Cool Chinese character tattoo or lifetime laughing stock?

As a language person I know all too well how difficult it is to translate perfectly from one language to another. This is why for many Westerners who are getting Chinese characters tattooed I will advise they should be careful. For one, those doing the tattoo may not be telling you the truth. Secondly, what seems fine in standalone translation may backfire when put in some kind of context. This article is a good introduction to this topic. I have seen some pretty funny tattoos and t-shirt meanings.

The moral of the story is if you don’t fully know what it means you should not let it go near your skin.