Johnny Depp and his Tattoos
Johnny Depp, the popular Hollywood star, known to the world for his role in the movie 'Pirates of the Caribbean' is one of the many renowned personalities who are fanatic lovers of tattoos. Distressed over some nagging domestic problems and obsessed with a concern for his personal safety, Depp started to injure himself. In fact there are more than seven scars on his body as a result of self inflicted injuries.
Speaking to an interviewer, Depp commented on his self-inflicted injury by thus - "My body is a journal in a way. It's like what sailors used to do, where every tattoo meant something, a specific time in your life when you make a mark on yourself, whether you do it yourself with a knife or with a professionaltattoo artist".
Depp has at least fourteen tattoos as of now and each tattoo has a specific reason. For instance the tattoo "head of Cherokee Indian chief" is to commemorate his ancestral heritage. The tattoo "Lily-Rose" is because of his first-born child. The tattoo "Betty Sue" is his mother’s name and below this tattoo is curiously a sparrow flying over water and underneath is written his son’s "Jack". The most recent one is "Silence Exile Cunning" – though it is unclear what the significance is.
One can see a ribbon tattoo reading "Wino Forever" and the story goes that this tattoo was originally "Winona Forever", and Depp amended it by removing "na" after his estrangement with Winona Ryder. Johnny had this tattoo done at Sunset Strip Tattoo reportedly paying 75 Dollars. Their adline proclaims `Tattooers of the Stars Since 1971' and proudly announces that Johnny's `Winona Forever' double-banner tattoo was done on his right bicep by us to serve as parallel to his tattoo on the left honoring his mother.
It is reported that nearly seven of Depp's tattoos were done by New York tattooist Jonathan Shaw and interestingly Shaw was the one who played the role of a tattoo artist in ‘Tightrope’ – a Clint Eastwood movie.
It is worthwhile looking into the background of some of Depp’s tattoos.
As stated earlier, "Betty Sue" depicts the standard 'heart' tattoo with a ribbon through the middle where the name of his mother written. It is said that such tattoo designs were profusely sported by servicemen to remind them of their homes as also the cause they were fighting for.
The "Inverted Triangle" seen above the Betty Sue tattoo represents the heart, and is considered a symbol associated with women to reveal romantic love. Depp must have had his own reasons for sporting this tattoo.
The "Brave Symbol" tattoo on the right arm is obviously to remember his film entitled ‘The Brave’.
"The Swallow" or "Flying Bird" has apparently been taken from the movie ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. Depp meaningfully redesigned the tattoo on his right forearm as he turned it around to give the impression that the bird is flying towards him and he wrote his son's name, "Jack" underneath.
This tattoo has a particular significance. It is said that a sailor is entitled to this tattoo after voyaging 500 nautical miles. There is a belief that Swallow indicates that land s nearing and it also signals safe return.
Swallows are traditionally known to travel long distances in the sea during migration and they would hang around boats parked at the shores. Thus, the sighting of swans presumably lent credence to the fact that land was close by.
Also see "Say Body Paint Or Body Art"
On his right biceps just below 'Wino' there is the prominent tattoo "Cherokee Indian Chief in full headdress". This is to honor his Cherokee great-great-grandmother, Minnie. This tattoo also serves to testify his ancestral cultural heritage.
Those who know Depp closely would have noticed "Three Little Rectangles" on his right index finger. He lightheartedly calls these squares as a "permanent phone doodle."
The number "3" is found on his left hand and John says in the April 1996 issue of Young Flix Magazine that 3 is a special number for him as it is a creative number denoting Triangle, Trinity and he also meaningfully comments that two people make another person. “Three is a mystical, magical number."
Johnny appropriately sports the tattoo bearing the name of his daughter Lily-Rose Melody near his heart.
The traditional danger signal of “Skull and Crossbones” is seen on his lower right leg with the suggestive phrase "Death Is Certain" written below the diagram.
Inexplicably there is the question mark "?" symbol on the right inside leg just above the ankle.
The most recent tattoo, by all accounts, is the "Silence Exile Cunning" on his left arm, which many saw for the first time at an MTV movie awards function. Booklovers know that this tattoo must be the result of his reading the book "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” penned by James Joyce.
heather idleman on January 17, 2013:
i am a huge fan of his. It would be cool to meet him face to face
JerseyDevil on September 12, 2012:
I know it's been a while since this was originally posted, but to catch up with JD's tattoos, he now sports a total of 29 as of Sept 2012. DinDin, as to Winona Forever, he had it partially removed, (being too painful for the whole tattoo) it no longer has the NA, so it now reads Wino Forever. And SheShe---keep the faith---I too never thought I'd have a chance---but since 2006, I have met Johnny 7 times! And he kissed my hand the last time (Oct 2011 NYC)
She She on August 19, 2012:
I love Johnny Depp . I am a great fan of his . He is the greatest actor in the world and a nice and kind man and a very good father. I love all his movies. I wish I could meet him and get his autograph and take a picture of him. But that will never happen because he would never come to the stupid little town I live in and make a movie or have a primeire here. So I guess I will just have to watch him in his movies and look at his images on Johnny Depp Bing News. I love all Johnny's Tattoos they are great and look great on him because he is such a hot guy and very very cute man. Your Fan Forever Sharon . P.S. Keep making your great movies and I will keep watching them and buying them . You are the greatest Actor in Hollywood. And I love Captain Jack Sparrow.
linda on May 08, 2011:
Johnny Depp is a great actor. I remember how he stood out from the rest on 21 Jump Street!
rythmgirl96 on April 14, 2011:
I LOVE JOHNNY DEPP!!!!!
Lyss on February 11, 2011:
I think that he has two more not listed. They were in his Vanity Fair photo shoot. A skull and crossbones on his inner right bicep and another on his left forearm that I can't tell what it is.
Click next and you'll see the second tat in a after a picture or two.
lovejohnny on February 04, 2011:
I would like to just see that whole body 3D in the flesh! So I could really get a good look at those tatoos. And wouldn't it be great to speak w/him for a few minutes???
csinydanny on February 03, 2011:
i am the same with my body bieng a journal. i doodle all over myself. lyrics, quotes whatever. i am getting a tattoo soon but shhh dont tell my dad. its my sign and my friends sign. my sign is behind my left ear and hers behind my right. right on the bone..
Vickie on February 03, 2011:
Negra you state you're totally obsessed w/him. Hell, I'm 49, will be 50 in March of 2011, and I have a 4ft tall 3ft wide picture I had MADE of him in a frame hanging in my living room. LOL. And I don't care WHO likes it and WHO don't. I spent over $200 on this picture and then $75 on the frame. I also have an 8x10 of him in a frame sitting on my sofa table. TO me, there is NOBODY bigger or better than Johnny except God himself. Of course I don't know the man personally and probably will never be lucky enough to get to meet him, bad for me, BUT everything I have read about him and heard about him points to him being a TERRIFIC person. And yes, him being HOT doesn't hurt. But him being hot is not why I love him so. It's the kind of person he is. I think Collin Ferrell is hot too, but from what I hear about him he is a real asshole. And I wouldn't give him the time of day. And as for you, yeh man, sounds like to me someone is jealous. First of all, get a life, we're talking about a celebrity, and second of all, know what you're talking about before you start running off at the mouth like you had diarrhea. I have been a FAN of Johnny's since he started in showbiz, and I DON'T appreciate it when I hear someone run him down when he works as hard as he does providing for his family. And another thing yeh man, learn how to spell. Your name is spelled wrong, it's Y-E-A-H not yeh. Now, I understand that everybody has their opinions of people, place and things, and they have that right to voice their opinions and such. After all, this IS America the last time I looked, although; sometimes I believe that is slowly dwindling, but nonetheless, we're still a FREE country. Johnny has my love and my support, along with others just like me. We've all had a say and stated our peace. I will ALWAYS support Johnny. He is truly a great actor and person. Love you Johnny.
negra on February 01, 2011:
I am totally obsessed with this man.
veronica on January 15, 2011:
I don't understand how he removed the "na" of winona's tatto
ang3l on January 10, 2011:
luv johnny depp ! i admire his tattoos esp the ones dedicated to his mom n children ! plus it looks pretty darn awesome on him !
jelena radovanovic on December 24, 2010:
woooooooooow... that was cool... i lovoj ehnny depp,so much!!!!!!!!!!!!
May on November 13, 2010:
JOHNNY DEPP IS SO HOT . I GOT TO HOOK UP
NativeForever on November 05, 2010:
I am not a huge fan, but I have enjoyed most of Johnny Depp's movies. However, I DO take issue with the fact that he, like so many others, is claiming to be so "spiritually moved" by his native heritage. I have no clue if Mr. Depp is truly of Cherokee ancestry or not, HOWEVER, had he done ANY research on his claimed ancestry, he would have discovered that full headresses were worn by plains indian tribes (Think of the Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, Blackfeet, Comanche, etc.)and the Cherokee were most definitely NOT one of the plains tribes. A turban (Google a picture of Sequoyah) is a much more accurate picture. This fact alone makes his tattoo culturally incorrect, and in my mind, a mockery of his heritage instead of the tribute he claims it to be. Bottom line and lesson to be learned is that if you are going to shout "I'm Native" from the rooftops, get it right! (and FYI, for all you who claim your great-great-great-great-grandmother was a Cherokee Princess, no she wasn't. The Cherokee have always had an ELECTED chief, so the "royal" lineage doesn't exist, sorry.)
IJUB on October 31, 2010:
Great research !! love it, :)
sharnjeet kaur on July 04, 2010:
johnny deep is my best actor in the hole world.
Amanda on June 27, 2010:
Thanx do much for the pic of the 3 tat. That is my fav. Number and I wanted to draw one on my hand with a permanent marker in the same place. I
Angela Michelle Schultz from United States on May 24, 2010:
Great Hub, I just wrote a Johnny Depp article, and I linked your article to mine. I thought this was really informative, and a great asset to a Johnny Depp fan!
yeh man on February 08, 2010:
my god you guys are all dumb, women cream over him for no other reason but his good looks, all this shit you try to come up with about how his tatoos are meaningful is bullshit to cover up how superficial you guys are
one of the above posters stated i wonder what the meaning for wino is, even after he read it. even if he didn't read it. and guys this is proof how you will overlook EVERYTHING just cause someone is hot. what else could be the reason, he broke up with her, it was the only other thing he coould do with the word but nooooo! im sure he has some made up story for you to further jizz ur pants
to tell u all the truth, i think the reason why he has so many tatoos is to cover up his shameful past of being a self-mutilating patient. i got this vibe when i noticed how many tats he has. but now that i think about it ... a person that cuts themselves secretly does it in non revealing areas ... like legs, thighs, forearms etc and thats where he has most of his tats
Lizzie on January 15, 2010:
He is such an amazing man!
I love his work, and admire him so much!!
Such an inspiration in so many ways!
xlilmissdeppx on December 26, 2009:
i wondered what the 3 meant .. its quite odd really especially as my lucky number is three !! he also has three heart tatoo's representing vannessa ,lily-rose and jack on the inside of one of his arms i think the left!! x
Lo on December 16, 2009:
Funny how anyone could think they are his biggest fan.He is soooooo hotttttttt it is a shame there is only of him,It is the native american blood deeply spiritually evolved.
cool on December 12, 2009:
LOVE u JoHnNy DePp will u be at atlantis in nassau my mo will be there she is michele the tall one!!!!!
Rubbiecubby13 on December 03, 2009:
cool stuff.............. i LOVE YOU johnny !!
JohnnyDeppLoverForever on November 28, 2009:
I HATE guys with tattoos. Johnny is the exception. I happen to love that he has so many tattoos. I alsways wondered what the significance of the "3" was. Thank you SunSeven for telling me! I still don't understand the significance of the three rectangles on his right index finger... I never knew about the inverted triangle, skull and cross bones, question mark, "silence exile cunning", Cherokee Indian, or the brave symbol seeing as he doesn't show these all that often. I knew about his "Lily Rose" tattoo a long time ago but just recently found out exactly what it said by buying a poster. Thank you so much for this page! Very well put together!
desi on July 21, 2009:
wino means alcoholic, to the person who thinks it means stupid. hey johnny love ur movies :)
Secretive on July 21, 2009:
I think Johnny's tatoos are really cool. I think he is a really cool actor and the hottest one too. I wish his family the best!
susieqla on July 16, 2009:
Lova ya, Johnny! The only way I can see you is in the Movies, so please keep makin' 'em. Yours, susieqla
jaehan on July 13, 2009:
johnny depp got a new tattoo added to his body .. and finally vanessa got one of it! johnny told in an interview his latest tattoo is 3 red hearts , and it's dedicated to vanessa and the kids.. how sweet .. why now johnny?
Reynolds_Writing from Atlanta, Georgia on July 05, 2009:
Fun hub topic. Just saw Johnny in Public Enemies..
Zabbella from NJ-USA on June 25, 2009:
Cool stuff...love that Johnny !!
rebakah on June 09, 2009:
Johnny's tattoos suck. :)
mlshook57 on June 04, 2009:
Interesting article - I did not know the info. for his tatoos.
Incidently, I am glad that he and Vannessa found each other and have two beautiful children together! He deserves to be happy and fulfilled. They keep him grounded on what is truely important-family! I love his work and he is absolutey gorgeous! I wish him and his family all the best!! Got to love him-go for it Johnny! Never give up acting! Your the best!!
It makes me sad that some people do not understand this simple concept of being happy for someone who is happy!
I absolutely love his work and think he is gorgeous. I would love to meet him but will never happen.
I have been a fan since 21 Jumpstreet and have nearly all of his movies. I drive my family nuts about him but I don't care. There are alot of good actors out there, but Johnny Depp is by far and away my favorite! Again, go for it Johnny! Your the best!!!
kenzie e. on May 04, 2009:
this is jdepp's biggest, most obsessive fan.
im not going to lie. (i love him so much) ;D
i have <3jdepp on my license plate.
i don't see why i couldn't have been out of the womb to snatch is pretty ass away from wino's bitch ass in the year 1990.
Hes so far along with his bitch Vanessa & those children he has runnin around, i don't stand a chance.
I would show him how special he really is,
He would love me: Im 18, fresh meat. :)
depp fan on April 26, 2009:
i luv johnny depp and his tattoes
dhailand olaer on December 29, 2008:
ohhhh johnny depp i really like u im ur biggest fun huny im so glad that i hv cooment to u i hope u hv good health and i reaaly like ur movie the pirates of Caribbean
yvaine on December 29, 2008:
jhonny depp is my fav like him so much bravo
hippie_chick on December 12, 2008:
he is so hot i love these pics thatnx sunseven ur really cool!
Alondra Santos on December 06, 2008:
I LOVE JHONNY DEPP and his TATOOS
kezia warner-wells on December 03, 2008:
hi this is your BIGGEST FAN JOHNNY DEPP
I LOVE YOU SOOOOOOOOOOO MCH
Rookie Expert from US on July 14, 2008:
After reading Jhonny's explanation for his love for the number 3, i too think its magical! nice hub as usual
Jay on July 11, 2008:
He has another new one now, on his left forearm. It says 'Silence, Exile, Cunning' and is a quote from James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
Dennis Wakeley on May 24, 2008:
It's pretty cool that Depp is so into body art. I really like his style in many way!
Thanks for sharing this!
dindin from Texas on April 17, 2008:
I always wondered if he was going to cover up the Winona tattoo. Any one know if he covered it up?
Athlyn Green from West Kootenays on December 21, 2007:
I see you are a Depp fan, too. He has incredible charisma--very sexy.
jormins from Chicago, IL on November 27, 2007:
Its strange I've always been a big fan of Depp but never knew any of that information except probably Winona. Great hub.
SunSeven (author) from Singapore / India on July 26, 2007:
Hi cgull, perhaps he has more. But only these ones are noticed yet, by the media.
cgull8m from North Carolina on July 23, 2007:
That's wonderful, I didn't realize he had so many tattoos, nice hub. Cheers.
prabu on July 23, 2007:
this is really good, i am very fond of nice lookin tattoos's this is real good
Violet on July 22, 2007:
Jhonny Depp is sooooooo HOT those picers of him are cool.
paks on July 21, 2007:
an amazing & well compiled page keep it up
rocky on July 21, 2007:
do you know that this actor JHONNY DEPP and all th other co stars who acted in the movie PIRATES OF CARIBBEAN were instructed to avoid having a bath and were not even allowed to brush their teeth during the acting period, by thediector of the movie , so that they could have the natural looks of the old time pirates who used to stay filthy.
d on July 20, 2007:
that's awesome!! It would be great to feature all the tattoos of The Veronicas (esp. jess!) and Billie joe fro green day.. that would be cool :)
Maddie Ruud from Oakland, CA on July 20, 2007:
OOoooh, thank you so much SunSeven!!!! Just exactly what I was requesting...
Wayne Tully from Hull City United Kingdom on July 20, 2007:
Some quality research, are you sure you don't download it all in one hand and extract it in the other, brilliant hub!!
Jason Menayan from San Francisco on July 20, 2007:
wow you really put together a really good page SunSeven!