The semicolon is a convenient kind of punctuation. This combination of a period and a comma is used when the writer could have finished one sentence and started another but chose not to. They link two seemingly separate ideas into one. It is a way of saying “It could have ended here, but I choose for it not to. I would rather the story went on.”
With such usefulness in written language, you’d be forgiven for wondering what it could possibly mean as a tattoo. If you’ve been observant enough you’ll have noticed all the tattoo parlors offering semicolon tattoos for women and the growing trend of women sporting these tattoos in various parts of their bodies, from the napes of their necks to their ankles. What does it all mean? When and how did this trend start?
The Semicolon Tattoo – Where It Began
The story of the semicolon tattoo began with one woman’s brave way of dealing with a deep loss. Amy Bleuel lost her father to suicide in 2013. He had been battling with depression before the suicide and so had she. It was understandably a great loss and most people would just have caved in.
It is one thing to lose someone close to suicide due to a mental illness. It’s a whole other thing when you’re suffering from depression yourself. And yet Amy decided not to let that be the end for her. She could have chosen to end everything there and then, but decided instead to continue. What should have been a period turned into a semicolon and life went on. That was the birth of Project Semicolon.
The Rise in Popularity of Semicolon Tattoos for Women
Amy Bleuel’s tattoo spread to other women. Semicolon tattoos began spreading and are now a symbol of hope to women as well as men everywhere. Project Semicolon started as a social media campaign that was dedicated to giving people hope and encouragement that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It was especially directed at people suffering from mental illness, addiction, depression, and self-injury.
They originally had a day of the year when people would draw a semicolon on their body and showcase it via a photograph. It quickly caught on, however, and drawing naturally evolved into tattoos.
Eventually, the project became part of a greater effort to help people suffering from a mental illness directly or indirectly. Millions of Americans suffer from mental illness, and yet the subject is still considered taboo. It’s very easy to talk about other kinds of illnesses in public, to friends, on TV… People have no qualms talking about sexually transmitted infections on reality TV. Mental illness, however, remains a silent killer that people would rather not mention at all.
The semicolon tattoo acts as a convenient starting point. You see it on someone’s body and you become naturally curious about why they got it. What was their motivation? This will make you ask about it and the conversation will start there. It’s much easier to open up about one’s struggles as part of a casual explanation about the motivations for getting a tattoo.
The semicolon isn’t just about mental illness, however. It has evolved in the 4 years since the trend began into something much greater and more powerful. It is now a statement of continuation from whatever one has faced in the past. It says: I know I might be going through hell; I’ll keep going to the very end and emerge victorious.
Best Examples of Semicolon Tattoos for Women
This tattoo depicts a single semicolon tattoo on the nape. The tattoo is imprinted in plain black. Given the use of a semicolon as punctuation, this signifies a link to two independent human parts; the head and the body.
This tattoo illustrates a heart pendant. A golden key is tied to the pendant by a purple ribbon. The heart is filled with red ink with a black semicolon inscribed inside. The semicolon is imprinted in between two stems of flowers.
This tattoo on the wrist shows a word warrior underlined by an arrow below. The term warrior is colorless as well as the arrow. A semicolon is symbolically used instead of a letter “I” in the warrior. The semicolon is highlighted as this is imprinted in black and the rest are colorless.
This tattoo shows a picture of an infinity symbol tattooed on the wrist. The infinity symbol is imprinted in black. A semicolon then is added at the center. The dot is placed on the top and the comma underneath where the infinity symbol intertwined. The semicolon is marked in blue green.
This is one of the semicolon tattoo ideas that convey the symbol’s meaning. The semicolon is imprinted on the wrist in plain black ink. It is big enough for the quote “My story isn’t over” to be printed on the right alongside it. All the imprints are in plain black.
The tattoo depicts a meaningful semicolon imprinted in plain black on the wrist. It is emphasizing tattooed inside a colorful watermark. The background colors came in an ombre of several colors such as red, blue, green, yellow green, orange and yellow.
This tattoo shows a three broad strings or lines braced on the wrist. The top string/line is cut in the middle by a period and the bottom line is disconnected in the middle by a semicolon. This tattoo is all imprinted in plain black ink.
This tattoo sends out a very meaningful message. A black semicolon is imprinted at the center. Behind it is a splash of bluish gray ink. At the top of the symbol, the words “And so” is imprinted in black. Similarly, the terms “I kept living” is imprinted below the semicolon. The words are all in plain black.
This picture shows a tattoo of a semicolon imprinted on the arm. The semicolon tattoo design is followed by the deep yet meaningful phrase “this too shall pass” alongside it. All of these prints are tattooed in plain black ink.
This is one of those semicolon tattoos that literally use the symbol’s meaning. Given that a semicolon signifies a continuation of a sentence or phrase, the tattoo on this symbol represents hope. The semicolon is followed by the words “not ended”. Everything is imprinted in black.
This is one of tattoo ideas for women that make use of a semicolon. The semicolon is aesthetically imprinted wherein the upper dot appeared as a sun and the lower comma is a combination of a crescent and a falling star. It is artistically done to depict a semicolon. It is imprinted in plain black.
This tattoo illustrates an arrow creatively mixed with a selection of symbols. The arrowhead is a triangle filled with purple ink. The shaft has intertwining lines imprinted in black. The fletching is filled with a combination of blue and purple. At the middle of the shaft is a multi-petaled flower in purple and blue too. Found underneath is a semicolon imprinted in black.
This tattoo is imprinted on the wrist. The word “continue” is meaningfully braced on the wrist in plain black ink. A semicolon is symbolically used in place of the letter “I” in the word continue. This tattoo signifies hope and faith.
This is one of those semicolon tattoos for women who want it simple yet deep. This is a plain drawing of a moth. The wings are drawn in black and unfilled. The body is substituted by a semicolon. The thorax is the dot and the abdomen is the comma.
This tattoo stamped on the wrist makes use of a semicolon symbol. It is but one punctuation symbol yet it can convey scores of meaning. The semicolon is imprinted in a splat of black. The dot and comma are both filled in black with the inner part colorless.
This tattoo is imprinted on the arm. This is one of those tattoos with semicolon that uses the word “continue”. It is inscribed in plain black ink. The artist uses a semicolon instead of the letter “I” in the word continue.
This is usually one of those semicolon tattoos for girls who want to keep it discreet. A small semicolon symbol is tattooed on the inner part of the pointer finger, specifically, the side before the middle finger. It is imprinted in plain black ink.
This tattoo is imprinted on the forearm starting from the wrist and just below the elbow pit. It is a picture of a quill artistically drawn. The calamus or the quill part is replaced by a semicolon symbol. The barbs or the feathery parts are visually splatted with colors of purple and blue.
This is one of those tattoos ideas that are simple and plain. The tattoo shows a line with several inter twined parts. This is usually seen in calligraphic or border designs. A semicolon is imprinted at the top of it. Everything is inscribed in plain black ink.
This tattoo depicts a stem with flowers and leaves. The stem is imprinted in green ink and the flowers are in color pinkish peach. A prominent semicolon symbol in bold black can be seen at the middle of the stem.
This is one of those semicolon tattoos idea that make use of different color combinations. The splat tattoo is an ombre of colors blue, red, yellow, green and black. A semicolon is emphasized in the splat as the symbol is formed in the unfilled portion of the black part.
This is a tattoo of a semicolon artistically done in mandala design. This tattoo is imprinted unfilled on the forearm in plain black ink. Mandala refers to an intricate or multifaceted abstract design. In Sanskrit, the term mandala means “circle”.
This tattoo depicts a picture of an arrow. The arrowhead and the fletching are filled with faded black ink. Found in the middle which disconnects the shaft is a semicolon drawn horizontally. The words “Keep Moving” is imprinted at the top of the arrow. Written at the bottom is the word “Forward”. Everything is in black.
This tattoo is imprinted on the upper left part of the chest. This one is simple yet nice to look at. The tattoo is a small heart filled with blots of black. The unfilled portion at the center of the heart forms a semicolon.
This tattoo is a picture of a heart imprinted in black with a background in ombre colors of blue and purple. The heart is unfilled and found on the right side of it is a semicolon. To be precise, another half of the heart on the right is replaced by a semicolon. Blots of black are splattered on the background.
Sitting beautifully on the flower concept, this semicolon tattoo says that you have seen good days and you look forward to the future with even more optimism. The yellow and purples hues of color also show that other than being a determined individual who does not give up, you are girly and carefree on the inside.
The different hues of color make this semicolon tattoos idea for girls a real spectacle to watch and be fascinated with. The past though has not been any good and the punctuation shows that life is not over yet. The beautiful hues of color show hope and optimism that tomorrow will be brighter.
You did not grasp those tough chemical equations and reactions in high school and maybe that made you flunk badly in school. But hey, life continues. This girl tattoo style says that life cannot be stopped by trivial things that happened in the past, no you are a warrior and will fight till you triumph.
This is a truly juxtaposing tattoo with the caricature of the Snitch combined with the lightning symbol, both originating from the popular Harry Potter books and movie franchise, forming a semicolon pattern – a great tattoo for any Harry Potter fan.
“Love and friendship rend the air” is the message that runs over this tattoo. Reinforced with a perfect epitaph “Our story isn’t over yet”, the tattoo depicts you as a person who is ready to do anything to protect your relationships with others. Despite what may have happened in the past, this tattoo shows that you are the bigger gentle lady and are ready to bury the hatchet.
Buried deep in you intimate body parts, this colorful semicolon tattoo design shows that no matter what the world might think of you, you are ready to collect yourself from where you failed and head on as a headstrong girl. The tattoo would also come out as a surprise for your better half during intimacy when they discover how much you hold tenaciously to the relationship and are not ready to let go just yet.
A thumbprint to accentuate the semicolon style, this imprint shows that you are authentic and are ready to grab life by the horns. You relish every moment that you exist and will not be cowered by the dark past.
The infinite tattoo concept is here superimposed with the semicolon design to show a deep connection and belief in spiritual beings. The entire tattoo drawing shows that were it not for your spiritual background, you would have crumbled but you believed and persisted and that is why your life is still intact.
The semicolon tattoos for girls here has a dash of creativity stemming from the flock of birds that are emanating from it. Yes, the past has not been any rosy but the future is dotted with hope, regeneration and a newfound freedom as evidenced by the beautiful flock of birds as they fly in the sky.
The kaleidoscope of colors marking out the love heart symbol punctuated by a semi colon shows that things might not be going too well in your life and relationships. You being the bold fighter that you are though are not ready to just give up—you will continue fighting on.
“And so she goes on”. As you mull over that beautiful and strong motto on this tattoo, it is you that the bearer could have faced all types of life oddities: suicidal attempts, business failure, and relationship problems to breaking away with her parents. However, she still goes on. The challenges were just semi-colons; she is yet to give up in life.
Hidden within the middle of the fingers, these cross and semicolon symbols show that your life has not been any easy. With religion though, you have been able to collect yourself and are on the path to experience life with joy and gratitude.
Inscribed on the foot, this dark tattoo beautifully contrasts with the skin complexion of the wearer. The same contrast lies in whatever has happened in their past and their decision not be pulled down. “My story isn’t over” is painstakingly drawn to accompany the tattoo showing that the person has indeed been to hell and back but hey—they are moving on still.
The semicolon tattoos concept here show that the person is really indeed spiritual. The past has been tough but through religion and belief in spiritual beings, the person has been able to get a new life. There is also the infinite pattern superimposed with the text “Blessed” to show that the person knows that they are favored.
Standing stoically on this hand, the inscription “continue” with that awesome tattoo ideas for women speaks volumes about the bearer. She has had it rough—taunted and mocked, looked down upon and jeered at, but there is one thing that they could never take away from her—the resolve to continue in life. And so she soldiers on!
Life turbulences have rocked the life of the bearer of this tattoo. Everything in this design seems to be in a disarray and mess. Down there though is a “turn the page” inscription that shows that all is not lost. There is still a new page ahead.
An anchor connected to the love symbol and punctuated by the semicolon tattoo for women, this concept shows that despite what may have happened, you are strong and believe in love. Your life also has a strong support system that held you through those rocky days.
The rendition of the semicolon drawing has never been more beautiful, deep and convincing than this. Accompanied by the drawing of phoenix birds, this tattoo shows that you are struggling through life challenges. They may be tough but you have taken a strong resolve to beat them all. The writing goes on to express this: Choose to keep strong. This too shall pass.
An arrow superimposed with a semicolon symbol, this tattoo shows that you have direction and purpose. At times though, you face odds and have to pause but you never give up. Ideal for that courageous and intrepid lady, this tattoo shows that you have unshakeable will power and will not be swayed by anything.
Drawn on the feet, this semicolon tattoo ideas bears a blank page book with a semicolon appearing on it. While one might think that the writings on the book are done with, the semicolon shows that things are yet to come. The representation shows that you are the author of your life and a semicolon is just but a pause and not the end.
A beaten down flower with its petals torn and faded is accompanied by the semicolon symbol to show that despite the dilapidation of the flower is not final—it still stands a great chance to be beautiful again. Ideal for that girl who has had it rough in life, the tattoo says that you have seen it all but the journey is not over yet.
From whatever direction you look at this tattoo, there is a semicolon evident. The design shows that your life has turbulences, ups and downs but you have not yet given up on yourself. You continue struggling and waiting till things start looking up for you.
It might have taken all forms of liquid from tears, blood, water and saliva to form this tattoo as the different colors show. However, the bearer is a strong person who weathered it all and came up unscathed, beautiful and determined.
While others are getting their goodies served on a silver platter, you have had it rough. Even your tattoo is rather splashed up as opposed to being neat. But you shrug off all these odds and move ahead. You are the type of girl who does not get carried away by small things.
The flower tattoos ideas accompanying the two semicolons—one at the top with another at the bottom show that life is more than the superficial looks, sudden news and disappointments. The bearer is a deep, meditative person who sees more than meets the eye—they see life in 3D while others see it at face value.