The tattoo placement of three dots is fairly common, and it is likely that you have seen someone sporting this design at some point during your lifetime. Perhaps you are interested in getting this image tattooed on yourself, and that is why you are here reading this article.
However, if you are interested in getting a tattoo that incorporates three dots in a row, or arranged in a triangular pattern, you are doing the right thing by researching the connotations before making any permanent decisions, just as you should for pretty much any kind of tattoo design.
Although this is an overall tiny, simple layout that will take little time to etch into your skin, the irreversible imprint left behind may plague you for years to come if you go into the session without having a full understanding of the multiple interpretations behind this one-of-a-kind motif.
Just like most other tattoos, there are several meanings behind this piece of ink that may even cause you to think twice before getting it done on yourself.
There are numerous variations of this specific design of tattoo, as well as a variety of different implications, ranging from basic and aesthetic into darker, more complex connotations.
The Symbolism Behind The Three Dots
As we said previously, there are several different meanings that can stem from the three dots tattoo design.
Whilst some connotations are seemingly innocent, there are some meanings that are more connected to the design than others, and this may be something that you will need to consider before getting one of your own.
The Meaning Of The Three Dots Within Gangs
Three dots being grouped in a triangular pattern could signify a dangerous, even criminal way of living, possibly implying a person’s involvement within a gang, or the individual’s time spent in prison.
You may meet some people who have matching versions of this design, and while this does not necessarily imply they are still involved within a gang, there is a strong likelihood that they were formerly members. This may be a part of their lives that they take great pride in.
The three dots may represent the Spanish phrase, ‘mi vida loca’, translating to ‘my crazy life’, or ‘tôi cn g c’ in Vietnamese (‘I need nothing’), used within Hispanic and Asian gangs. The original three dots are allegedly used to represent gang members who participate in gangbanging.
The Sureo’s gang code is thirteen, written in Arabic, Roman, or a hybrid between both numerals: 13, XIII, or X3. This is also the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, the letter ‘M’, which stands for ‘La Eme’ or ‘The M’, referring to the Mexican Mafia.
The placement of the triangular design with three dots is often placed on the face, around the individual’s eye, or on the hands/fingers.
The Religious Connotations of the Three Dots
Another meaning that is often closely connected to the use of three dots is the Christian representation of the Holy Trinity: the father, the son, and the holy spirit.
In order to make sure others can tell the difference between this design and the previously mentioned meaning, these individuals will make sure that extra spaces are placed between each of the three dots, attempting to distinguish between the gang symbol and the Christian connotation.
This pattern may be complemented by a crucifix or other types of religious imagery to emphasise the aim of the tattoo. Moons or stars are also typical additions to this type of design since they blend in well with the dots to form a minimalist constellation.
The accompanying artwork should be clear and basic in order to highlight rather than hide the three dots.
Other Representations Of The Three Dots
Another commonly recognized meaning of three dots placed together is the ellipsis (‘…’ or ‘dot-dot-dot’), a linguistic component that represents several meanings within a statement, including the incompleteness of a concept.
It can be used to signify that a word, or several words, have been deleted from a sentence, to build tension by adding a pause towards the finish, or to imply that a thought has trailed off.
The ellipsis tattoo is a symbol of progress, or a journey that ultimately takes the individual somewhere different in their lives. It symbolises something which is best left unspoken.
Due to this design being so simplistic, many people get this tattoo without knowing, or caring, about what the true meaning behind it is. It is a popular design for those who are looking for a cheap, quick tattoo, and is also popular with those who use their own stick and poke kits at home.
Can The Placement Of A Three Dots Tattoo Affect The Overall Meaning?
The significance of the three dot tattoo design is generally unaffected or altered by the location on your body at which you choose to have it placed. You can have it placed anywhere, and the meaning will, overall, remain the same.
Gang members or convicts will choose a prominently exposed body part to have the tattoo on because they want to display it to the world, ensuring that others will recognize it.
When two people meet for the first time and they see the tattoo on the one individual, they might instantly associate the person with the lifestyle, which is what they originally intended for the tattoo to do.
There are a couple of body parts and areas where this tattoo is popularly placed. The triangular pattern placed around the eyes is one of the most usual areas, as well as it being placed on the fingers, between the thumb and the index finger.
You did the best thing by researching this tattoo design before getting it done, as it can cause some confusion to some individuals if just anyone gets a tattoo of three dots, especially if placed in a triangle and placed next to your eye.
Gang members and convicts may find it offensive if a person got this tattoo in that exact placement without having ‘earned’ it.
There are a lot of people with this design, and many of them probably have no idea what it even means. Luckily, the tattoo is usually so small that it can be difficult to recognize, unless it is displayed in a highly visible area of the body.
Overall, it is entirely your decision whether you want to get three dots tattooed on your body. However, we do suggest that you think long and hard about this decision, as it will affect you for the rest of your life, considering the connotations that come along with it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Meaning Of The Three Dots In Gang Graffiti?
The three dots stand for ‘mi vida loca’ in Spanish, translating to ‘my crazy life’, and ‘tôi cn g c’ in Vietnamese (‘I need nothing’), used within Hispanic and Asian gangs.
The original three dots are allegedly used to represent gang members who participate in gang banging. The Sureo’s gang code is thirteen, written in Arabic, Roman, or a hybrid between both numerals: 13, XIII, or X3.
This is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet, the letter ‘M’, which stands for ‘La Eme’ or ‘The M’, referring to the Mexican Mafia.
Numerals are frequently used in the tattoos, such as Tres Puntos, translated to ‘three dots’, or X3, which is the Aztec numeral system’s symbol for the number 13.
What do the three dots mean in a sentence?
Three dots used within a sentence symbolise the ellipsis, a linguistic component used to represent several meanings within a statement, including the incompleteness of a concept.
The ellipsis can indicate anything that is not explicitly expressed but may be assumed: a sentence or a statement that ends in ambiguity. It can also be used to signify that a word, or several words, have been deleted from a citation, to build tension to a statement by adding a pause towards the finish, or to imply that a notion or a thought has trailed off.
What Does A 5 Dot Tattoo Mean On A Person?
A five-dot tattoo may be used to indicate time a person has spent in prison. The quincunx is made up of four dots that represent the prison walls, while it is the fifth dot that symbolizes the prisoner confined within the prison itself.
These spots are generally placed between the thumb and the forefinger on the inmate’s hand, as these tattoos tend to be harder to remove.
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