133 Coolest Traditional American Tattoos You Need To Know About!

American traditional tattoos are something one should have a general idea about. What comes in your mind when someone says “America”? At some point, there has to be the word ‘tattoo’ somewhere still on the top list. Of course, Americans are famous for tattoos.

While the entire world is being less social about tattooing, America is very open and forward about tattooing. The tattooing thing is trendy among the people in the USA. The reason behind their acceptance of tattoos is a cultural belief at some point.

Without a doubt, the youngsters and adults love tattoos in American societies because it is loved by the youths and adults mostly everywhere. But what about the older people? Old age people believe the body of a human being is pure, and getting a tattoo makes it impure forever. But what if the cultural norms are associated with the tat? The tattoo culture began from the time when the people learned carving stones, even on the stone age.

There were different tactics to wear tats. It was not done for personal attention or for being famous. But instead, it was relating to the traditions making the tattoos more meaningful. If you are wearing traditional tat, there are no chances of being looked at poorly. Therefore, conventional American tattoos have been simplified from ancient times.

This article is all about traditional American tattoos beauty. After you make it to the bottom, you question yourself, “Is there any tattoo more iconic or unique compared to the traditional American ones?”. The answer to this will be NO!

What is American Traditional Tattoos & what is its history?

The revolution in tattoo has come from the west. It is, without a doubt, true. Even today, the number of people involved in tattooing is more in the west as compared to other places. In fact, in the case of America, the name is the highest.

Talking about traditional American tattoos, they are the most famous for their crispy black outline and bold color palettes. Mainly, conventional American tattoos do not associate any religion, but it might be affected by cultures and traditions. It depicts the time frame of an ancient America, and the tattoo ideas are all the products of that time frame.

The American tattoos are classic, bold, a little old-school but include objects like roses, anchors, hearts, sailors, etc. that make the tat more beautiful. This style has been into existence for a long time, maybe more than a century. Though there are many outstanding ideas when it comes to tattooing, old is gold. The ideas that were once accessible hundreds of years back are still fantastic, and one should not miss that.

There was a time when the Western sailors wore tattoos like a number, ranks, names, id numbers, and sometimes a badge as well. It is 200 centuries back in the 1800s. Some also flaunted the travel journey through their tattoos when they visited places like Hawaii or the South Pacific. Tattoos like anchors and swallows represented the travel stories or ocean stories.

People who wanted to tell something that they achieved or have been through, they did that through tattoos in earlier centuries. Well, Americans have been cold for a long time and have accepted tattoos so well that they are the revolutionist when it comes to tattooing, and their traditional tats are still the benchmark.


Some Cool American Traditional Tattoos Ideas Along With Description:

There are individual tattoos that are associated with American societies and with their traditions. These are ordinary to find out yet beautiful and meaningful to wear. You can find some of the traditional American tattoos mentioned below, along with their significance meaning.

  1. Sailor’s Tattoos:

One can already guess about the tattoo ideas when one talks about the traditional tattoos of the American society century back. There were the sailors, pirates, people who involved directly and indirectly into sailing and oceans. There were achievements relating to the seas. If you turn the pages of history, you can find out how important it was for people to associate with the US Navy. Some certain symbols or signs represented achievements. People wore tattoos after their accomplishments. They wore the symbols like sailing ship, hourglass, anchor, and something like in the picture above. It showed their love and respect as well as pride towards sailing.

The above picture is vast. The tattoo not just has a sailing ship but also has wings. These wings determine how ambitious you are to achieve your goals and stick towards it for your forever life. The use of hourglass shows how your time is running or how you made something within the time frame allocated. There are some of the personal meanings that can be found out from this tattoo image.

2. Tiger, Skull, Wolf, & Swallow

People usually start getting their tattoos with a single tattoo. Some people become so addicted that they end up tattooing everything. It is also said that if you start getting a tattoo, there is no going back. There are certain combinations of individual tattoos that you wear as a combo. Just like in the image above, there is a combination of certain characters like tiger, wolf, swallow, and skull.

These tats are making sense individually as well as combined. One can make other combinations as well. There are individual meanings to each of these characters. With such variations, one can make the tattoo more meaningful. The use of a tiger can mean aggression, power, strength, etc.

Similarly, the use of swallow can mean luck, happiness, etc. Likewise, the use of wolf can mean ambition, good fortune, etc. And, the use of the skull can mean magic, etc.

Adding tattoos to the arm is mostly a man’s choice. The people involved in fights like kickboxing, wrestling, etc. and the people involved in skating, street works, music, etc. also are seen to wear tattoos on their arms. With American Traditional tattoos on their arms, they will look bold.

Also See: 120+ Lovely Family Tattoos For A Loving Family Like Yours!

3. Owl With Different Looks:


Owl can be used in various forms. It is a symbol of night. The magnificent creature, owl, has multiple reasons to be the chosen one when it comes to tattooing. The owl is beautiful, unique, and is associated with several meanings. An owl is sometimes holding dark magic, according to some societies. It has been the topic of American tradition for a long time already.

The one in the tattoo pictured above is a frowning owl. Of course, it does not look delighted like that. The meaning behind the frowning owl is the fierceness. It shows aggression and ambition at some point. Most people also believe it is a symbol of femininity as well as wisdom. The character of the owl has been used in various forms, pointing out several meanings. The use of colorful flowers along with the owl adds more impact on femininity and peace. At one point, there is aggression through frowning and, at other times, the use of flowers to soften the meaning.

4. National Flag & The Eagle

When the tattoo is relating to America itself, the flag has to be there! The patriotic feeling that comes from the American flag is limitless. This traditional tat has its fan base. The use of the eagle along with the flag, adds more spice to the tat. The orientation of the flag and eagle also explains a lot. It can have variations such as the 3D effect. Each time it will have a majestic output. Though at some point, it can look old-school, it is all about perspective, and most of the people are crazy about this tattoo idea.

5. Words, Symbols, Quotes & Characters:

The use of words, symbols, quotes, and characters make the tattoo more exciting and beautiful. With the use of names and texts, one can directly mean something instead of twisting things. Sometimes the use of words like mum and dad will be enough to suggest the whole story behind the tat. It can be merged with anything anytime. There can be some other images like maybe flowers, sunshine, rainbows, birds, etc. The use of words, quotes, and characters have made the traditional American tats more specific and meaningful.

How about tatting the entire arm? Just like the tat on the wing, as shown above, one can wear multiple tats and flaunt the beauty of it through this. There can be several other ideas when it comes to traditional tatting tat of some specific society or country. This one has words like dad and mum, which shows the extreme level of love this guy has for his parents. In this way, adding a little name can mean a lot and be more meaningful.

What is the average cost of the American traditional tattoos?

There are plenty of things or factors that come out when one talks about the average cost of a tat. And, talking about the traditional American tattoos, there are numerous, and it is the least specific. Therefore, there is no particular answer to the average cost of the conventional American symbol.

Various factors affect the cost of the traditional tattoo. The elements are size, color, detail, skills of expertise of the designer, experience of the artist, the popularity of the place, etc. Therefore, even the cost of identical tattoos can vary accordingly.

The size of the tattoo plays a vital or essential role in making changes in the average price of the tattoos. More significant is the size, more significant is the price. It does not need more clarification, as it is quite clear already. When the size is enormous, extra time is required. Additional time means extra effort and extra money. Most of the tattoo artists are concerned about the time. If one is paying according to the time required, it is more efficient. It is because the price is balanced.


Another factor that makes a significant impact on the tattoo price is the details and the colors. If there are multiple colors applied to the tat, the price will be high. It is because usually, black outlined tat is cheaper. The cost will vary for different colors. If there are sparkling or glittery colors, the price will be even higher.

The cost also depends on the quality of the ink you are given. The ink can be of different quality. So, the price will be higher for the ink with high quality and vice versa. It is another way of finding the cost of the tat. If you plan to get the tat with average quality, you can get the tattoo inking done at a reasonable price.

Another factor that determines the price of the tattoo is the popularity of the tattoo studio and also the experience of the tattoo artist. If the studio is popular with a lot of visitors and customers, the price can be high. The artists who make tattoos of the celebs will take a higher price per hour, and this can be simply because of their popularity and best output.

On average, the tattooing per hour charges can be from 40$ to 80$ if it is an average studio with average popularity. But if you end up in some expensive cities, the price can be doubled.


How to avoid infections that can arise from tats?

There are certain basic things one has to keep in mind. People are very conscious sometimes and yet fail to protect themselves from the infections. One has no idea and is already having a disease. Certain things can be the reason behind it. Some of them are discussed below:

Before getting the tat, one should be conscious about two things, quality of ink and sterilization of the needle: The first and the foremost is the ink! Are you allergic to anything? Look at the ingredients and do research. If you are allergic to things, try to avoid it. Make sure the ink is of the best quality. The other thing is sterilization. If the needle is not sterilized, you will not just receive infection, but you will sometimes be a victim of diseases like cancer and even STDs.

After getting the tat, one should be conscious about few things: Try to avoid the contamination. It can be done by avoiding direct and indirect touch: direct from fingers and indirect from either clothes or hair. Moreover, use bandage above the reason to keep the area clean and germ-free. Add some warm water and fragrance-free soap for cleaning the region. Do not go to public pools for swimming. Moreover, do not itch the reason. It will help you be protected from infections.


Image Gallery

This section consists of the images that have tattoos relating to American traditions and cultures. Though this is not enough, at least through these images, you will get a picture on your mind about the varieties and options one can find with the traditional American tats.

People have the wrong concept of traditional tats. Whatever has traditions involved has to be boring, and old-school is what people think. At some point, they are not wrong. The reason is simple; they have been inside a small box for a long time. But it is time to come out and think outside the box. There are plenty of ideas that include traditional tats and still maintain modernism. There is nothing wrong with it, and you have plenty of options to avoid the typical ones and yet get a usual tat for yourself.

Go through all of these images and pick yourself one beautiful tat!



The article “Traditional American Tattoos” is all about the most frequently asked questions over the Internet. It has every answer to the queries relating to the traditional tats on American societies. There are infinite tats when we talk about the traditional ones only, but this one has the most popular ones, and the rest are ignored. You can find out things like origin, history, ancient beliefs, meanings, types, ideas, average cost, the procedure to wear, and picture gallery on the topic.

After going through this article, one knows traditional American history as well as the origin of individual tattoos that are still popular today and will last forever, hopefully. It gives a general idea to all the tattoo lovers what kinds of things are to be kept on mind while getting any tat. There is a section called image gallery where one can look at several traditional tats that are not described but clear enough to have general information.

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Also, you can show us your tattoo if you wore one inspired by this article. Have a happy time tattooing fellas! 

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