Monday, March 1, 2010

God's Name, All Messed Up

Today's victim is walking around with a particularly ridiculous Hebrew tattoo on his wrist:


All this guy wanted is a spiritual tattoo saying "The Lord's" in Hebrew. I bet those of you who know Hebrew are scratching your heads in confusion, as this bad Hebrew tattoo spells out a nonsense word.

Somehow, whoever attempted this sad translation couldn't distinguish "The Lord's" from "The Lords" - and so he took God's most sacred name, YHWH, and attempted to turn it into multiple form. You just don't do that! Especially not to a God who is all about oneness.

Also, the Nikkud (vowel dots) on this tattoo is totally random. And it's ugly too. If any Hebrew tattoo deserves the title of Epic Fail - this is the one.

How would you write "The Lord's" in Hebrew? Something like this:


This basically says "Belong to my master", I think it conveys the original meaning best, while avoiding the offensiveness of tattooing God's sacred name. Good for BDSM purposes too.

23 comments:

  1. At the beginning i thought it was a misspelled version of the band Hayehudim :D

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  2. Yep, it resembles misspelled "Hayehudim" - The Jews, more than anything. I would have never come up with "The Lord's", had it not been stated so by the victim himself.

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  3. oh how much less people would get into trouble with these if they just answered, when asked what they mean, "no comment"

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  4. Well, honestly, your propositions are not much better than the tattoos you criticize...

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  5. @Anonymous - Of course they are! Still, if you disagree with a translation, you're very welcome to pitch in your alternative suggestions.

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  6. I'm guessing he was going for Isaiah 44:5 but have no idea how he arrived at, eh, that.

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  7. Shame. But glad this was posted so I could get an accurate version for my first tattoo. I've been wanting to get "The Lord's" as a tattoo for years, no other designs or options ever seemed to really do it for me. You guys can confirm the bottom graphic in the post is accurate for what I'm going for?

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  8. As I wrote before, this one literally says "belong to my master", tattoo it at your own risk.

    You can also go for "belong to Jesus":
    שייך לישוע

    Or, "belong to YHWH" (YHWH in a tattoo can draw negative reactions, though):
    שייך ליהוה

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  9. What if the last two letters (yod samech, presumably) are actually meant to be apostrophe-s, making "the lord" possessive in Hebrish?

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  10. שייך לאדוני
    is not bad, but
    רכוש אדוני
    is better ;)

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  11. It doesn't translate very well..
    שייך לה'
    or
    של ה'
    or
    רכוש ה'

    In Hebrew we write only ה' but pronounce "Adonay".
    Maybe you can use "השם" ("Hashem" = The Name)

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  12. the correct translation for "the lord's" or "belonging to god", etc. is ליהוה אני - simply because that's the original biblical text all these English phrases are referring to...

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  13. @Reut:

    Good point. I wasn't aware this was actually in the texts, but it's a great way to convey the message.

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  14. just FYI, this is from Isaiah 44:5 (http://read.ly/Isa44.5.NIV). My tattoo of this can be seen at http://www.flickr.com/photos/wnorris/26740486/. I got this out of a parallel english/hebrew bible. It's also consistent with the translation Reut provided.

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  15. Someone was just informing me my daughter's tattoo might be wrong. She wanted hers to say "overcome" and the gal thought she had it wrong on her tattoo. So I started searching online and came across a site that shows this same tattoo as an example of a Hebrew tattoo!

    http://hubpages.com/hub/Tattoo_Ideas_Hebrew_Words_Phrases

    Thought it was kind of funny that you're correcting it and they're using it as an example.

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  16. Yeah, not everyone who dabs in Hebrew, actually knows it. The tattoo for "of god and grace" from that site is also wrong.

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  17. Can you please tell me the Hebrew for Lord Most High or Lord God? Would it be Adonai Elohim? El Shaddai? I know that tattooing the Holy name YHWH is offensive, but do you think what Im asking for is as well?

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  18. The best translation for "Belonging to God" would be what was written on the high priest's headband: "Kodesh LaYHVH"

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  19. Thank you for posting the correct translation for "Belong to my Master". I want to tattoo the back of my hand with the meaning from Isaiah 44:5, but without writing God's most sacred name. It symbolizes my personal relationship with Him and is not intended as a literal outward display for others, but rather between Him and myself. I'd rather not draw negative attention to myself by tattooing His most sacred name, so I'm glad I finally found a translation that works and still holds the original meaning for me personally, that I am God's slave.

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  20. I take that back, it should actually be His approval alone that I desire, and I don't want to disobey Him. That should be the one and only reason why I wouldn't get it tattooed. Don't mind me, I'm just going through a spiritual lesson over here. :)

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  21. "Good for BDSM"? You wrote that under the suggested "belong to my master" option for tattoo. What does BDSM (google it) have to do with Hebrew?

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  22. BDSM has nothing to do with Hebrew, Myriam, but I'm sure some Israelis must be kinky, plus a lot of the folks featured on this blog didn't have an especially good reason for expressing the intended notion in their tattoo in Hebrew.

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