Bunny Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Bunny Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

They’re cute, cuddly, and as it turns out, they have quite a lot of symbolism associated with them. We’re talking, of course, about bunnies and by extension, bunny tattoos! As far as skin art options go, we have to say that they are definitely one of the most versatile choices out there and today we’ll tell you exactly why.

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What is the History of Bunny Tattoos?

Tracing the history of rabbits and their symbolism is a simple matter of exploring ancient art and religion also shed a little light on the subject. Take, for instance, the Paderborn Cathedral in Switzerland. Here you may see a depiction of 3 hares, which share only 3 displayed ears between them, as they take the form of a triangle.

This is though to represent the Holy Trinity and also provides a handy explanation for their association with Easter! In this context, bunnies represent resurrection and the vitality of life. In medieval art, however, this holy depiction is not always what is associated with rabbits.

In many depictions, their love of procreation is more the focus, making the rabbit more of a depiction of the dangers of unbridled lust. One book that was intended for medieval artists, called the ‘Physiologus’, had another interpretation that was intended for fluffy bunnies and it has to do with getting themselves into other kinds of trouble.

They point out how the rabbit will hide by climbing steep hills and cliffs, looking for holes to nestle safely into, inadvertently dooming themselves as the climb down is too hard for their short legs, making them an easy meal for patient predators! This is just a taste of the rich history behind them, but you get the idea!

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What Do Bunny Tattoos Symbolize?

Bunny tattoos can symbolize religious affiliation, particularly towards the Christian faith, although this is much less common a reason for them than you might think.

More often, they symbolize the playful nature of the animals, or might even be selected to represent their well-known speed.

After all, there’s a reason for the phrase ‘quick as a rabbit’. They also symbolize the beauty of nature, as one of the most common animals that you will happen upon in any woodland is a cute, little bunny. While you might only see them for a moment, they’re almost always there, and so Nature symbolism naturally stuck.

They can also represent cleverness, especially with well-known bunnies such as Bugs Bunny, who is famous around the world for his smart-alecky comments and clever escapes, though probably the most common symbolism is the simplest – ‘here’s a kind, cute rabbit and my appearance and nature is the same’.

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What Do Bunny Tattoos Mean?

Bunny tattoos can mean different things for different people. Some choose them as a way to tell the world that they are cute, shy, and one who is very close to nature.

Others might wear a rabbit as a way to say that they are deeply involved in their faith.

There are lots of different rabbits to choose from and this also makes a difference in the meaning. A cartoon rabbit like the aforementioned wisecracker, Bugs Bunny, means that the tattoo owner loves the classic cartoons and perhaps is a bit of a wisecracker themselves!

For many pagan religions, rabbits are also a symbol of fertility, such as with the Norse Goddess Eostre, believed to be the true origin of Easter that was later adopted by Christians when they converted the Vikings.

Of course, as it’s your tattoo, you will control the ultimate meaning, but as you can see – you’ve definitely got a lot of options!

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Characteristics and Styles of Bunny Tattoos

With Bunny tattoos, there are usually 1 or 3 main characteristics or ‘themes’. They usually boil down to ‘cute, pure, or comedic’. Simply put, Bunny being tattooed has been selected for it irresistible cuteness, for the purity of it’s appearance, or it’s being depicted as a ‘wascally wabbit’ such as Bugs Bunny.

That’s not to say that it’s limited, just that these are the most popular 3 depictions. Your own rabbit can have a lot of meanings, so you’ll want to think on what you wish it to ultimately say. As far as styles, this choice can definitely have a huge impact.

For instance, a Japanese style Bunny tattoo might exude an overall tone of peace and tranquility, while a New School bunny might be playful and over-the-top. One could even copy the Paderborn Cathedral classic with a ‘rabbit trinity’ and that would be a powerful affirmation of faith, hearkening back to another time.

Spend a good amount of time in crafting your design and there are all kinds of things that you can say. Just be sure to consult your artist and to do your research homework and the sky is the limit with your own bunny tattoos.

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Where Do Bunny Tattoos Usually Go?

When placing your own bunny tattoo, you’ve got a lot of options. Small bunnies, big bunnies – it’s really up to you – but the most popular places are typically the ankle, the arm or shoulder, or even on the hip if your message is a bit more personal and only to be seen by a lucky, chosen few.

If you are creating a Nature-themed backpiece, then Bunnies on your back is definitely a good choice, as you almost can’t visit a forest without seeing one of these beautiful rodents. Big or small, anyone who looks at it will recognize this creature, so you can put that Bunny tattoo wherever you like!

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Some closing words on Bunny Tattoos

Adorable, recognizable, and with a surprising amount of symbolism for such a small creature, Bunny tattoos are definitely a satisfying option that you’re sure to enjoy for many years to come. These animals can represent spring and rebirth, the serenity of nature, or even express a sense of mischief and good humor.

It all depends on your design, your artist, and what you are trying to say. That said, it’s impossible to go wrong with the beautiful simplicity and grace behind Bunny tattoos!

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