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Home Magazine Meaningful Small Tattoos: Over 70 Ideas for All

Meaningful Small Tattoos: Over 70 Ideas for All


Small tattoos are often chosen for the first inking. They take little time to do, are less painful, and can be easily covered by clothing. Plus, there is a myriad of design options. How to choose a beautiful small tattoo with deep meaning? Read on to find out the meanings of popular designs of small tattoos and see more than 70 photos and sketches.

Small Tattoos for Women and Their Meanings

Tiny inkings look great on a woman’s body, emphasizing its grace. The most common styles women choose are realism, watercolor, geometry, minimalism, or their combinations. Let’s look at the prettiest small artworks for women.


Flowers are very feminine designs, so they are a frequent pick of women. What are the meanings of popular flowers?

  • Rose — sensuality, love
  • Lily — purity
  • Lotus — harmony
  • Peony — passion, creativity
  • Sakura — youth, innocence
  • Dandelion — evanescence of things.


Tiny inkings of animals are the second most popular choice among women. The symbolism of such tattoos is linked with the qualities associated with the animal they depict.

  • Cat — beauty and elegance
  • She-wolf — courage, motherhood
  • Fox — cunning
  • Bunny — softness and innocence
  • Snake — wisdom, craftiness.


Inner freedom, creativity, and inspiration are the most common things that come to mind whenever small bird tattoos are mentioned. A bird with spread wings symbolizes independence, and commitment, while a sitting bird means positive energy. Birds that look great as dainty body art are

  • Swallow — protection from evil
  • Dove — peace, the comfort of home
  • Seagull — desire to travel
  • Colibri — grace, delicacy
  • Tit — hope and happiness.


Sketches of small tatts for women are also common. Many insects are small, so a tattoo can actually depict a life-size creature. And thanks to the abundance of meanings attached to them, such designs are perfect for reflecting many features.

  • Dragonfly — determination and commitment
  • Butterfly — innocence and a carefree attitude to life
  • Ladybug — reliability and loyalty
  • Spider — a hardworking and practical attitude
  • Scorpion — bravery and readiness to stand up for oneself.


Small tattoos are perfect for depicting any patterns, including lace and geometry, groups of stars, waves, crosses, snowflakes, and many more. If a pattern bears a special, deeply personal meaning for you, you won’t need a large design to make an impact.


The latest trend in lettering tattoos is a single word or even just one letter. The meaning of lettering tattoos can be deeply personal while easy to understand. You can get an inking of your loved one’s name, your life motto, or a significant date.

Small Tattoos for Men and Their Meanings

Although not as often as women, men also choose to get small meaningful tattoos. The designs may be the same as for women but bear different meanings. For example, an inking of a flower on a man reflects honor and vulnerability, and men often choose predatory animals, insects, or birds that are as fierce as their wearer.

Let’s talk about the most popular designs of tiny tattoos for men.


These can be all sorts of signs, from crosses and ancient sacred marks to emojis and logos. Sometimes it can be hard to decipher the meaning of ink because it is very personal. However, some of them are quite transparent: a crown, dollar sign, money sack, or diamond, for example, speak of power, wealth, and high status.


Geometry appeals to many men because it gives the means to hide a personal message in a stylish and minimalist form. Petite geometric artworks are often composed of circles, triangles, squares, and combinations of different figures.


Many men choose to celebrate their hobbies in ink. Fishing, hunting, motorcycles, planes — the choice of designs is as endless as the variety of hobbies.


Famous quotes, aphorisms, and motivational sayings — men love lettering tattoos as much as women, although they often prefer more straightforward meanings.


In the past, sailors got tattoos as protective amulets, and many men view nautical-themed tattoos as such to this day. Anchors, compasses, and steering wheels are simple, but meaningful and pretty designs.

Small Matching Tattoos

Small tattoos proclaiming love are an often pick of young or married couples. Matching couple tattoos can depict not only such common designs as hearts, lock and key, or the infinity sign, but also more unusual things, like

  • each other’s initials
  • puzzle pieces or two parts of one object
  • rings on ring fingers
  • a couple of characters from an animated movie.

Popular Placements for Dainty Tattoos

Tiny art looks the best on small body parts: wrists, fingers, neck, ankles, and forearms. However, there is no rule forbidding getting small tattoos on larger body parts like the back or shoulders.

When choosing the placement of your tiny inking, ask yourself one question: do you want it to be in plain sight or easy to hide? If your dress code forbids showing tattoos or this inking has a deeply personal meaning to you, it’s better to place it somewhere where it can be easily hidden by clothing.


Arms are the most suitable placement for small designs. A wrist tattoo is always a win. It can be a lettering or bracelet tattoo or a dainty image of an object, animal, etc. The wrist is also a perfect and symbolic placement for matching couple tattoos.

A forearm is a great canvas for any tiny design. Plus, such tattoos can be later incorporated into a larger design.


Ankles and feet simply call for small ink. Men often get feet tattoos in the form of phrases, geometric figures, and patterns. Many women opt for intricate mandalas on the upper part of the feet, ankle bracelet tattoos, and fragile plants ‘growing’ from the heel up.

Sometimes we can see dainty artworks, especially depicting animals, on the knees or calves.


Fingers are a perfect placement for rings, initials, lines, dots, and other minimalist art. Finger tatts are equally popular with men and women.

Neck and collarbones

Small tattoos with a personal meaning can be easily hidden by hair, which is why the neck is such a common placement. Women often decorate the sides of the neck with birds, insects, and abstract patterns. Many men get inked on the front part of the neck, flaunting meaningful symbols and phrases, significant dates, and other imagery.

Tattoos on the collarbones are mostly seen on women who like to adorn them with dainty ink of lines, flowers, branches, and dots to emphasize their sensuality.

Small, yet meaningful tattoos are a perfect way to get introduced to this body art. They allow expressing yourself without drastic changes in appearance and even the tiniest design can be enough to make an impact.

You can find numerous sketches and photos of small tattoos in our gallery. Just remember to choose an idea that will resonate with you. Your tattoo artist will alter the design of a small tattoo just for you.

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