Tattoos and Body Art
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What is the difference between a sparrow and swallow tattoo?

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Answered 2009-07-29 01:27:44

the main difference is that the birds are two different species. A sparrow is a small, brown-grey colored bird. A swallow is a larger blue bird with red cheeks and a greyish-white breast. the two tattoos also have separate meanings: a sparrow tattoo is very rare and may have a religious meaning (the passage from the Gospel of Matthew referred to below). the swallow is related to sailing and is on earliest record in the 1500's, though it probably has much more ancient roots. Sailors get their first swallow after their first 5,000 miles at sea and their second after their first 10,000. Typically, they will get a banner put between the two and add nautical stars for each 5,000 after that (On a separate note, after a sailor crosses the equator, he will traditionally get a tattoo of a tortoise shell or Neptunis Rex (King Neptune) on his back). The swallow tattoo is also used as a good-luck charm because swallows have long been known to travel long distances over land and sea, but always return to the same place for the mating season. Thus, the sailors believed that not only would the swallows bring them home safely, but if they were to die at sea, the swallows would carry them to home to heaven. It is also known that the swallow can have very different connotations outside of the shipyards. Some prisoners will tattoo sparrows on themselves when they get out representing their freedom. Fighters have been known to tattoo sparrows on their fists as a charm to make their punch faster (i.e. "these fists fly"), and white supremecists (especially in British and Commonwealth prisons) use them to advertise themselves as being such. All this being said, most of the time tattoos mean what you say they mean. I asked a few tattoo artists and think that they are one in the same I'm not too sure about the swallow tattoos because I haven't researched them. From the previous posts it seems as though they have a sailing history behind them. Apparently swallows were seen by sailors as they were returning to land. The swallows would be the first sign letting the sailors know they would be returning home. I have read that they also may have signified the distance traveled by sailors, usually great distances. As far as the sparrow tattoos I've always known of them as a religious tattoo and nothing else. Although I guess a tattoo can mean whatever you want it to. I 've never heard of them being related to sailing or white supremacy. Luke 12:6-7 and Matthew 10:29-31 explain how God will not forget one single sparrow and how each hair on your head is numbered so you are more valuable than many sparrows. It explains how God cares for every one of us and no one will be forgotten.

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What is the symbolic difference between a one sparrow and a two sparrow tattoo?

One tattoo has an extra sparrow!Sailors would get them after traveling 50,000 nautical miles.

What would be a good tattoo to go with swallow birds?

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Is there a difference in the symbolism of sparrow swallow and bluebird tattoos?

I'm pretty sure there is no difference. the bluebird is a swallow (the tattoo swallow is based upon the Barn Swallow, the most common type of swallows. the Barn Swallow has a white/yellow/red belly and face, and blue back, so dark that it looks like black, but in the reflection of the sun you'll see that it's blue. that's why the swallow is mostly tattooed blue, and that's also why it's often referred to as the bluebird. I can't say I've ever gotten a real answer to any sort of difference between a tattoo sparrow and a tattoo swallow, apart from color. which pretty much means that they're all the same..

What does a sparrow and star tattoo symbolize?

The sparrow and star tattoo symbolizes lost love or love that is lost to death. It can also symbolize the loss of a dream. The swallow and star can also symbolize a long journey over the ocean.

Meaning of the love sparrow tattoo?

The sparrow tattoo means symbolize undying love, freedom , loyalty and commitment to one person. The sparrow tattoo on you are means you are bound by no rules and was often endorsed by the mafia.

What does it mean if you get a single sparrow for a tattoo is it different than getting 2?

yes. you have to travel 3,000 miles (i think its 3000) before getting a sparrow/swallow tattoo, then another 3,000 before you can get a second one, and so on. also, it cant be blue until you've crossed the equator

Sparrow with olive branch tattoo?

A tattoo that includes a sparrow with an olive branch symbolizes freedom, and peace. An olive branch symbolizes peace, and the sparrow freedom.

Where could one get a sparrow tattoo?

It is possible to get a sparrow tattoo from many tattoo studios. It is not possible to be specific as there are many different companies and studios depending on your location.

What is the difference between a peacock mermaid tattoo and a normal mermaid tattoo?

The difference between a peacock mermaid tattoo and a normal mermaid tattoo is clearly that one has a a peacock in it wheres the other does not.

Does the symbolism of a sparrow tattoo change if the bird is in flight or not in flight?

I really don't think so. a dead swallow might symbolize loss of hope, as a flying swallow often symbolizes hope of returning soon (for a sailor, that is)

What is the meaning behind a sparrow tattoo?

To me a sparrow represents freedom, but everyone has their own meanings.

Is one sparrow tattoo bad luck?


What does a sparrow tattoo on the forearm mean?

Many people get swallow tattoos and sparrow tattoos mixed up. If you associate sparrow tattoos with a sailor he may get very upset with you. Many people use them interchangeably but there is a big difference. The majority of the bird tattoos that you see are swallows although many people call them sparrows. Learn the difference before getting the tattoo. The birds themselves are very different. A swallow is a very common species. It has a beautiful blue color, with a long forked tail and curved, pointed wings. Sparrows are small, plump brown-grey birds with short wings. These are very different birds to be confused so easily. You very rarely see true sparrow tattoos. If you do see sparrow tattoos, they are usually expressing some type of religious reference. Paraphrasing Matthew 10:29-31, Do not two sparrows sell for little value? Yet not one will fall to the ground without our Father's knowledge.... Therefore have no fear. Ye are of more value than many sparrows. On the other hand, swallow tattoos are very popular. These are the birds connected to sailors. Swallows tend to stay close to land so when a sailor would see a swallow, he knew that land was close. Another trait of the swallow is to return to the same mating place year after year. Sailors felt swallow tattoos were a charm to make sure they returned back home safely. Swallow tattoos were also a sign of how seasoned a sailor was. New sailors would get their first tattoo after 5,000 miles at sea, then another after the next 5,000 miles. After that nautical star tattoos were used., love

What is the meaning of the sparrow tattoo on the shoulders?

It means that your a true hot boy

Is a sparrow and swallow the same bird?

No.A sparrow is a member of the Passeridea family. They are small roundish birds of brown and gray coloring with short, blunt tails and a short, powerful "seed-eater's" beak.When used as a tattoo design the sparrow usually means freedom, fun, and a young & enthusiastic spirit.A swallow is a member of the Pseudochelidoninaefamily. They are small slender birds with long, pointed wing & tail shapes, and a small sharp beak designed to catch insects "on the fly."When used as a tattoo design the swallow usually means a safe return home, from travel or in the sense of a "safe harbor" in life.Note: As tattoos are very personal, it is not wise to assume any specific meaning for any symbol, to be sure ask the person wearing it.

What does a sparrow tattoo on a girl mean?

A sparrow is a symbol indicating she has found her true love. It is also a nautical symbol, meanign good luck.

Where to see captain jack sparrow back tattoo?

i dont think he has one

Where should you get a swallow tattoo if you lost a family member?

your ankle

Does a sparrow tattoo behind the ear signify a gay sailor?

Sailors got sparrow tattoos to remind them that sparrows always find their way home.

What does a swallow rose tattoo symbolize?

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Where can one find a swallow design for a tattoo?

One can find a swallow design for a tattoo on various birdwatching forums online. A dedicated agent will be happy to help you find more information on their official website.

What does swallow tattoo on your neck mean?

it means you blue like 67 men

What can i put with my sparrow tattoo?

A tree branch with tiny flowers and a little nest would look nice.

What gang have swallow tattoo.?

the swallow tattoo is a traditional naval tattoo. many sailors would get swallows/sparrows on their chest. one swallow would represent 5000 nautical miles traveled and a second would be 5000 more. they also were known to symbolize the end of a journey. mainly because sparrows were the first sign of land and would let the sailors know they are almost home.

What does the swallow tattoo mean?

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