Tattoo culture has been with us since before Jesus was alive and will still be here when comes back the second time. The art has been practiced by various world cultures for centuries. Ancient Egyptian mummies have been excavated and found bearing tattoos and Julius Caesar (If you know your history well ), came into contact and described Germanic tribes with tattoos and not to mention the Mayans and the Aztecs.

Some cultures believe tattoos offer protection or good luck and some believe they have magical qualities. In this article, we’ll look at the magical quality of teardrop tattoos for men.


Origin of the Teardrop Tattoo

You’re probably familiar with the tattoo placed below the eye; several celebrities have it from rappers to singers to athletes. It was also partially made famous by Johnny Depp in the movie Crybaby which he stars. But why is the teardrop tattoo so popular especially for men? What is its magical quality?

According to street historians, the tattoo originated from prison and it signified the wearer was someone’s sexual slave. The teardrop symbolized the tears one withheld (you couldn’t cry in prison) due to the pain and humiliation one felt after such an emasculating act. To add to the humiliation, it was marked in an open place where it could not be covered and that meant everyone knew.

However, when these teardrop-marked prisoners got out, they were at pains to explain the meaning of their new artwork and had to lie about it. They said they got it after killing someone inside; to recover their street image and this has brought doubts as to the original meaning of the tattoo. With time, teardrop tattoos for men got associated with ‘street cred’ and everyone wanted to have one.

Reception of Teardrop Tattoos for Men in Recent Times

Currently, although the tattoo is still associated with gang life and prison culture, it means different things to different people with some meanings too personal, only known to the wearer. A girlfriend or wife of an inmate can wear it to show solidarity with and pain of losing her loved one. For example, Amy Winehouse got one when her husband Blake Fielder-Civil was remanded at Pentonville prison.

The tattoo can also symbolize the death of a loved one or someone important in a person’s life. Rapper Lil’ Wayne has two teardrops which represent members of his family whose lives have been taken. Fellow rappers The Game and Gucci Mane also have teardrops signifying the death of their friends or crew members. Other celebrities with teardrops are Amar Stoudemire and Ricardo Quaresma, a basketball star, and footballer respectively.

Is a Teardrop Tattoo for You?

Despite the surge in tattoo culture and the relative acceptance across generations, they are still not accepted in the workplace and many employers do not permit visible tattoos. This means that people in the millions world over make an effort to conceal their body art and due to its nature and location, the teardrop is hardly concealable. You would want to carefully consider the line of work you want to get into before you get this tattoo.

Real Examples of Teardrop Tattoos for Men


This teardrop tattoo in particular is interesting, as it’s longer than most of the designs you’d encounter. Looking at the length of the tear and its curves, it would indicate power, or rebellion, rather than sadness or regret, especially with how it goes along with the individual’s stare into the camera.


Teardrop tattoos usually indicate the loss of a friend, or a family member, and sometimes it means going through difficult times in prison, or in life. Either way, the combination of the two tears along with this man’s strong, masculine and somewhat angry look, makes them go along in perfect harmony.


Regret. The first thing that comes to mind when looking at this teardrop, and then looking at the bigger picture all together, the look of his closed eyes, and the indication of regret, sadness and deep thought is perfectly combined. The empty teardrop could have more than one meaning, depending from one person to another, but it usually means that the person holding it failed at attempted murder, or lost a loved one.


A common question that comes to mind when looking at this picture is: “how can a tear and a tough guy get along?” – but this image just proves how much they can get along. The outline stroke to this teardrop is one of the nicest teardrop tat ideas that are out there.


The teardrop tattoo design in this image is interesting, as it’s quite different from the other ones. The teardrop is triangular and doesn’t look like most of the ones out there. And we could also consider the cross as a teardrop as well. It’s a cool design idea.


The teardrop in this image is placed right on the guy’s left cheekbone, which isn’t the usual style you’d see. It’s a nice teardrop tattoos idea for men. Cheekbone tattoos would bring a nice concept for future designs that might get a nice following later on.


The size of this teardrop is larger than average ones, along with the thickness of its outline stroke. It appears to be highlighted from the inside as well. And from the looks of the person holding it, it might have an indication of loss and regret.


Being the only tattoo on his face, with most of his body being inked, makes this one of the most interesting tattoo ideas for men, keeping a clear face with only teardrop tats on it, while the rest of the body has its own tattoos as well.


This teardrop is somewhat distant from the eye of its holder, and since it’s not clearly visible from the shot’s angle, it’s a filled teardrop, matching perfectly with his staring eyes and stiff look. It would be taken from his looks along with his teardrop that this man went through a lot in the past.


A large teardrop with a smaller one beneath is one of the best teardrop tattoo ideas for anyone, honestly. The flow of both teardrops makes them both a perfect match and fit that get along quite well, just like this man’s tats.


The outline of this teardrop tattoo is thicker than most other ones, probably to make up for the fact that this one is empty inside without a fill. Some interesting tattoos ideas come out of empty, or unfilled teardrop tats.


Lil Wayne’s two drops below his right eye, and another dropping below his left eye, indicate the loss of friends. Some people, when they lose a friend or someone that’s close to their hearts, add teardrop tattoos below their eyes.


Teardrop tattoos for guys hold many meanings. This man has four of them. One on top, and three aligned together, with each beneath the other one. The design idea behind multiple teardrops on the face would be a nice match for many people, but wouldn’t work well for everyone.


The stroke outline in this image is different from the rest, as it’s actually thinner than most, while leaving the fill to be the more dominant part of the tattoo itself. But thick or not, what matters is how it applies to the face and whether or not it will match with the person’s identity.


The composition behind this teardrop tattoo is distinctive, due to the curve that the upper part of the teardrop takes. Its outline has a thick stroke due to the fact that it has no filling. An elegant composition behind each design is crucial for perfect tattooing results.


Teardrop tattoos for men are in many looks and shapes, but this style is quite different from the rest. Its artistic filling is different, since we’d usually see a black filling and a black outline, but this one doesn’t have a black outlined stroke, while it has a wine-reddish color.


In this design, there are two tattoos, with one beneath the other. Again, this one’s on the man’s right cheekbone, which is an interesting position to place the tattoos. These teardrops however aren’t curved like most of the teardrops we’ve seen; instead, they have a straighter lining.


Back with the curved teardrop design, this one is quite tiny, with a high emphasis added to the thick outline stroke. There is no filling, but it’s nicely curved in a near-perfect positioning. Thick or bold outlines usually stand out from other ones, especially when the teardrop is empty.


This design is peculiar. The outline is lightly stroked this time, but there’s a large emphasis on the filling itself. The artist who inked this tattoo seems to add a brighter shade to the top of the tear, with darker shading at the bottom.


This teardrop tattoo is different from most that we have seen. It’s inked as if it’s fading, or seeping away gradually, which is an interesting concept behind this inking. It’s lightly shaded, with almost no outline to it at all.


Here, the teardrop has a single line coming out of it at the top, with no thickness. The outline of the rest of the tattoo, however, is pretty thin, which is different from most empty teardrops, since artists usually make them with thicker outlines.


Here, there are two teardrops, one beneath the other, right under the eye itself. The outline is thick, and the filling is light, but this one is quite small and straight, without any curves to it like most of the other tattoos.


Now, this one is extremely different from all that we’ve seen, mainly because of its huge size. The artist laid a large emphasis on the filling instead, making it extremely thick and visible. The concept feels as if the drop is filling from top to bottom.


Three teardrop tattoos that look as though they’re forming a triangular shape – the outline is thick in this one, and the filling is lightly shaded, making some of the man’s skin visible. The alignment of the tattoos is what makes it a nice design.


This one’s a tiny, empty teardrop that looks quite different from other empty ones. The outline feels not thick, but also not thin. It’s balanced. And it looks more like a water drop than a teardrop from the way it’s designed.


This image features a handsome man with a tattooed teardrop dripping down his face; the man appears to be in a sad mood evident by the tear itself. It’s a fascinating image and can be speculated to mean many things; the camera shot places emphasis on the teardrop tattoo rather than the man’s face.


Unlike the previous image, this photo is a portrait of the person with the tear on his face. Photos of teardrop tattoos are usually centered on the tear but this one appears to place importance on the man’s face entirely rather than the image prior. The man is quite stiff and serious looking, this indicates a tough demeanor.


This is another portrait of a man, teardrop tattoo ideas vary greatly in creativity and this image is one of the grain. This photo is zoomed in slightly more than the last image, the man appears to be of African ethnicity and this teardrop tattoo design is known to be highly popular among their culture.


This one is quite unique as it’s been shot in greyscale colors and has the person obscuring his tattoo by placing his elbow over it, you can only see it barely as a result. The man appears to be in mourning, the sad mood is a very popular theme in the realm of teardrop tattoo for men, specifically.


This photo’s focal point is the tattoo itself as it’s in clear and recognizable view, the man rather appears to be in a proud mood, unlike the common mood of sadness that’s commonly depicted in teardrop tattoos for guys. The bandanna works with the tattoo to create a truly palpable image.


This picture starts with the neck, which is riddled with fantastic and vivid tattoo imagery and ends with the man’s face, teardrop and all. The teardrop appears to be a piece missing from the neck art and somehow made its way to the face, perhaps a detached trait is what’s being portrayed here.


This image steers from the usual upfront approach of teardrop photos; here we have a half-body picture of a man with numerous tattoos, one on his elbow, and another on his neck and the final ace with the teardrop on the face. Many will overlook the cigarette but it contributes to the overall theme of hipness within the image.


It’s hard to tell what’s going on here superficially but as you look closer, you will find a man with a tattooed tongue, attempting to appear as an actual woman or lover to this man. This scene expresses the theme of sorrow and remorse for a departed lover; one intends to remedy this by resurrecting the lover in tattoo form. The teardrop isn’t actually on his face but appears as another illusion while his finger sways by, the actual location of the finger.


The teardrop is mostly out of sight in this photo, it resides on the very edge of the image with only a little bit shown. The main event of this picture is the wording on top of the man’s eyebrow; he wants to send a convincing message regarding a specific issue. Tattoo ideas for Men commonly have an underlying message or motive.


This image also appears to be of a cunning nature as it tries to trick you into thinking the teardrop is on the man’s face but rather (like a prior image), it situates on his finger and the positioning gives the mirage of a facial teardrop. This is a portrait photo and doesn’t emphasize any point or aspect but intends to highlight everything in the grand scheme sort of way.


This image is a rather special representation of desperation; the man appears to be exhausted from a certain string of events and is clinging onto his last hopes of salvation. The teardrop is quite big and close to his eye, indicating an internal and severe struggle between good and evil. Tattoos ideas can produce a wealth of emotions, both for the viewer and the creator.


The hoodie in this photo takes up a majority of the space, the ghetto or hood seems to be the intended the message here and that it causes sadness, tears and hardship. The man’s face is hidden, perhaps to cover up any scars caused by a thug-centric life. Gangsters are an extremely exposed topic in the media and that influence could produce an interesting teardrop tattoos idea.


This photo has a man with a black hat, perhaps hinting at a dark life. Along with his pierced lip, this makes for the perfect Goth concept. It’s a cool image and has “rebellious” written all over it, the finger teardrop is in play here and has you scratching your head initially.


This shows the teeth of a man, mouth wide open for the ultimate portrayal of shock and surprise. The moisture around his eyes gives off the impression of a crying episode which fits in perfectly with double teardrops on his face. This shows that you don’t have to display the eyes to be an emotionally evoking image.


This tattoo image expresses a faux sense of sadness as the man clenches his face for an artificial depiction of the mood, unhappiness. The finger teardrop seems to be as popular as its facial counterpart as it is applied here as well. There’s a mocking vibe here for all those that are currently having feelings of sadness.


This is an intriguing and creative image as it contains teardrop finger and only, the teardrop finger. You could read it as a raindrop rather than a teardrop as there is no face for the spec to land on. The amazing thing about tattoos is you can display a simple image and produce complex questions.


In this photo, the tattoo is at the tip of the man’s finger, an attack on the norm as the tattoo is usually in the middle of the finger. This is a great and unique image as a result, creativity is what is needed in such pictures, he appears to be expressing an imitation of sadness, not the real thing.


This is a photo filled with darkness; the only thing that lights up the image is the individual’s face for an uplifting effect. The man’s face is turned away from the camera, his scars may be so deep that he can’t bear to look at the camera; the teardrop is extremely dark and almost appears as a dot at first sight.


This is a group photo of three men with teardrops on their fingers, it gives off the feeling of crying in unity, you may not have anything but you have each other, if it’s any consolation. The image is centered on the man in the middle, perhaps he is the hero of the group, the leader.


This photo has a man with his eyes closed, a suffering that seems to be so deep that he can’t bear to stand against it. This is a cool concept of dread with the black background and shut eyes, the torture is never ending.


The background in this photo is a pitch black, the man’s beard and shirt are also entirely black, and perhaps the background is consuming him. An aura of nothingness or emptiness seems to be the theme here; this man also uses the finger teardrop to express his feelings.


This picture goes against the grain in more ways than one, the man is exhibiting a feeling of happiness and joy, and this goes against the meaning of a teardrop, which has a cool placed on his finger. The daytime background is also something to be noted, the whole still scene represents positivity.


This is a greyscale photo of a single man with doubled amount of finger teardrops; another imitation of the sadness, his right elbow has a jumbled mess of tattooing. Oppositely, the teardrops appear in proper proportions and positioning.


This photo appears to be one of religious content; the man is looking to the skies above, perhaps for forgiveness with a teardrop tattooed on his face. Numerous tattoos have religious undertones and it’s no surprising to see that this one does too.


This is an aggressive photo of a man in a stable stance, seemingly rebelling against some higher-order. Dark color tones dominate the spaces, with a large array of tattooing all over his body and a slew of teardrops planted on his fist for ultimate effect. Fight the power!