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Swallow Tattoo

Swallow Tattoo
Swallow tattoos, with their great history and various meanings, are some of the most popular tattoo designs. Read on to know more about these designs.
ThoughtfulTattoos Staff
Last Updated: Nov 19, 2018
Swallow tattoos, as the name suggests, are designs in which the swallow bird sketched in an artistic manner. These are linked with various meanings, like trust, loyalty, health, wealth, and many more. These are considered as some of the oldest designs that originated from the sailor community.
They can be easily combined with other designs, like flowers, banners, etc. These trendy and cool designs are popular among both the genders. They have also attracted celebrities like Johnny Depp (he has one on his right arm) and Robbie Williams (he has two such tattoos on his abdomen).
Before having a look at the different designs and their placements, let us understand the different meanings of these designs.
I Have More Than Core Strength
Swallows are mostly associated with the sailor group because of their significance in navigation. Appearance of any bird while navigating in the sea is a sign of presence of land nearby.
Thus, a swallow tattoo symbolizes safe trip home for a sailor. This body art wwas more like a status symbol for sailors in the old days. One more story that dictates the history of these designs goes like this: There was a ship called The Swallow, and the sailors on this ship had a swallow tattoo on them for identifying each other.
The traditional significance of this tattoo is that if a sailors drowns, then the swallow lifts the sailor's soul to heaven.
 Here are a few other meanings of this design:
  • According to some cultures, seeing a swallow in the beginning of the new year is an indication of financial success.
  • Swallow body art on a sailor symbolizes that the sailor has good experience in sailing, and hence, he/she is trustworthy and valuable.
  • Previously, sailors used to get these tattoos on sailing every 5,000 nautical miles.
  • Two swallows symbolize freedom.
  • Sailors used to get these tattoos on sailing all the seven seas.
  • Since a swallow bird mates for life, these tattoos are symbols for love and loyalty.
Designs and Placement
Tattooed woman
The swallow is a very beautiful bird with great combination of colors like blue, white, and red. These tattoos can be carved in various manners to form an elegant design.
Swallow and rose, old-school tattoo
As mentioned earlier, a swallow can be drawn in combination with a flower. A swallow holding a rose or any other flower in its beak is one of the most popular designs.
Swallow tattoo design
Another famous design is a banner below the swallow.
Some people like to carve their name on this banner, while some get famous quotes. Someone who wants to symbolize his/her love for his/her partner or family can go for a swallow combined with a heart design. A design depicting a diving swallow is yet another popular design.
When it comes to placing this design on the body, there are number of options one can go for. If you want to go for a large tattoo of the bird, then the back makes a great place. Women usually go for this body art either on the shoulders or the upper arms.
People who go for two swallows usually place them around or below the collarbone. Foot, lower back, hips, and thighs are some more placement options for women.