Anchor Tattoos & Their Meaning

Tattoos make up an important part of many people’s identity. They are an outlet for people to express themselves and their creative mindset. Many people view the body as a blank canvas that is free to be decorated in any way.

Some people get tattoos simply because they think that they are pretty or cool whereas others get them because they hold great meaning to them.

Regardless of the reason the vast majority of people have some sort of reason behind why they get the tattoos that they do. 

Anchor Tattoos

So, What Does The Anchor Tattoo Mean?

The Anchor tattoo is used for many different reasons as it is symbolic of a variety of things. Some of the meanings behind the tattoo include: 


Anchors have the strength and power to hold a whole boat in one place therefore, people often associate anchors with strength.

For this reason it is a very common tattoo, people may choose to get a tattoo with this meaning because they believe that strength is one of their best qualities or on the flip side to remind themselves of the importance of staying strong in tough times. 


Anchors are also often used as a symbol of perseverance. This could be for many reasons including their naval background, the fact that no matter how many attempts it takes to anchor a boat in the same place it usually eventually works or because or the fact that anchors very rarely break.

Whatever the reason, it’s a nice tattoo with an even better meaning. People may choose to have this done once they have overcome a challenge that has taken perseverance or while they are going through a tough time that requires perseverance. 

Honoring a Relationship To A Loved One, Family, Tribe or Community

As anchors attach a boat firmly into the earth they are often used to show a firm tie or attachment to something.

People may choose to have this tattoo for this symbolic meaning in order to honor the relationship that they have with their partner as it suggests an unbreakable bond.

Similarly it could be used to show that the bond that they had with a relative who they have lost will never be broken.

Credits: pastimetattoo

On the other hand it does not need to show a bond or a tie between two people; rather, it could show the strong tie that they feel towards a tribe or community, perhaps a religion. 

Personal Connection With The Water Element or Ocean

As anchors are predominantly used to keep boats firmly in one place when in the water many people choose to get this tattoo in order to represent their personal connection with either the water element or the ocean.

In terms of the water element this is one of three elements (water, earth and fire) for spiritual reasons or reasons based around their personality. Some people feel that they belong to a certain element, in this case water.

In terms of a tie to the ocean this could be anything from a strong interest in marine life, to being a diver, to spending lots of time on ships in the ocean. 

Anchoring One’s Spirit To This Earth

In its rawest form one of the things that the anchor is used to show is the anchoring of one’s spirit to this earth.

Some people choose to get this so that if anything happens to them they feel as though they have anchored themselves to this earth.

Credits: leo_tattooart

Although in some respects this tattoo is associated with death it is also a sign of life as the very meaning of to be alive is to still have a soul on this earth.

It almost creates a sense of immortality and can be used by people who wish to put fears of death to bed. 

Best Places On The Body To Have Your Anchor Tattoo Done

Anchor tattoos can vary in size and style and therefore they can be done in pretty much any place that you desire (design dependent). However, there are of course some factors that need to be considered when deciding where to have it done, such as: 


How big you want your anchor tattoo to be should be taken into consideration when trying to decide where to have it.

People choose to have this tattoo in a range of sizes from a small foot of hand tattoo all the way to having it as a large back piece.

Therefore, you really need to think about the size that you want to have this tattoo done in before you decide where to have it done. 


Like when choosing where to have any tattoo you should consider your own personal pain threshold. Some more painful places include your spine, fingers, and ribs so if you have a low pain tolerance then these might be some places worth trying to avoid.

Anchor Tattoos & Their Meaning


When deciding to have any tattoo it is important to consider if you want to be able to cover it up. This could be for reasons such as work, family disapproval or for certain social situations.

Most of the time people feel little need to cover an anchor tattoo up however if you have got it to represent a navy background then you may need to cover it up for work.

Similarly, if it represents a tie to a certain community you may at times wish to keep this private, it’s ultimately up to you. 

Social Acceptance

Similarly to the above, when deciding on the placement of your tattoo you should try to weigh up how socially acceptable it is as this could have an impact on where you have it.

For instance, if it is a less socially acceptable tattoo you may choose to have it made less obvious by having it done between other tattoos. Similarly, you may choose to have it somewhere small that can be covered up.

Overall, the anchor tattoo has very few negative connotations so it is likely to be accepted in the vast majority of societies.

However, it depends what it is representing a tie too, if it is representing a connection to something more controversial than you may be more likely to want it somewhere that it can be easily covered up. 

However, generally speaking, you have a lot of freedom when it comes to this tattoo as you do not need to worry about much backlash. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, it is important to remember that the anchor tattoo has lots of different connotations including a strong connection the the ocean, a strong tie to a relative, loved one or group, or a reminder of strength.

Therefore, people choose to get this tattoo for many different reasons. It also means that the tattoo can be done in many different styles, sizes and places so if you are stuck for what tattoo to get then this could be a great option.