11 Small Tattoos With Big Meaning

Looking to get a new tattoo? Or want to get your first tattoo but aren’t sure what to get? Check out these 11 small tattoos with big meaning for inspiration.

Across the country, 36 percent of people have tattoos. Lucky you — you can use their designs to inspire your future ink.

At the very least, you know that you want not only a small piece of body art, but one that has a significant meaning behind it, too. Lots of others have hit the tattoo parlor with the same aim. They’ve walked away with stunning-but-small works of art.

Their tattoos prove that you can convey a heartfelt message with even the tiniest bit of ink. Here are 11 examples, all of which can serve as potential ideas for your next session.

1. Semicolon

The semicolon is a prime example of small tattoos with big meanings. When you read a semicolon, it indicates that the sentence continues after the pause.

As such, semicolon tattoos have come to represent someone who has felt like they might stop but has instead chosen to continue. Semicolon tattoos are often a choice for those who have struggled with their mental health or addiction. It’s also a sign of support for suicide prevention.

2. Paper Crane or Bird

The delicate paper crane is a symbol of peace, and it also represents an easygoing personality. A paper crane would blow with the wind and go with the flow. Once you have it tattooed, it can remind you to do the same.

The same goes for a bird tattoo. A small symbol of a winged creature is also symbolic of freedom.

3. Cross

A tattoo can be extremely meaningful if it aligns with your personal beliefs. In this case, you might consider a small cross tattoo as a nod to your Christian faith.

Of course, there are plenty of spiritual tattoo ideas out there. Your tattoo artist can shrink them down, so they fit behind the ear, on your hand, or somewhere else that requires a small tattoo.

4. Viking Symbol

You might be surprised to see someone suggest you get a Viking tattoo. But this trio of upside-down triangles fits right in on the list of small, meaningful tattoos.

As it turns out, the three shapes are meant to show that you create your own destiny. Need that little reminder on your wrist? Try the Viking symbol tattoo.

5. Line of Elephants

This small tattoo symbol would undoubtedly mean a lot to a mother who’s looking for new ink.

Female elephants take their role as mothers very seriously. They fiercely protect their young and the little ones in their herd. You do the same with your brood, of course.

If you have yet to become a parent, the elephant tattoo could still have meaning to you. Some look to the elephant as a symbol of strength, patience, and honor.

6. The Sun

The world would not exist without the sun. You may feel like a small part of the universe, and technically you are. But a sun tattoo can build you up to feel like the giant star that you are.

Everyone can make a difference and a sun tattoo signifies that you, too, can change the world.

7. Quill and Ink

Do you love to write? If so, a pair of small tattoos can tell the world exactly who you are — a writer.

The quill and ink tattoo would work on your hands or wrists. Or, you could let the motif inspire your next friendship tattoo. You get the quill, and your best friend gets the ink — together, you are complete.

8. Deer With Antlers

Young deer don’t have antlers — it takes years for them to grow. Once they have them, they are strong and protected. They can stand up for themselves against other deer.

Choosing a deer tattoo will show that you, too, have grown up — and grown strong. You can pop the small silhouette of a deer head on the back of your neck, inside of your wrist, or on your foot to remind you of just how powerful you really are.

9. Diamond

On a similar note, you might consider etching a diamond shape into your skin.

In the world of small, meaningful tattoos, the gemstone is of note, and not because of how expensive it is. Instead, a diamond represents superior strength — it’s virtually impossible to scratch or crack a diamond.

Because you’re just as strong, celebrate your resilience with a sweet diamond tattoo.

10. Anchor

When ships reach a harbor, they drop their anchor. The small-but-mighty piece of metal gives them the strength to stay put, even when the water gets choppy.

Who’s your anchor? A small tattoo of the symbol could represent the person who makes you feel stable and secure. Or, you could get it to signify your ability to weather the storm.

11. Heart

The Beatles said it best – “Love is all you need.” As such, you don’t need a big, intricate, or clever tattoo to express yourself. You just need a heart.

Your tiny heart tattoo can represent how much you love your life, family or friends. It’s up to you to decipher the meaning, but a small heart can say a lot. And a small rendition of the shape will remind you that your heart is actually pretty big.

Explore Even More Tattoos With Big Meaning

You don’t need a massive tattoo to send a message — these 11 small tattoos with big meaning prove that. All you have to do is decide which design best represents the story you want to tell, whether it be one of our ideas or one of your own. Then, find a tattoo artist who can bring it to life.

Want to get all of our tips and tricks for finding and getting the perfect tattoo? Keep up with our blog for expert advice.

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