What Does An X Tattoo Mean?

Not all tattoos have colorful and breezy inspirations. Some are rather dark than light, meant to express a part of you somewhat concealed. Interestingly, people have been falling head over heels for them for some time. So, do not be shocked when you come across someone with an X tattoo. Chances are, they want you to perceive them as anything but ordinary.

The first thing to pop into mind is that the tattoo says ‘NO’ about something. It is what is behind that no, which can be one’s personal struggles and past tragedies. It could also unleash the bold and fearless personality of someone. Moreover, it indicates power, masculinity, courage, protection, and good luck, differing from one culture or belief to another.

Are you interested in having an X tattoo? If you are, you ought to know an X tattoo’s meaning, symbolism, placement, and style. Find all about them below.

X Tattoo Symbolism

An X tattoo symbolizes a lot of things, but what comes first is what you want it to symbolize for you. The symbolism has to resonate with you.

The tattoo will become more intimate and creative when you incorporate a part of your story, life, or personality. While it could symbolize your rough and tough outlook, it could also indicate the deepest and darkest life event for someone else. 

What Does An "X" Tattoo Mean?

Then again, one could use it as a symbol of willpower and strength. Some people find it suitable as a mark of resolving their mistakes or as a representative of an unknown place that they would rather keep unexplored. You may also find individuals carrying the tattoo to display their Christian faith, while others have it to boast of their cultural heritage.

If you notice, the symbols are inconsistent. Two people can get the exact same thing but for completely different and unrelated reasons. And it is totally alright. When you go to them and ask about the backstories of their tattoos, you will find how the X tattoo seems coherent with each of them.

You can be unique or go mainstream as long as the symbol emblematizes your reasoning suitably. That said, it would help you talk to others with an X tattoo to find out if it is really the one for you. 

X Tattoo Meaning

Let’s start with the basics. On the outside, the ‘X’ simply reminds us of a negative connotation. For example, it warns against something wrong or moving further. But there is more to it than meets the eye.

It is dauntless and controversial, as many associates it with boldness and finds it suggestive of eroticism. Additionally, people use the mark to represent their identity and existence in a cross of two lines.

X tattoo

X is also the number 10, which can be an amount or a date. If you want to do something to remember a memorable day, an X tattoo design will come in handy.

The symbol is straightforward and intricate at once, relying on how you assign value to it and want others to receive it. That way, you could make it highly private or common knowledge.

Aside from the discussion so far, the X tattoo meaning depends on other things as well. For example:

Read Also: Teardrop Tattoo Meaning

Different Sizes Of X Tattoos

If you go for a large-sized X, you can depict it as wounds, burns, or marks on your skin. It would suggest unforgettable memories and make the design aggressive.

It would represent a distant memory in your life that scarred you in an irrecoverable way. The intensity of your agony can be visible in the tattoo design, varying with the severity of the scar.

On the contrary, you could have the design convey the opposite message by making the X of your scar tissues. It could show your determination to heal from the struggle and face what lies ahead.

Different Fonts

One also has the freedom of becoming poetic with an X tattoo. If you are a writer, an artist, or an enthusiast, you can ask your tattoo artist to use brush strokes to create the design. It will reveal your passion for art and show its revolvement around your life.

There are uncountable fonts to choose from for the letter, each of which has its own impact on the meaning. Besides, you can add lines to the bottom and top of the X to turn it into the Roman number 10. You can place it inside a box to make the opposite sign of a checkbox.

X tattoo can be of many styles

If you want a detailed design, you can add elements to the X and make the image sophisticated. For example, a star or a heart will enhance the appearance by toning down the roughness of the symbol, sharpening the lines, and introducing more style.

However, there are other options. Individuals with a liking for cursive letters can have it that way to increase delicacy. In case you want to make it scream boldness, you can choose a thick font.

The X-Files

This one is for the TV show freaks. Can you recall The X-files? Apparently, some people loved the show so much that they decided to get the X tattoo to pay tribute. It works well for the purpose, especially since it stands for mysterious and unexplained sci-fi stuff.

But note that the design has particulars here. You have to keep it wobbly and blotchy so that it appears to be made on some old fax machine.

Read Next: What does star tattoo means?

The Straight Edge Society

The Straight Edge subculture played a vital role in popularizing the X tattoo when the members began to get the X tattoo in different forms. They used the X on the backside of their hands to symbolize that they did not support the abuse of drugs or alcohol.

They would also have the X tattoo in other places on their bodies. It was their way of encouraging people to stand against addiction. You could portray the same idea by having a triple-X (XXX) tattoo.

Graphical Representation

Many enthusiasts consider adding graphics to their X tattoos to add a bit of charisma to their designs. Weapons sitting across one another to create the shape of the X often accompany the original design.

The other representations of the X tattoo include baseball bats, straight hatchets, knives, etc. The meaning will vary from one to another. So you can choose one among them or find something else to make it different and intimate.

X Tattoo Meaning In Different Parts Of The World

It has been centuries since tattoos became a matter of interest for people. As the designs often derive from different objects, their interpretations vary from one culture to another. The X tattoo is no exception.

Here are some popular messages it delivers in distant parts of the globe.

People in some areas consider the X a sign of protection from bad spirits. Similarly, other cultures take it as a good luck charm.

The Japanese get the X tattoo to represent strength or bravery, while the Indians believe it symbolizes eternity or endlessness. On the other hand, if you go to Polynesia, you will find that people see it as a sign of leadership and power. And in the USA, it is about masculinity.

In other parts of the world, the tattoo holds spiritual or religious significance. For example, it represents the cross in Christianity. But if you are a follower of Wicca or some other Pagan beliefs, it will symbolize the compass directions.

Shifts Of X Tattoo Meaning Over Time

There have been shifts in the interpretations of the X tattoo in recent years. Now, most people view it as a question or something yet to be finished.

X can act for two things: the cross and the question sign. People have widely associated both messages to express uncertainty, fairness, balance, openness, and curiosity. It reminds them and others to have an open outlook and maintain a balance in life.

But that is not how it used to be in the past when it had a darker impression on us. In the beginning, the X mirrored the crossbones on the flags of pirates. If you had the tattoo, it would mean that you could risk your life to fight for your beliefs. You can still have it, though. Just because the tattoo has a bunch of other new symbolism does not mean the original one is out of style now.

Pros And Cons Of Having An X Tattoo

Having a tattoo always requires you to think of its pros and cons. But the X tattoo comes with more than that.


  • It will be highly symbolic, particularly if you attribute something personal.
  • If you ever have to conceal the tattoo, you will find it comparatively easier.
  • The design will have an impressive appearance.


  • It is getting more popular day by day. So, be prepared to find your tattoo on other people.
  • You may risk giving people the idea that you are a gangster.
  • As you have already seen, the tattoo has a lot of interpretations. People will interpret it in their own way and misunderstand you.

Placement Of An X Tattoo

It is necessary to determine where you will have your X tattoo because the placement is related to its meaning. For example, having it in your hand, fingers, or wrist will mean that you are saying no to alcohol or drugs. The inspiration comes from the straight edge, a subculture of

X tattoo on a finger

Although it is rare, some people choose to have the X tattoo on their faces, which indicates that they are sensitive and have an unstable lifestyle. On the other hand, it could be a daring warning about death or something ominous. Individuals with a dark past of criminal activities also prefer the same area.

Styles Of An X Tattoo

There are several styles of an X tattoo, each with its own influence, tone, and mood. It usually comes as the letter X in most designs. But the next most popular styles include tribal and blackwork tattoos. You will hardly see the tattoo fashioned in other ways.

Conventional tattoos are the ones with black inking featuring black borders, which is the most commonly seen in the variations of an X tattoo. It looks like the person simply had the letter X drawn on their skin in some cases.

Blackwork Tattoos

When you come across a full black tattoo with a black border, you will know it is a blackwork tattoo. Sometimes the tattoo has thick fillings of black ink. Not many people are inclined to have it gorgeous.

But if you want it that way, you have that choice. Contrarily, people choosing the simplest blackwork X tattoo use no other colors. They keep it classic, combined with simplicity and a powerful message.

Tribal Tattoos

Tribal tattoo styles originate from the tattoos prevalent in Borneo, Maori, Pacific Islander, and Aztec cultures. The technique is widely known for its geometric patterns and thick black lines with dots, black ink, and curves. The X tattoo will be large, as your tattoo artist will combine it with a tribal outline.

So, if you have a thing for this style, you should consider the size and placement of your X tattoo beforehand. Tribal tattoos are typically not very colorful. So, the same applies to X tattoos, too.

The symbolism of X tattoos offers you flexibility by letting you combine them with other components in the design. You can add flowers, a heart, an eagle, and other items to the tattoo and have a unique and personalized meaning for yourself.

Selecting The Right X Tattoo

Here is how you can select the right X tattoo among a sea of designs, interpretations, and styles.

The first and foremost task is to contemplate what the symbol X means to you. For instance, it could symbolize some crossroads you have found yourself in or represent the interconnection between your life events.

The next thing is about deciding on your tattoo design. Some designs are about tribal techniques, while others work on Celtic knots. Choose whichever you find the most suitable.

Afterward, select the tattoo area. You can choose wherever you like, but remember that some designs would turn out better in specific places. Therefore, the design and the placement should have proper alignment.

When you are done with the initial steps, look for a well-reputed tattoo artist to make you a beautiful X tattoo.

Final Words

An X tattoo can signify a lot of things at once. But the only meaning that matters is the one that speaks to you. Some people will not agree with your perspective about the X tattoo, and that is normal. Everybody has their ways of thinking and perceiving. You only need to focus on what you want your tattoo to say about you and how.

That said, keep in mind the other factors if you want to get an X tattoo. It is a piece of body art that will cling to you for a long time. That calls for attention to details, designs, and styles as much as the meaning. Best of luck with your X tattoo!

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