Potent and primitive, a dagger has long been a popular option for people seeking a tattoo that makes a strong statement about them. If you search the collections pages of the TattooedNow! website, you will find more than 20 outstanding designs that have a dagger at their core.
There are many reasons for the popularity of dagger tattoos. They represent a simple, striking image of a weapon that has been in use through the centuries. They also enable the wearer to convey a message. That message may vary from person to person, but there is no denying the power of the dagger in bringing a sense of strong emotion to the outside world.
This means there is no simple answer when you try to sum up the dagger tattoo’s meaning. There are so many variations on this theme; and, ultimately, the intention behind any tattoo will be intensely personal to the person who wants to display it on their skin.
However, there are some general dagger tattoo meaning conclusions we can draw, particularly when it comes to the combination of a dagger with other emotionally impactful imagery.
A dagger on its own can represent strong, virtuous qualities. It is a symbol of loyalty, bravery, sacrifice and protection. It tells the world you are not to be messed with. However, the fact that it is a weapon ensures it can also convey a sense of danger, threat and violence.
Even the orientation of your dagger tattoo can carry a meaning. A dagger with the point facing up is traditionally seen as a masculine image, which carries echoes of spears and swords. If the point is facing downwards, it is usually seen as a more feminine image, and may also be a symbol for the moon.
The variation in potential dagger tattoo meaning becomes even broader when another symbol is added into the design. Let’s look at what some of these might mean:
Rose and dagger tattoo meaning
This is a combination full of contrasts and duality. The purity and beauty of a rose can symbolise passion and trust, but the addition of a dagger suggests betrayal, cunning and violence.
Snake and dagger tattoo meaning
This may be an outward manifestation of an inner conflict. Snakes have always symbolised mistrust, betrayal, a threat or a challenge; the dagger in such a dual image can represent the courage to face challenges and overcome them.
Heart and dagger tattoo meaning
We’ve all heard the phase “a dagger to the heart” used to describe a moment of intense emotional pain. That inner conflict could be displayed on your skin, with a design that evokes memories of lost love, grief and bereavement. Alternatively, you could be sending a message of defiance that says you can conquer such adversity and move forward.
Another popular style that uses daggers and swords is Namakubi tattoos. Namakubi, literally translated from Japanese, means “freshly severed head”. Your instinctive reaction may be that such tattoos are inappropriate and violent, but it’s worth taking a moment to understand the Eastern culture behind them, which is very different to that in the West.
A severed head with a dagger through it may pay homage to the Japanese warrior code, which includes an acceptance of death as part of life. It could also symbolise courage, or respect for your enemies – or it could act as a reminder that death is inevitable, so we should enjoy life while it lasts.
Ultimately, your dagger tattoo meaning will be personal to you. If you choose to wear one of the fantastic temporary tattoos from our range, and wear it prominently, you can guarantee that plenty of people will notice it and want to know why it is special to you.