Lighter Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

Lighter Tattoos: History, Meanings & Designs

For many people, when they see a lighter tattoo, they assume that the person is a smoker. We suppose that does make sense. Lighters are very commonly associated with smoking, after all. However, there is so much more to the idea of ‘lighter tattoos’. Let’s tell you a little bit about the symbolism and meaning behind them, shall we?


What Is The History Of Lighter Tattoos?

It is difficult to trace the history of lighter tattoos. People have been getting them for decades. We don’t think there is a single point where the popularity behind them really started to rise. This is because a lighter tattoo is a rather simple design. While it is fair to say that tattoo designs have become a lot more detailed as of late (you can thank tattooing technology for that), lighters have been simple enough that they have managed to work their way onto people’s bodies for decades.

That being said, it is likely that a lot of people that have managed to get one of these tattoos recently are doing it for the symbolism of the tattoo. Those that would have received a lighter tattoo before would have been doing so just because they wanted a rather cool lighter on their body. So yeah. While the history of the tattoo is fairly extensive, the reasons behind getting this type of tattoo have changed over the years.

What Do Lighter Tattoos Symbolize?

Lighter tattoos are often seen as a symbol of warmth and protection by many people that wear them. This is due to the flame. These tattoos are just really a fancier way of having the flame on their body. Some may even see that flame as a symbol of rebirth.


What Do Lighter Tattoos Mean?

Sometimes, when people get a lighter tattoo, it simply means that they want a lighter on their body.

It is likely that during the earlier days of people getting a lighter tattoos, it was because people were smokers, or they felt the idea of the tattoo was cool. Even today, you may find that some people are using these tattoos to symbolize that they smoke, whether it is because they are smoking cigarettes or something completely different.

You probably won’t be surprised to know this, but a lot of people don’t really look to see whether there is a deeper meaning behind the tattoos that they get. They just get the tattoo because they think that the idea that they have floating around their head is just really cool.

Those that do look at the meaning behind lighter tattoos won’t really derive the meaning from the lighter itself. Instead, the meaning comes from the flame. So, any sort of meaning that you would normally get from a flame (including):

  • Protection
  • Warmth
  • Rebirth

Is pretty much what this type of tattoo is going to bring. If you have a closed-up lighter (i.e. no flame), then it could indicate that you are missing something in your life. You are looking for that spark of warmth or protection again. Although, that style is a bit rarer. A lot of people aren’t really massive fans of getting negative tattoos, after all. 


Where Do Lighter Tattoos Usually Go?

As lighter tattoos are quite small, you could really put them anywhere that you want on your body.

In most cases, you are going to find lighter tattoos on the arm, normally the upper arm. This isn’t because that part of the body is particularly important when it comes to the symbolism of the tattoo, it is just because this is a tattoo that tends to be easier to hide away when it is placed there.

The one area where you don’t really see lighter tattoos is on the lower back. In fact, you don’t really see them too much in areas that would be hidden to the person that has the tattoo. You may find them on the shoulder blade every so often, but this isn’t especially common.

When you do see a lighter tattoo on a person, it is likely going to be combined with other images of a similar nature. This allows you to get a bit more of a meaning from the tattoo. For example, if it is being worn because a person is a smoker, then you may see indications of smoking paraphernalia around the tattoo.

Characteristics and Styles of Lighter Tattoos

One of the cool things about this type of tattoo is that you can really dive into different designs.

As you will know by now, the flame that you see coming out of the lighter is going to be a symbol of warmth and protection. You really could just stick a flame on yourself and get the same message.

The reason why people get these tattoos, however, is because you can change up the way that the lighter looks. There are thousands upon thousands of designs that you can use. These designs can carry other messages, so you could get double the messaging on a single tattoo! If you look at the designs of Zippo lighters, for instance, then this will give you an idea as to what you can do with the messaging.

Of course, you could always go down the simpler route and have a bland lighter. However, we feel that if you are going to have this type of tattoo, you may as well try and make it as interesting as you possibly can, right?


Final Word

Since lighters have been around, people have been getting tattoos of them. Some people get this type of tattoo because they want to show off that they are a smoker. Something that has become increasingly common with the introduction of legalized marijuana. Others have decided to get this type of tattoo because they want to show off the flame in a more stylish way than normal. Whatever your reasoning, we are positive that you will find a tattoo idea that is perfect for you. 

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