Sunday, November 28, 2010

Her Name was Lost in Rotation

When I first saw this tattoo, I thought it wasn't Hebrew writing at all. It looks like some weird script, Martian maybe?

The victim claims this Hebrew-like doodle to be her name, and on closer inspection I realized that it really was. It just so happened that when trying to render her tattoo vertically, some letters were rotated and some were not, creating this very strange result.

I never had to draw this particular chart before:

In any case, the Hebrew tattoo most likely says "Ebony Eve". Most likely, since aside from being mis-rotated, it's also slightly misspelled. So if you have another interpretation of this name, I'd love to hear it!

And this is how you would correctly write "Ebony Eve" in Hebrew. Ebony on the right, Eve is on the left.

My suggestion, when it comes to words which have letters of different height, is not to rotate it letter by letter. It just doesn't look nice.

Want your Hebrew tattoo to be vertical? Just turn the whole thing 90 degrees counter-clockwise. Like this:


  1. Looking at that for a bit, I think I know why she ran into the spelling issues that she did. She's got her transcription into Yiddish, not Hebrew.

    The rotated vav sure does look odd, indeed. But the ayin for "eh" in "ebony" really does seem Yiddish.

  2. That's possible, though this picture was labeled as Hebrew when I found it. Maybe the translator didn't know the difference.

    1. Could you translate the following into Hebrew?
      "You are the master of my fate,
      You are the captain of my soul."

    2. unless it is a verse from the bible or something, in free translation it means: אתה אדון גורלי, אתה הקברניט של נשמתי"
      short explanation: אתה=you=ata (male)
      את =you=at (female). The word captain is used as well in hebrew = קפטן=kepten, but in your sentence I translated that to קברניט (like the captain of a ship).
      As well my fate = הגורל שלי= גורלי
      my soul =נשמתי= הנשמה שלי
      גורלי, נשמתי, are more printed forms than spoken.

      ata adon gorali, ata kabarnit nishmati
      hope that was helpful..

  3. I would've actually preferred letters to be individually printed in vertical rather than turning the whole thing 90 degrees. Forces you to tilt your head like a confused dog.

    And Shunra- everywhere I go in the web, I see you! :O

  4. Another example of where actual Hebrew would be much more poetic: Chaba Shechura flows quite nicely.

    And it DOES have a yiddish look to it. Most people see hebrew letters and think "Hebrew language", which could explain the mislabel.

  5. this one's really horrible. oy vey

  6. Hi everyone,
    I would like to buy a plaque or dog tag with my name written in Hebrew police and I would like to know how you write it. My name is Mara (like one the book of Ruth in the Bible)

    Thank you in advance for your answer!


  7. מרה
    better late then never


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