Shrimp Tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Shrimp Tattoos: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Shrimps are long-bodied decapod crustaceans. Shrimp, also known as prawns, is a type of seafood that is eaten all across the world.

They also represent peace, confidence, renewal, abundance, progress, fortune, success, nourishment, diversity, wisdom, and longevity. These are some of the most common reasons people choose shrimp tattoos. 

People choose to get shrimp tattoos for a variety of reasons, one of which is to represent something diminutive. This can be an adult of small stature, a child of small stature, or an inanimate object of small size.


What is the History of Shrimp Tattoos? 

Though shrimp tattoos are not technically considered a classic, they have been popular long enough that many people have them. Sailors and those who are fans of the ocean tend to get shrimp tattoos more than others. This may be attributed to their closer proximity to the sea. Others get shrimp tattoos for fun and some get them for deeper meanings like a loved one’s nickname or their acceptance of their below-average stature.  

What Do Shrimp Tattoos Symbolize? 

The most widely recognized symbol of a shrimp is a good luck charm. In some cultures, the shrimp is the bearer of good fortune. The shrimp symbolizes abundance, confidence, and success. All of these meanings also align with the good luck that the shrimp brings.

What Do Shrimp Tattoos Mean? 

Shrimp tattoos can mean a lot of different things. The most common meaning of the shrimp tattoo is to symbolize someone who is shorter than average or is paying homage to a small child or other small creature. In some Asian cultures, the shrimp is a sign of good luck, so choosing a shrimp tattoo as a good luck charm is a popular reason why people opt for this subject as well.  

Where Do Shrimp Tattoos Usually Go? 

Shrimp tattoos can be as large or as small as you want. The shrimp is a perfect candidate for a micro-tattoo, or a super small tattoo, as well as large back and chest pieces. Many people choose to get shrimp tattoos on their wrists or ankles. These tattoos can be small enough to fill in black spaces between other tattoos as well.  


Characteristics and Styles of Shrimp Tattoos 

There is no right or wrong reason for someone to consider getting a tattoo of a shrimp; it could be a symbol of a meal that they find joy in eating, or it could be a sea creature that fascinates them. On the other hand, you have a wide variety of options available to you when it comes to the design style of your shrimp tattoo. Let’s take a deep dive and find out about some popular shrimp tattoo styles that you can take into consideration when choosing this particular subject matter. 

Black ; Grey/Gray Wash 

The use of black, gray, and white inks helps create a realistic appearance in tattoos that are done in the black and gray style. Density and depth are achieved without the use of color thanks to the technique and shading methods.

Because of this, a shrimp tattoo design that is done in black and gray is by far the most common option when it comes to this subject. Gray wash tattooing involves diluting black ink to create lighter tints.

This allows shading to be created, which results in a more three-dimensional effect. Many people find this effect appealing when it comes to realistic images. 



A style of tattooing known as realism is characterized by the creation of illustrations on the skin that are highly realistic. The traditional black and gray style is the most popular choice for shrimp tattoos, but the realistic style is a close second.

Due to the fact that shrimp are living organisms, selecting a realistic tattoo style for your shrimp tattoo is an excellent way to highlight the crustaceans’ distinctive characteristics. 

New School 

Choosing a shrimp tattoo in the new school style of tattoo design can be a great way to make even the simplest of images have a lot of personalities. This is especially true if you are looking for a humorous take on a species that, in and of itself, is not particularly noteworthy. 

The 1970s saw the introduction of new school tattooing, which is a contemporary take on the American traditional style.

The new school style continues to make use of thick, bold outlines and vibrant colors, but it also makes use of a wider range of color combinations and more vivid inks to produce a cartoonish interpretation of the subject matter.

Shrimps are fantastic choices for new school styles, particularly if the tattoo in question is whimsical. 



Watercolor shrimp tattoos are designs that give the impression that they were painted directly onto the skin using watercolors and brushes, as the name of this type of tattoo suggests.

Because of this, the terms “watercolor” and “brushstroke” are frequently used interchangeably. This is due to the fact that watercolor tattoos appear to be colored versions of brushstroke tattoos. 

 It takes a lot of skill to create the brushstrokes and effects that give a watercolor tattoo the appearance that it is a watercolor painting, despite the fact that watercolor tattoos may appear more abstract and straightforward than other styles.

Because of its artistic appearance as well as the use of softer lines and shading, this style is currently enjoying a great deal of popularity. 


Dot Work 

Dotwork tattoos are another style that has recently gained a lot of popularity. Unlike other types of tattooing, which utilize lines to create the designs, dot work tattoos use individual dots to create the entire tattoo.

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