The Pinky Promise Tattoo: Everything You Need To Know!

Thinking About Getting A Pinky Promise Tattoo

Whether you’re currently on the hunt for a new tattoo to get, or you’ve been thinking about getting a matching tattoo with your best friend, then the popular pinky promise tattoo might have caught your eye.

Considered to be one the most meaningful tattoos available to get, besides looking cute and dainty, the pinky promise tattoo traditionally holds a lot of sentimental value – so you’re making a great choice to do a little bit of research before you decide to go ahead with the tattoo.

If you’re currently on the fence about whether or not to get a pinky promise tattoo, then rest assured that you have clicked on the right article!

To help you decide whether or not it’s the right image that you would like to permanently have on your body, below we are going to be talking you through everything you need to know about this tattoo, including its meaning and origin. Let’s jump in!

Where Does The Pinky Promise Come From?

Kicking this guide off, we’re first going to be talking you through where the notion of the “pinky promise” has come from.

Even though we’re sure that you’ll have made a fair few pinky promises in your time (especially when you were younger with your best friends) the traditional symbolism of the pinky promise is a little deeper than you might at first assume.

So, to help you understand what the meaning of the pinky promise is. let’s explore this origin of the pinky promise a little more below:

As we have already touched upon above, making pinky promises is something that we have all done at one point or another, whether to keep secrets safe between our friends or while making a deal with our parents.

However, have you ever stopped to think whether the origins of the pinky promise is anything more than that?

Well, as it just so happens to turn out the pinky promise is believed to have originated from Japan many, many years ago – and has been well known and used in the USA from around the 1860s, although some records indicate that the pinky promise came around in the United States even sooner than that.

Needless to say, the pinky promise is officially recognized to have reached the United States during the middle of the 18th century, which was talked about in Bartlett’s Dictionary of Americanisms.

Credits: loutat2

In this dictionary that was widely distributed throughout America at the time, the pinky promise was described in the following excerpt, “pinky, pinky, bow-bell…whoever tells a lie will sink to a bad place and never rise again.”

Now, even though this might seem like a relatively harsh description of the lighthearted pinky promise that we have all come to know today, buckle up – because of the original Japanese meaning (which is where it is believed to have originated from) is even harsher.

According to Japanese culture, the pinky promise, which is originally referred to as Yubikiri (which quite literally translates to “cut off a finger”) and is generally considered to have been most prominently used by the mafia.

As a strict oath, if the Yubikiri is broken, the person who broke the oath will, according to the rules of the Yubikiri, lose a finger.

Luckily, most of us don’t stick to the original terms of Yubikiri, although it does go some way in showing us how important and serious the pinky promise is!

What Does The Pinky Promise Tattoo Mean?

What Does The Pinky Promise Tattoo Mean

So, now that we have taken the time to talk you through where the pinky promise tattoo originates from, we are now going to be taking the time to talk you through what it actually means!

Generally speaking, the pinky promise tattoo is most commonly gotten as a matching tattoo between a loved one or a best friend.

It will usually signify a promise made to each other to always remain loyal and true to each other, although the meaning of the pinky promise tattoo, when given as a matching tattoo, can have a personal meaning to the pair that are getting the tattoo together.

Alongside the more traditional meaning of a promise shared between two people, a pinky promise tattoo can also symbolize a personal promise that someone has made to themselves – which means that the pinky promise tattoo can also be given as a solo tattoo rather than as a matching tattoo with a loved one or friend.

So, if you happen to have made a personal promise to yourself that you want to last a lifetime, or if the pinky promise imagery has a sentimental value to you, then there’s no reason why you can’t get this tattoo style, as it is special to you.

An example of the pinky promise imagery having a sentimental value to you could be due to it being attached to a memory of a loved one who has passed on.

Whether to honor a loved one, family member, or friend – the pink promise tattoo could also be gotten in memory of someone that you hold dear to your heart.

Are There Any Pinky Tattoo Variations?

If you’re currently on the fence about whether or not to get a pinky promise tattoo, then we’re sure that you’ll be pleased to hear that there are a variety of different tattoo variations that you will be able to choose from.

To help you gain a better understanding of whether or not a pinky promise tattoo is right for you, let’s take a look at some of the variations below:

Credits: nextluxtattoos
  • Promise On The Pinky – Instead of getting a traditional pinky promise symbol, you could instead opt to get the word “promise” tattooed on the inner side of your pinky. This is a great option if you would like to get a tattoo that is more subtle and harder to spot.
  • One Pinky On Two Arms (Matching Tattoo) – Rather than getting the traditional style of two hands making a pinky promise, you could instead opt to go for a tattoo of one hand forming a pinky promise, and your partner or friend could get the same on their arm. This is an ideal way to display the trust and promise shared between one another and is a great variation to the traditional style tattoo that incorporates two hands.


What Is The Pinky Promise Tattoo?

The pinky promise tattoo is a popular tattoo style that typically displays a promise made between friends, lovers, or oneself.

Can You Get A Pinky Promise With Flowers?

Yes! There are plenty of different styles that you can choose from when opting for a pinky promise tattoo. Why don’t you work with your tattooist to create a unique design?

Is The Pinky Promise A Couple’s Tattoo?

It doesn’t have to be! While many couples will get a pinky promise tattoo to show their love and the promise made between them, pinky promise tattoos can be a tattoo given to friends and loved ones, or even to symbolize a promise made to yourself.