the silly tattoo.
What’s On the Menu?
Tattoos with food, here we are again! This time it’s chicken noodle soup, apparently. At this point, we’re actually curious as to how tattoo artists that are doing this kind of thing manage to contain their laughter while it is happening. Maybe they’ve just done it a lot.
Which is of course, pretty concerning in its own right. We wouldn’t want any tattoo artist to be infinitely familiar with doing this kind of thing to people. Unfortunately, we get the feeling that a lot of them probably are.
That Speaks for Itself
Ah yes, the gibberish font. Definitely, something that everyone should be intimately familiar with, lest they end up in the same situation as this poor fellow. Being fluent in the gibberish font means you can avoid having silly things tattooed onto your body.
On the other hand, maybe it would let you tattoo silly things onto other people’s bodies instead. However, we’d prefer if as few people as possible felt the need to do that to others, since it’s pretty rude.
Who Is the Coffin Man?
We’re actually a little worried as to what the tattoo artist was trying to say when he put this on another person. Well, apparently it was the man’s friend who did it, but still. Was he trying to say that his buddy was going to put a lot of other people in coffins?
Or was he trying to say that his buddy was going to end up in a coffin? Or is his buddy a guy who makes coffins? Really, there’s just not a lot to go on here and it worries us a little bit.
An Honest Mistake?
According to the guy actually telling people what their foreign language tattoos mean, he seems to think that this mistake may have well and truly been a mistake. Whether or not we believe that, we’re not sure. But hey, there are people in every language that mess it up, even as native speakers and writers.
That being said, we could see how something like this may have been an honest mistake as opposed to a cruel and unusual prank on the part of some harebrained tattoo artist with nothing better to do. Not that we have any guarantee, of course.
Field of Chaos
We’re not quite sure what the person who got this tattoo is like, but we get the feeling that they weren’t well-liked by the artist who gave them this tattoo. After all, field of chaos seems a little… condemning? Maybe they were just really loud and annoying.
Or we could be missing the point entirely, because even the guy explaining the meaning of the tattoo seems a little confused on whether or not it means what he thinks it means.
A True Rarity
This is one of the very few tattoos on this list that is actually in a western language, or rather, it was someone that doesn’t speak English getting an English tattoo wrong. It still fits of course, but it’s worth noting how few of these examples there are compared to others.
Unfortunately for the woman in question here, it seems that her faith in Google Translate was a little too high. Useful as that tool may be, it probably shouldn’t be used to make a judgment on your tattoos.
Free of Charge
Supposedly, the person who got this tattoo believed it was talking about freedom. Unfortunately, what it really talks about is things being free, which is not quite the same. Even worse, we’re fairly certain that they didn’t get this tattoo free of charge.
It just goes to show that, while the best things in life may be free, there are plenty of reasons why you should consider everything you pay for with a grain of salt.
Boastful Rice Village
Don’t get us wrong, we love rice. So we understand why a village that makes rice may be boastful. That said, we don’t think that is something many people would be looking to get tattooed on their bodies. Case in point, this guy thought it was something else entirely.
We feel kind of bad since he was clearly trying to get a sentimental tattoo about his daughter, but we also know that he’s kind of at fault for being so gung-ho about getting a foreign tattoo. Really, couldn’t you have gotten it in English?
I Am Rotten
The funny thing is that most of these tattoos that people misunderstand are never in, say, some European language. It’s always a language that has a vastly different type of alphabet. Of course, maybe that’s the reason people often make mistakes with them in the first place.
This is one such example of someone making a serious mistake in regards to what they were getting, because they thought it was going to be great, and instead, it ended up being rotten. Really, really rotten.
Best of the Bunch
Now, this woman’s tattoo still doesn’t say what she thought it did. However, it’s worth noting that, compared to many of the other mentions on this list, she came out of the ordeal much better than most other people do. Sure, her tattoo doesn’t say warrior on it, but rapids isn’t quite so bad.
We’re just saying, it could have been a food item from a menu or something, which apparently happens quite often if this list is anything to judge by.
Waste Not, Want Not
We don’t really know what a watery waste is, other than the fact that it’s probably bad. Even so, there’s apparently a second translation to this poor man’s tattoo that is entirely different. We’re guessing that neither translation is actually the one he wanted.
Then again, he seems to have trouble spelling in his own language too, so there may be a connection there that we just aren’t aware of. Even an English tattoo may have been off.
A Dog Park?
This tattoo on the back of this woman’s neck does not at all mean what she thought it did. That said, we’re not sure what it’s supposed to mean even with a proper translation. A dog place, is that supposed to be like a park? Or perhaps a kennel? A dog show maybe?
Sometimes we wonder if there’s actually any significant meaning to these things, or if the tattoo artist was just making himself laugh. It certainly seems that way from time to time.
Lost in Translation
We’re not sure what to make of this one, seeing as how nobody seems to know what to make of it. Apparently, a waiter thought it had something to do with boats, but the guy translating thinks it had something to do with abundance or mounds, or abundant mounds. Sounds a little inappropriate…
Of course, far be it from us to properly translate this thing when we don’t even read the language ourselves, so we’ll settle for being utterly confused instead.
Those Darn Homonyms
Words that sound like other words but mean something else are present in every single language. Because of this, we can’t help but wonder if the tattoo artist in this situation actually made a legitimate mistake instead of doing a cruel prank.
That said, if they were a native speaker of the language, then we highly doubt that, as it seems unlikely that they could make such a ridiculous mistake. That said, we have just a little bit of doubt on this one, but it does exist just a bit.
Wrong on Many Levels
The problem with this tattoo isn’t even that it’s wrong from a spelling point of view, though we don’t know if it is as far as translations are concerned. The bigger issue is that it is upside down, so even if it did mean exactly what this person wanted it to, well, it’s still wrong.
Now, was the tattoo artist doing it upside down on purpose, or were they not entirely sober? Frankly, we could see either explanation as being a perfectly valid explanation of the matter.
We would be inclined to believe that this is something a person would actually get tattooed on them intentionally. However, since they outright state that they didn’t know what it meant, we’re going to assume that this is not the case. All things considered though, it could be worse.
They could have gotten a tattoo about lettuce or potatoes or something. By now we know that such a thing is fairly likely, as a lot of artists are apparently hungry when they work.
Aching for Peace
We have to wonder how many people actually know the full language that they are trying to put on someone’s body. Apparently, there’s a lot of people out there that don’t really know what they are doing. In this case, it seems like someone was just bad at their job, more so than being cruel.
Not that it makes the situation any better for the guy who has to suffer for it. Really, it’s probably just unsafe to get tattoos in a foreign language at all. Much safer to stick to your own.
Could Be Worse
While this is definitely an example of a tattoo that doesn’t say what someone probably wanted it to, we have to say that this girl got off pretty lucky. It could have been much worse all things considered. Now, we’re sure that she’s probably still not happy about it, but hey, optimism!
She could have had something insulting. Instead, she just gets something that honestly kind of meaningless, all things considered.
When a tattoo can have multiple meanings, that’s one thing. But when the different meanings are extremely different from one another, that’s just really confusing. Especially if one is seemingly innocuous while the other is something really inappropriate.
So which one is it anyway? When things are this unclear, it’s hard to judge just how bad the tattoo really is. But since it doesn’t say what the person thought it did, it’s pretty bad either way.
Controlling the Honey
This is another tattoo translation in which we just don’t know what it’s actually supposed to mean. There’s just way too many translation possibilities and whatnot, which leads to a huge plethora of things it could mean, but may not actually mean.
Regardless though, those various possibilities are really funny to think about. Each and every one of them is just as ridiculous yet amusing as the last. We feel bad for this girl.
Writing Backwards is Revolutionary
To be fair, this tattoo doesn’t actually say anything bad. It’s not the content that’s worth mocking, it’s the fact that it was written backward. It’s funny though: maybe the tattoo artist was trying to be revolutionary. Who are we to judge?
Well, the guy who got the tattoo has every right to judge, of course. After all, he has to deal with it, though he certainly came out of everything much better off than some people do.
Climbing to the Top
This tattoo isn’t so bad because, as best as can be discerned, it just says “climb.” However, that does leave us a tad confused as to what we’re climbing or why. Did the tattoo artist intend to put that there? Was it actually just a typo?
The world may never know. All we really know is that it’s pretty darn confusing, and the best we can do is guess as to what on Earth it was supposed to mean at all.
Well That’s Not Good
This one character can apparently mean a very, very wide variety of things. Unfortunately for the person with this tattoo, they all appear to be bad. In fact, they appear to be very unflattering in almost every regard, which surely stinks for this poor soul.
At least, with so many possible translations, he can pick whichever one is the least damaging to his reputation. We’re just not sure which of them he would actually need to pick to accomplish that.
Compared to many of the other entries on this list, we’ll readily admit this is far from the worst tattoo someone could have gotten while in a drunken stupor. In fact, it almost seems like something that somebody would actually intend to get, though it apparently has some issues.
Unfortunately, the artist apparently made a few mistakes with strokes here and there, but that’s probably far preferable to having something offensive or ridiculous on your back. The lesser of two evils, we’d call it.
Friends Over Power
This guy thought his tattoo said “strong,” but apparently it’s something about friendship instead. Well, that’s not so bad, unless you adhere to that tough-guy schtick of not being allowed to have friends! Even though it’s not as bad as some others on this list, we mention it anyway because it’s still a translation fail.
But hey, having something about friendship on your body isn’t all that bad. At least it’s not about spring rolls or chicken noodle soup. Or “climb,” whatever that’s supposed to mean.
Here’s another example of a tattoo that’s not nearly as bad as it could have been, though it does raise some questions. Was the artist making a joke about how the person getting the tattoo was daydreaming or were they trying to say something else?
We hope they weren’t implying that they were fantasizing about something weird, because that would be an odd thing to force on someone forever. This is why you really have to be careful getting a tattoo.
The Chic Man
Without any indicator of what the person in question thought this tattoo said, it’s hard to make a judgment on it. And yet, the fact that the translator isn’t even sure what it says or what it is trying to say, indicates that it was probably a mystery to the person with the tattoo as well.
That comes as no surprise really, but while chic man sure does sound pretty weird, who knows? Maybe the guy actually likes the moniker now that he knows what it means.
They Didn’t Like You
When the tattoo that an artist gives you ends up saying something like “beat it!” we take that to mean that they really didn’t like the person that was bothering them in their parlor. Or perhaps they were just in a really bad mood that day.
Either way, this is something that the individual in question obviously did not intend to have put on their body, but in that cast, they probably should have been a little more careful. Research people, research! At least double-check one time first.
Its Own Kind of Love
If your tattoo is supposed to mean “love,” but ends up meaning “drying,” we can only assume that you got played. That, or the tattoo artist in question is about as knowledgeable about the foreign language in question as you are. Either one could lead to this kind of situation.
That said, we’re not sure if there is any way that someone could spin this to make it sound a little better. Unfortunately, the answer to that is probably no. It just doesn’t make any sense and can’t really be salvaged.
A Little Troubling
We’re a little worried with what was going on in that tattoo artist’s head when he wrote out this particular tattoo on this guy’s back. Just take a look at the provided translation, and you’ll see why that is. We’re not really sure what to make of this situation.
Maybe he was just trying to make something cool sounding for this particular customer? Even so, that’s a weird thing to make a tattoo without being specifically requested to do so…
Well That’s Rude
We can’t speak for the guy who tattooed “vase” on this poor person, but it seems to us like he may have been making a crack about their weight or something, which seems pretty rude. Sure, some people do look like a pitcher, but do you really need to print it on them in ink?
Well, some people like to make their own fun by doing really awful things. Unfortunately, that aspect of human behavior is probably not set to change any time soon.
In the Weeds
Apparently, this tattoo was supposed to say “Alexa.” As you may have already guessed, it does not say that. It actually says “weeds.” We’re not sure if that’s a crack at the person who got the tattoo, but even if it is, we aren’t sure what it’s trying to say.
At this point, it’s clear that there are way, way too many people out there with a tattoo in a foreign language that says something crazy, ridiculous, or meaningless. People really need to start doing some research before committing to this stuff!
The Height of Romance
Many people try to get tattoos that talk about love or romance, but just as many people mess up the phrases for that tattoo. For instance, just take a look at this tattoo, which is unfortunately not nearly as romantic as the person getting it wanted it to be.
But hey, at least anyone who can read that tattoo will get a great deal of knowledge about a particular service on the web! Whatever value that may have, of course…
Knowing the Truth
You know why you should never trust a tattoo artist when they tell you what a tattoo in another language means? Because, they could very well be lying to you. After all, some people have a really messed up sense of humor, and who knows what they may do if left to their own devices?
This guy knew exactly what the tattoo he was giving meant, which is probably the exact reason he decided to put it on these poor girls. Don’t trust random strangers with needles, people! That can only go wrong!