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Chinese 'Tattoo YOU'

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From time to time, those of us who run Chinese Language-related sites get e-mails like this:

“Hi, I want to get a tattoo of my cats’ names in Chinese. How do you spell ‘Talikabeth’ and ‘Arinsha’ in the Chinese alphabet?”


These requests make me wish that tattoo artists out there–as a joke–would start inking people’s arms with the Chinese characters for “Eat at Zhou’s” or something equally devious…although maybe that’s just a bit too cruel.

But what if one of these Chinese-character tattoo-wearing intercultural posers who knows nothing of the Chinese language was led to believe that her tattoo said something completely ridiculous?

Now that would be funny!

A merry prankster writing as “Whistler” decided to try just that in his office one day. At, you can read his report, “The Chinese Tattoo Prank.”

November 2004

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