Choosing to get a tattoo can help you express yourself and represent something close to your heart. The design you choose ultimately is down to your own personal expression.
Whether you decide to get a classic design inked on your body or want a personalized, unique tattoo that is symbolic to you is your choice.
Over the years, many popular designs have stood the test of time, and many of these are quotes and phrases that were representative years ago and remain so to this day.
One tattoo that is still a go-to choice for many people looking to get a tattoo is the words “Stay Gold.”
Stay Gold An American Idioms
Stay gold is an idiom from America, a warning not to become harsh and to maintain one’s integrity, which goes from singular to plural, for the individual and the community: “Stay like this, golden!”
“Stay gold” in Italian translation: Continue to be gold.
Stay Gold Tattoo Origins
Nothing Gold Can Stay
The origins of the phrase Stay Gold and why people have chosen this as a tattoo are debated. Many attribute it to a classic Robert Frost poem titled Nothing Gold Can Stay.
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only for an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay. Robert Frost
The poem uses the end of springtime as a metaphor for people losing their innocence.
The poem alludes to the loss of innocence as being something which you should mourn for and the opposite of what you want to happen.
In a way, the end of innocence or “nothing can stay gold” is a profound loss.
When considering this aspect of life and humanity, having a Stay Gold tattoo on your body means that you are holding onto something you don’t want to lose.
Be it a part of your, a person, or something you cherish, you are staying gold even though the poem attests to the fact that anything gold isn’t permanent.
The phrase “stay gold” in The Outsiders refers to Robert Frost’s poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” which speaks of the importance of retaining one’s childlike innocence and optimism in a cold, unforgiving world.
In the poem, gold is described as Nature’s “hardest hue to hold,” It refers to the early spring leaves, which are only beautiful for a short time.
In the poem, Johnny uses the analogy to encourage Ponyboy to remain sensitive, pure, and innocent.
Regardless of how you attribute the meaning of the Stay Gold tattoo phrase, all roads lead back to the ubiquitous Robert Frost poem, and staying gold is about holding onto your innocence.
Stay young, stay gold, stay innocent.
Modern Uses of Stay Gold In Tattoos
Many people use this phrase interchangeably with the common “Hold Fast, Stay True” which holds its roots in the seafaring ways of days gone by.
Typically, this means the same thing, Stay Gold and Stay True are about being yourself and never forgetting who you are and what drives you.
Unlike Stay True, it isn’t thought that Stay Gold holds any relation to the water or the life of a sailor.
As life evolves and generations come of age, they acquire knowledge and phrases and look to repurpose them to something that applies to their life at this point and to something relevant to their modern-day world.
When it comes to the Stay Gold tattoo, part of its appeal to the masses is down to its flexibility to apply to many different scenarios in people’s lives and how it can be used to represent something meaningful when used.
“Stay Gold to who you are,” “Stay Gold,” or even “In A Sea of Silver, Stay Gold.”
Regardless of how you choose to interpret this meaningful phrase, it holds to its meaning that staying gold is about never letting go of something despite what happens in life.
The true beauty in staying old is that what it means is unique to the individual. Be it a person, a feeling, a part of your personality.
So no matter what happens to you, where life takes you, or what goes on in the world around you, gold will hold you to stay true to who you are.
Choosing a Stay Gold Tattoo
Stay Gold as meaning can be fairly flexible, making it ideal for a great many reasons. People can relate and adopt the moniker to their personal situations and life choices.
It makes sense then that you can also choose to add it to your body when getting a Stay Gold tattoo however you wish.
Classic tattoo placements are across the knuckles, 4 letters in each word, each letter on a different knuckle. However, you can use any font or placement you wish as long as you have carefully considered all of your options. Be understated and have it hidden on the inside of your arm for a more personal and symbolic tattoo.
Include the phrase into an intricate design, such as written in a banner underneath a piece of artwork on your back or leg.
Incorporate the words into a flower stem or a sunrise; as the sun rises and sets, you can stay true to your goals. Or even in a gold bullion design to emphasize the gold.
Many people opt for a more understated stay gold tattoo in a clear font so as not to overcomplicate things.
The Bottom Line
However, you choose to emphasize a Stay Gold tattoo and make sure it is as powerful as it needs to help you stay true to the meaning behind the words.
While all that glitters might not be gold, this popular and affirming tattoo can be the best choice for those wishing to remind themselves of a life event, a lesson they have learned, or someone they love.