What does a lamb tattoo mean? Sheepish ink trends on TikTok

Eve Edwards December 21, 2022
What does a lamb tattoo mean? Sheepish ink trends on TikTok
Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

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This month has seen interest in lamb tattoos rise as TikTok users search for the meaning behind this adorable ink.

Over the past year, we’ve seen a number of TikTok users uncover the hidden meanings behind popular tattoo designs. From a dainty butterfly outline to the figure of Aphrodite, having such symbols inked on your body can clue in other tattoo enthusiasts to a widely known hidden meaning, revealing something about yourself or your past.

The latest ink to trend on the social media platform is the tattoo of a sheep or a lamb. As users question what this design means, we take a deep dive into all the interpretations of the trending ink.

Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images

TikTok users refuse to give meaning to lamb tattoo

Interest in the meaning behind a lamb tattoo has risen after a TikTok user shared a video about getting the design. The user posted the video on December 20, which has been viewed over 1 million times as of publication date.

In the video’s text, it reads “the inside of my brain knowing that I have to say ‘IDK I just really like sheep’ now that I have this tattoo,” alongside audio of a woman screaming in distressed.

Without providing the meaning of the tattoo, this had many users in the comments speculating on what the sheep design could represent. The TikTok user who posted the video confirmed that they got the design of a lamb just because they like the animal, rather than there being some hidden meaning, as we’ve seen with other tattoo designs.

@babyyodaextremist2

i have already had to say this 5 times it feels so cringe

♬ original sound – B8RAY

Twilight lovers revisit ‘lion and lamb’ tattoo designs

When prompted to give a meaning behind their lamb tattoo, some TikTok users suggested to the original poster that they say they were inspired by Twilight.

One of the most iconic quotes from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight saga comes from our protagonist’s ultimate love interest, Edward Cullen. In the first novel, and screen adaptation, Edward says to Bella: “And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…” She then responds with “What a stupid lamb,” before Edward adds, “What a sick, masochistic lion.”

A number of Twilight fans have shared their ‘lion and lamb’ tattoos on social media, showing the strength in the Twilight fandom, over 17 years since the first book was published.

Christianity offers alternate meaning to lamb tattoo

While Twilight can serve as a meaning for a lamb tattoo, its meaning can also be found in Christian faith.

In the Christian Bible, the ‘Lion and the Lamb’ passage is found in Revelation 5:5-6. The symbols of the lion and the lamb are used to refer to Jesus Christ in two states. The lamb reflects Christ’s sacrifice, the lion represents Christ resurrected.

As the Lion of Judah, Christ fulfils the prophecy of Genesis 49:9 and is the subsequent Messiah would would come from the Tribe of Judah. As the Lamb of God, Christ is the ultimate sacrifice for sin.

Are we reading too deep into tattoo meaning?

A tattoo is an incredibly personal thing. The ink can stay on your body forever and becomes as much a part of you as your hair color, style, fashion sense, and is representative of your personality. As such, many people believe that all tattoos bear some significance or meaning to the individual they’re inked on. However, this is not always the case.

Recent months have seen TikTok taken over by tattoo lovers searching for deeper meanings to body art. But what about the individuals who get tattoos for the fun of it, or simply because they like the design?

The viral TikTok video about the sheep tattoo raises questions about whether we’re reading too deep into the meanings of tattoo designs. So, maybe a sheep tattoo can just be a sheep tattoo, without having to reveal any personal secrets.

Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
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Eve Edwards is a staff writer for The Focus who has been with GRV Media since April 2019. Having gained a BA (Hons) in History from the University of Bristol, Eve joined GRV starting out as a writer for Reality Titbit before making her way over to HITC. With a passion for music, TV, and cultural news, Eve eventually found a home at The Focus. Eve spent 2021-2022 freelancing for GRV Media while she completed a Masters in Music Performance, and brings her wide array of interests to the company in her written work. In Eve's spare time you'll find her working her way through the day's Wordle, Heardle, and Quordle, or struggling to complete The Guardian's cryptic crossword.