Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

Includes questions related to the use of images, letters and sounds to represent words and phrases.

11,648 Questions
Short Stories
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What are the Symbolisms in The Father by bjornstjerne bjornson?

what is the theme of The Father by BjornstjerneBjornson

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What does seeing a ghostly white wolf signify?

It could mean different things depending on the context.

Did you see it in a dream? Did you see it when you were awake? Was it a vision or a hallucination or is it possible that you saw a real live white wolf?

If you had a dream of a white wolf the interpretation would require more information:

Did the wolf look at you? Did it chase you? How did the wolf make you feel?

What do wolves mean to you personally? Did the wolf have the same feeling as anything else that you can think of?

Dreams are whole-mind experiences -- in order to properly interpret symbols in dreams you have to take your emotions and thoughts about the symbols into account.

If you saw a white wolf in a hallucination it could mean that you are sick. You can tell if it was a hallucination if you were awake when you saw it and other people couldn't see it or if you saw it in a place that it was extremely unlikely that a wolf would be.

History, Politics & Society
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What does iron cross with skull on top mean?

Death. It is an ancient pirate symbol used in flag-form (black flag and white skull and crossbones). They would fly it on the ship as a way of telling their victims they were about to die. A kind of psychological warfare in the slow approach of a sailing ship full of people about to kill you. It was quite effective.

Acronyms & Abbreviations
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What is full form of security?

Full form of Security is:


E-Efficient in work






Y-Yield management

Tattoos and Body Art
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What is the symbolic meaning of a sparrow tattoo?

Back in the days of the tall ships, sailors would get a sparrow tattoo for crossing a sea, i.e., from the US to England. A seaman with 5,000 miles or more under his belt earned the right to a sparrow tattoo. Some called it a swallow. There you go.

More answers from WikiAnswers contributors:

  • It may not mean anything, but I know a lot of men in the UK who have bird tattoos on their hands and wrists have been released from prison. The sparrows symbolize freedom.
  • I know of a gang that gets tattoos like that and they get them because it is their way of showing that they are free to do what they like and don't follow any rules but their own.
  • A sparrow is a symbol of finding your true love.
  • Having three sparrows on my body, one singing a song symbolizing Freedom and the other two diving toward a nautical star representing freedom to love and to find your true love. A sparrow is different from most birds, when they find their soul mate, they stay with them until their life's end.
  • Some tattoo artists get tattoos of sparrows somewhere on their body to draw evil away from their body, because they tattoo demons and anti-religious stuff everyday. They believe it will protect them and keep evil spirits away.
  • A sparrow for a safe journey a sparrow for a safe return and a banner from one beak to the other for every five thousand miles. I'm a sailor, I have sailor tats and the sparrows are a sailor tat. Makes sense though for ex-cons to get them for freedom. I like that idea, too.
  • Sailors earned the right to wear "blue birds of happiness" tattoos on either side of their chest after having crossed the Equator.
  • Sparrows can mean all/any of the following: eternity, luck, innocence. Sparrows are also known for traveling great distances, but always returning home. The way the sparrow is pictured also defines a lot about its' meaning.
  • The tat may have a religious significance. See Matthew 10:29, which reads "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father."
  • I don't think that it has its OWN meaning, when i was 16, my first tattoo was different birds flying up my stomach, each one, to me, represented a family member or close friend of mine that had passed away. The sparrow represents my grandpa, because its said that they are wise birds that "resemble" peace, safety etc..
  • Sparrow (swallows, you may be confused with) are traditional nautical/Navy tattoos that signify that the sailor has traveled a certain amount in his life. Same with Nautical stars.
  • In the old days, before GPS, sailors would follow birds to land. There was an old sailor's legend about one particular captain who would recognize the sparrow as native to his home. The sparrow would signify his coming home. The tattoo is supposed to help lead you home.
  • I have two sparrows on my chest - the devil and the angel symbolizing good and evil in all of us. But I chose sparrows due to the fact that it also symbolized freedom and loyalty. It was like symbolizing " being true to thy self."
  • They are old sailor tattoos. You would get the first one after traveling 5,000 miles and the second after traveling another 5,000.
  • The sparrow tattoo was designed by Sailor Jerry. He also designed/originated the love mom tattoos as well as his own brand of rum.
  • Sparrows symbolize love, dedication and trust. Sparrows mate for life and will always return home no matter how far they travel. They should always be tattooed in pairs. Sparrow tattoos are often confused with Blue swallows. Swallows were often tattooed on sailors to symbolize a safe return home. When a sailor saw a swallow at sea, he knew he was near land. If the swallow is tattooed on the sailor's upper chest near his shoulder, it represents 5,000 nautical miles sailed.
  • I have one sparrow on each side of my neck, one with its head curled back/up and the other with it facing forward. The one looking back/up, to me, means I'm letting go of the past and the one facing forward is the obvious opposite, live in the present and deal with what's coming not what's already gone.
  • Another less-used meaning dates back to Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians associated sparrows/swallows with the stars and believed that they caught the souls of those who have passed (hence "living" on as stars). I have two on my back, one on each shoulder blade, with the left representing those I have lost in the past and the right representing those I'll lose in the future.
  • I'm thinking about getting a sparrow tattoo, There are so many meanings for it, But mine's completely personal. Im German, and I have lots of memories visiting my grandparents there. I used to watch the sparrows with my oma. She used to love them. She passed away a year ago. I want to get one in memory of her. But also, My parents have such a strong marriage and and have pet names, my dad calls my mom "spatz" which means sparrow in German. But that's just my opinion on sparrow tattoos.

Sparrows and swallow tattoos are often grouped as the same thing....

swallows were gotten by pirates when they travel over 100,000 miles or over the equator and back, they would ge one on the way one on the way back... (often done on collarbones) they have a symbolism of "safe travel/safe return"

they also are a symbol of true love (more so with swallows) but swallows mate for life, and no matter where each of them are in the world, once a year they both meet up in the Galapagos Islands to mate.... amongst millions of other birds, all over the world, they find each other.

-What most of this is talking about is Swallows, not sparrows. Oold sailors would tattoo one swallow for 5,000 miles, until they had their 2 swallows, after that they would do stars, often on the hands or in the ears. The crossing of the equator has little to do with the swallows. Crossiing the equator would generally be remembered with a tattoo of Neptunus Rex, or some manner of turtle, to represent the order fo the Shellback. Like most sailor-esque tattoos, its a good luck token. By all means, any tattoo is whatever you want it to mean, do it for you.

+1 ^ the crossing the line( equator) has nothing to do with the sparrows,or swallows. crossing the equator is when a sailor goes from being a slimy polly-wog (landlubber) to a mighty shellback-after a two day initiation; a day of wog uprising and rebelion,and the next day wich is the actual initiation and going before King Neptune.

The Sparrows were not a Sailor Jerry design,nor were the nautical stars-though he made them 'popular' and 'cool' to have.They have been around for a very long time. Much longer than most people know. As sailors travled by sea, swallows were seen flying above when land came closer. So a swallow in flight is a sign of land ahead or "safe return home".

It fully depends on who you ask. My favorite one I have ever heard was it was originally gotten by seamen to symbolize a safe journey home because when you saw the birds it meant you were close to shore. I have heard they also mean freedom and a few other things. Some people just get them because they look cool too.

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What is the spiritual meaning of a white squirrel?

It all depends on the socially relevant religious/spiritual structure influencing

the masses. and that your sexual instincts are in open revolt with your spiritual instincts and vicaverca

History, Politics & Society
Science Fiction
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What does the mentioned dog in the book Slaughterhouse-Five symbolize?

The dog that the one creep, Lazarro, feeds the watch springs to out of spite? I would say it represents the average soldier on either side, who was offered a chance at patriotism and glory by enlisting (the delicious steak) but discovered that the war was confusion, cruelty, and destruction on an unimaginable scale (the sharp little metal pieces). So the average soldier in the war is, like the poor dog, writhing in pain and misery, not sure why it is happening or who to blame. The dog and the soldier are both aware, however, that they were offered a false bill of sale when they took the hamburger/signed up.

Society and Civilization
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What does the yellow equals sign in blue box mean?

It is a symbol created by the HRC, (Human Rights Campaign), an organization working to advance civil equality and personal liberty for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered community. The equal sign (=), symbolizes human rights and is often cited as a token for the ongoing struggle and persecution the LGBTQ community still face.

Tattoos and Body Art
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
Signs and Omens

What is the symbolism of a swallow tattoo?

Symbolism of a Swallow Tattoo:

Here are opinions and answers from contributors:

  • Swallow tattoos are just that; tattoos of the swallow bird. Reading about it, they are the traditional tattoos of birds that are commonly seen on people.
  • The swallows are an old sailor's tattoo. Sailors got them for proof of the Navy and trust. I'm getting one on my hand next week. Sailors also got mum and dad with an anchor behind it.
  • Long ago, a sailor would get a swallow tattoo after successfully sailing a certain amount of miles (obviously a great deal of miles, but I'm not sure exactly how many).
  • Actually, all swallows return home to San Juan Capistrano every year. So the tattoos were used to say that you will always come home. They are a sign of loyalty, pride to both regions and people.
  • It is said in an old superstition, that when you see a swallow for the first time in a new year it is an omen of wealth. You're supposed to rub the money in your wallet while watching the bird, in order to ensure wealth in the future.
  • Sailors would have a swallow tattoo put on their chest after completing 5,000 sea miles and one on the other side after completing 10,000 sea miles. Many sailors still get authentic Naval tattoos.
  • Here is the origin of the swallow tattoo: there was a ship named the swallow, the men had a mutiny and the original seven mutineers had swallows tattooed on them so that they could identify each other. Out of this two things happened: 1. People got swallows tattooed on them and lied about being one of the original seven; and 2. The authorities heard of this identification and searched for the seven sailors who got swallows to throw them off the right trail. Since then sailors have gotten swallows for every 5,000 nautical miles, one on each side of their chest, when they would retire they would hang a string between the two birds and hang women's underwear and stuff.
  • The traditional tattoo means: A sailor gets a set of swallows on his chest. The story goes if he or she drowns; the swallows come down and lift his soul to the heavens.
  • Sailors would get swallows after sailing all seven seas. If they had one, they saved a man's life. It's a sign of trust, honor, dignity and respect. Nowadays, they mean nothing more than some random tattoo that someone gets that has no meaning behind it.
  • I've always heard that the swallows are a mark for sailing around the horns (the bottom of South America and Africa) or for crossing the Equator, both longitude and latitude.
  • Okay; the swallow is a tattoo that a sailor gets after traveling 5,000 nautical miles at sea, but the reason behind it is that a swallow is the "first sign that land is near". To a sailor the swallow means a "safe return home". Swallows are known to travel far distances out to sea during migration and would rest on boats close to shore which gave early mariners the first sign that land was indeed close by. The horizon is 12 miles from a boater's standpoint in the ocean (more if higher up) and swallows fly further then 12 miles out. The swallow is also known as a sparrow and was worn by the famous pirate "Jack Sparrows".
  • The swallows traditionally mean 5,000 miles for the first and 10,000 miles for the second. When I got mine done, in honor of my grandfather, I was warned by the tattoo artist to be aware that, in terms of jail house tattoos, the bluebirds, swallows or sparrows can also stand for white supremacy or white power.
  • I am surprised that no one has commented on the connection that swallow tattoos have to rock and roll or music in general. I have always connected the swallows with a love, respect and appreciation for music. Much like the swallows always returning to San Juan, their home. I've always thought the tattoo represented always being home when you're within the music.
  • I've always associated swallow tattoos with loyalty and fidelity - swallows choose a mate for life and will only nest with that bird and no other. Also they carry a message of hope, when sailors saw a swallow they knew that land was near.
  • I actually wondered about this myself, and by chance a homeless person in London approached me, wanting to sell "the big issue" (a magazine). He had two swallows tattooed on his neck, so I asked him the meaning, and he said; "It's kind of rude" and he whispered it to me, because my girl was with me and he was a gentleman. He said it meant "Live long and live hard".
  • I always thought that two swallows seen paired together symbolized freedom.
  • I heard that the swallow/sparrow tattoos are to commemorate a fallen friend or family member. I would assume any persona that the bird has i.e., devil horns, angel halo or even a knife through it would depict the dead person's personality or trait.
  • It just means that they were a "Hard Man" back in their day. Everyone that I have ever met with a swallow tattoo has been at least a bit psychotic.
  • A swallow tattoo used to be worn by sailors back in the day. When you were out/lost at sea and you saw a swallow you knew you were close to land because these birds are never far from shore. They would follow the birds to safety or to home. I think the idea is that when you had the swallow marked on your body it would always help you find your way home.
  • They indicate that you've gone to prison and done your 'bird'.
  • From what I've heard and researched, swallows on the back of the hands are supposed to give you faster hands, such as in a fight or at work. These tattoos are much more common in Great Britain. I've never heard of them meaning racism or white supremacy before.
  • In Scotland it usually signifies a spell in the infamous Bar-L or Barlinnie prison in Glasgow.
  • I grew up in a bad area in Australia and a grandfather of a friend of mine came from England. He was a very hard man and the whole family was very tough and underworld related. I remember being a kid in their house when the grandfather was there and I asked him what his tattoos meant. He looked down on me with a hard face and said in a thick English accent (they moved to Australia in the 70's) "It means I can walk into any pub and put my hands on the bar and if anyone would want to fight, then I would fight them". He was a big guy and I had heard rumors of him tearing people apart. So I guess that they kind of mean courage, strength and loyalty. Oh yeah he was also a "Teddy Boy" in England, but I am not so sure what that is.
  • The swallow tattoo in England means "these fists fly". It's mainly seen on old guys now who used to be good fighters or well know hard men back in the day of the Krays, etc. Now younger people get them because they think they're tough. But the bright new ink used nowadays doesn't give the same look as the original tattoo.
  • I had a few tattoo artists tell me that sailors would get one bird tattooed on themselves after crossing the equator and the other when they came back.
  • My Dad has a swallow tattoo on his hand. When asked about it, he said he got it when he was 13 because it was the cheapest in the shop!
  • Swallow tattoos on a man's hands and neck originated in British prisons from the term 'jail-bird'. It simply means you have been to prison and served your 'bird'.
  • Freedom.
  • The swallow tattoo on the hand symbolizes that you're a swinger.
  • The swallow's wings are so long that the bird never reaches the ground. It always flies high above everything else on earth. Prisoners are known to tattoo themselves with a swallow when they leave prison as a symbol of freedom.
  • The swallow tattoo means a sailor completed 50,000 nautical miles.
  • If they're on the backs of the hands, it means you'll be faster and stronger in a fight. it's mostly in Great Britain and Australia though.
  • In Great Britain, the swallow tattoo on your hands means you've earned your 'wings' in a UK prison, i.e. you have been inititated into male-male sex rituals. Because of this it has also now become a popular design for gay celebrities such as Boy George, Mark Almond etc.
  • It also has a certain literal homo-erotic meaning, especially for sailors who have been at sea a long time without women.
  • If they're on the backs of the hands, it means you'll be faster and stronger in a fight. it's mostly in Great Britain and Australia though.
  • It's a symbol of good luck - traditionally nautical - for adventurers and travelers who will always find there way home. I have a swallow tattoo, someone told me it's the mark of
  • I got a swallow tattoo based on Egyptian mythology: During the Old Kingdom, swallows were associated with stars and therefore the souls of the dead. Chapter 86 of the Book of the Dead specifically instructs the deceased on how to transform into a swallow. In Spell 1216 of the Pyramid Texts, the pharaoh describes how he has "gone to the great island in the midst of the Field of Offerings on which the swallow gods alight; the swallows are the imperishable stars." The imperishable stars were those near the North Star that never seemed to rise or set, and therefore were "constant". The swallow also appears in paintings of the solar barque as it enters the underworld. The swallow is usually shown on the prow of the boat. In this context, the bird appears to be an announcer of the sun's approach. In Egyptian love poetry, the swallow declares the dawn of new love.
  • I got it because it symbolizes change, independence, and respect. The history of the swallow goes back much further than people realize.
  • Bluebirds and swallows are traditional nautical tattoos with a long history of use. They symbolize happiness and good fortune. The swallow was a tattoo a sailor got after traveling 5000 nautical miles.
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What does an artichoke symbolize?

An Artichoke symbolises peace in many countries such as; Libya, Egypt and Somalia. Countries which are located in North Africa. Many American states such as Kentucky have adopted the Artichoke in order to achieve peace at the senate.

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

In Hindu mythology what is snake symbolic of?

To know the answer to this question we must know the seven basic forces we have and the gods associated with them.

The seven basic forces and gods:

1. Dreaming force - Indra

2. Illusory force - Shakti

3. Voluntary force - Brahma

4. Semi voluntary force - Vishnu

5. Involuntary force - Shiva

6. Status altering force - Shani

7. Compulsive force - Yama.

Hindu gods with snakes:

It is obvious that of the seven basic gods only Vishnu and Shiva are associated with snakes. Vishnu has five or seven headed Shesha. Shiva has a single headed cobra around his neck or upper arms.

Thus, the snakes have something to do with the Semi voluntary and Involuntary forces. It must be mentioned here that the Involuntary force is just the negative half of the Semi voluntary force.

The Semi voluntary force:

In this, there is a layer of Voluntary force trapped between two layers of Involuntary force. Beyond the two layers of Involuntary force are the positive and negative attitudes, which act as walls of this force.

The central layer of Voluntary force is what we call 'I'. It is the reference state for our thoughts and movements and emotions are produced in reference to it.

The Semi voluntary force and the serpent:

Whenever there are changes in our comfort we raise or lower our reference state to avoid production of emotions. Since this movement is limited by our positive and negative attitudes the graph of movement of the reference state looks like the movement of a serpent. Thus, Vishnu is prominently associated with the serpent Shesha.

The Semi voluntary force is the default force and the other forces are just modifications of this force. Thus, Vishnu enables us to select any of the remaining six gods. Because Vishnu gives us seven options the serpent has seven heads indicating the seven options that we have. Since Indra and Yama are supposed to play a role after our death only, our options may be just five and thus Shesha may have just five heads.

The Involuntary force:

The Involuntary force is just the negative half of the Semi voluntary force. The movement of the reference state here is minimal and the option is just one. Thus, Shiva has a single headed small cobra around his neck or upper arms.

Thus, in Hindu mythology snake is symbolic of our reference state 'I'.

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What is the symbolism of the 3 primary shapes?

Circle * Connection, community, wholeness, endurance, movement, safety, perfection * Refers to the feminine: warmth, comfort, sensuality, and love. Rectangle / Square * Order, logic, containment, security. * Rectangles provide a fourth point, which is mathematically the foundation for 3D objects, suggesting mass, volume, and solids. Triangle * Energy, power, balance, law, science, religion. * Refers to the Masculine: strength, aggression, and dynamic movement.

Jobs & Education
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings
History of Writing

What symbol represents respect?

I don't know of any symbols that specifically mean respect. Plus, various symbols and shapes mean different things in different cultures. But symbols work by association, so you could make a symbol that means respect for you in your circumstance. Respect means "to look back at" or even "re-look." So, a pair of spectacles, a eyeglass, binoculars, etc. could all be more literal symbols. A rearview mirror might be interesting. Choose something meaningful to you.

Religion & Spirituality
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What does 2 crossed skeleton keys represent?

it is a kind of cross over between a religion entertainment , and it represents spirituality. and frightenes

Religion & Spirituality
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What animal or object symbolizes focus?


Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What does leafy sky mean?

i would think that means the sky is very cloudy-- the clouds shaped like leaves

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

Why is black colour associated with evil and white with divinity?

The dark color is associated with the mysterious dark void of the unseen unknown similar to the human ignorance and fear to palisade in one's own convictions to reject the Truth which in religious doctrines was considered evil.Black color was used in pagan rituals/witchcraft to create fear experienced by ignorant people in unexplained phenomenons eg: lunar & solar eclipses-night etc. Biblical and many religious scripture have described evil as dark.Both oral & written literature have described evil as dark eg: Milton-'Paradise Lost'.

Darkness is dispelled by light where humans visualize as Truth and associate it with knowledge and divine element.The color white therefore is associated with purity & divinity.

These ideas are strongly culturally bound. Keep in mind phrases like "in the black", meaning doing ok with regard to money; not in debt (in the red). Also, in some cultures, white is the color of death. Black is a strong and fashionable color. For women who can wear it, few colors are as stunning. Keep culturally bound assumptions in mind, and keep them in check. There is nothing inherent in any color that indicates or suggests goodness or evil. Think of them and use them figuratively, but keep your wits about you.

Hobbies & Collectibles
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

Who invented the love symbol?

The Roman physician Galen

Hobbies & Collectibles
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What Is the symbolism of a rainbow nautical star?

Nautical stars historically have symbolized travel, safe journeys, finding your way, and most obviously, the sea and naval endeavors. The rainbow historically has been used as a symbol of peace, and more contemporarily, as a symbol of gay pride. A rainbow nautical star could mean a variety of different things, ranging from hopes for a safe & peaceful voyage to a symbol of solidarity amongst gay sailors.

Signs and Omens
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

Finding a tiny black feather meaning?

Not all naturally occurring phenomenon can or should be interpreted as omens. Finding feathers isn't usually something of note, unless you have asked a specific question of your spirit guides, in which case the interpretation is very personal.

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What color represents excitement?

Yellow usually represents excitement.

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What is the meaning of throwing of dove during wedding?

It symbolizes the couple's new life together. Aside from this, doves can mean purity.

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What does delta mean in chemistry?

It means a change in.

For example if you had Delta(y) that would mean a change in Y values in respect to another variable

Literature and Language
Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What do dark clouds symbolize?

DEATH? Something bad is about to happen? Bad weather....

Symbolism and Symbolic Meanings

What is meaning for in hand paid?

It means you work by hand and they pay you by hand. (:


It means to pay an individual for services when the money paid is not accounted for by tax agencies.


Copyright © 2020 Multiply Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved. The material on this site can not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with prior written permission of Multiply.