Tattoo/skank color meanings (1 Viewer)

Patch4525

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I know this is stupid but y'all know the common tattoos that many travelers have? (Arrow, squatters rights symbol, train tracks, etc.) ...are there specific meanings to all of these common symbols? Like are these trophies, badges of honor and stripes for accomplishing specific things as a traveler? Similarly to how a tear drop tattoo is for taking a life. Like, i want my train track tattoo but are you only supposed to get that shit if youve done something fuckin specific like ridden from coast to coast 5 times back and forth while wearing the color purple?

Different colored skanks i get told sometimes carry certain meanings as well. Like youre only supposed to wear a black skank if youve ridden a train through the mountains in the snow. Idk what to believe cuz y'all be making so much shit up sometimes just to hear yourselves talk.

I need answers

Also why the fuck do so many of you like cacti tattood to your face. Like a literal cactus. Is there a point to any of this or are y'all just having fun with sharpies...
 
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Brodiesel710

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I know this is stupid but y'all know the common tattoos that many travelers have? (Arrow, squatters rights symbol, train tracks, etc.) ...are there specific meanings to all of these common symbols? Like are these trophies, badges of honor and stripes for accomplishing specific things as a traveler? Similarly to how a tear drop tattoo is for taking a life. Like, i want my train track tattoo but are you only supposed to get that shit if youve done something fuckin specific like ridden from coast to coast 5 times back and forth while wearing the color purple?

Different colored skanks i get told sometimes carry certain meanings as well. Like youre only supposed to wear a black skank if youve ridden a train through the mountains in the snow. Idk what to believe cuz y'all be making so much shit up sometimes just to hear yourselves talk.

I need answers

Also why the fuck do so many of you like cacti tattood to your face. Like a literal cactus. Is there a point to any of this or are y'all just having fun with sharpies...
The only tattoos I have that hold real meaning to me is one from a friend and a dog that died, and I have Buz Blurs cowboy hat streak on my forearm.

There is SOME truth to the bandana skank thing, but it's only in practice among very obscure circles. Most of the tats begin as a inside jokes, turned bad tattoo you get while drunk or on the road. There are no rules really. The squatter symbol, 211, Circle A, train tracks (ladder tat), Crass logo, dots under the eyes, we assign meaning to these images based off of values we hold dear within the subculture. The psychology is rooted in love, belonging/acceptance. It's like the teenager that grew up riding dirt bikes and fuckin loves Monster energy drinks or Mopar truck parts he gets those tattooed, they serve as placeholders for his lifestyle and values. Sub cultural phenomenons really.
 

Brodiesel710

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I know this is stupid but y'all know the common tattoos that many travelers have? (Arrow, squatters rights symbol, train tracks, etc.) ...are there specific meanings to all of these common symbols? Like are these trophies, badges of honor and stripes for accomplishing specific things as a traveler? Similarly to how a tear drop tattoo is for taking a life. Like, i want my train track tattoo but are you only supposed to get that shit if youve done something fuckin specific like ridden from coast to coast 5 times back and forth while wearing the color purple?

Different colored skanks i get told sometimes carry certain meanings as well. Like youre only supposed to wear a black skank if youve ridden a train through the mountains in the snow. Idk what to believe cuz y'all be making so much shit up sometimes just to hear yourselves talk.

I need answers

Also why the fuck do so many of you like cacti tattood to your face. Like a literal cactus. Is there a point to any of this or are y'all just having fun with sharpies...
And then theres Post Malone.
 
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Here's the very official guide to understanding hobo symbology

Bandana Colours
Black = you have worked as a blacksmith
Green = you're an anarcho-primitivist
Blue = you're a LA Dodgers fan and fuck you
Orange = you're a SF Giants fan and bless you
Purple = you've harvested eggplants or plums over the course of a summer (must be summer; if you've harvested them in any other season you don't wear a bandana but instead a oval-shaped patch sewn to your hat)
Pink = you work for Mary Kay
White = you are a Southern California bro (must only worn when driving lifted trucks)
Red = you purchased your bandana from a railroad museum or Amazon

Tattoos
a tattoo like this points to what you desire the most
a tattoo like this is a 21st century adaptation of "the mark of Zorro"
a tattoo like this is for aficionados of the American Dream -- these are some of the most dangerous people to meet on the road because they believe in nuclear families. Avoid at all costs!
if the wearer is white, any face tattoos like this are nothing more than fun ways to appropriate non-white culture (if non-white, it might actually have some cultural significance, but don't ask about it because what kind of person asks someone what their tattoos mean?)
a tattoo like this indicates a person who belongs to the higher echelons of social status
cactus tattoo = that person has taken the life of a cactus
211 tattoo = that person is a metallurgist

I hope this clears things up!
 
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Patch4525

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Here's the very official guide to understanding hobo symbology

Bandana Colours
Black = you have worked as a blacksmith
Green = you're an anarcho-primitivist
Blue = you're a LA Dodgers fan and fuck you
Orange = you're a SF Giants fan and bless you
Purple = you've harvested eggplants or plums over the course of a summer (must be summer; if you've harvested them in any other season you don't wear a bandana but instead a oval-shaped patch sewn to your hat)
Pink = you work for Mary Kay
White = you are a Southern California bro (must only worn when driving lifted trucks)
Red = you purchased your bandana from a railroad museum or Amazon

Tattoos
a tattoo like this points to what you desire the most
a tattoo like this is a 21st century adaptation of "the mark of Zorro"
a tattoo like this is for aficionados of the American Dream -- these are some of the most dangerous people to meet on the road because they believe in nuclear families. Avoid at all costs!
if the wearer is white, any face tattoos like this are nothing more than fun ways to appropriate non-white culture (if non-white, it might actually have some cultural significance, but don't ask about it because what kind of person asks someone what their tattoos mean?)
a tattoo like this indicates a person who belongs to the higher echelons of social status
cactus tattoo = that person has taken the life of a cactus
211 tattoo = that person is a metallurgist

I hope this clears things up!

Lmao wtf
 

Desperado Deluxe

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I think a lot of it is what system you rode most often
Blue- UP
Red/orange- Santa fe
Green- great northern
Black- NS
Yellow/gold- csx

So im going to add that from what I remember is a green rag (often mistaken for black) was very coveted and could cost you if you didn't actually ride those lines. And if you wore a concho it meant you were in a gang.

I think this tradition is more of a western US thing or the one im more familiar with because who do really ever see sporting a yellow rag like it's a thing and black rags commonly considered a neutral color.

And this might be a bit of a stretch but the term "green lighting" might have to do with the riders on great northern lines being notorious for their brutality.
 
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