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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Three Errors in One Life

Some Hebrew tattoos testify about their bearer's intelligence:

The above tattoo is supposed to say "Life" (Chayim) in Hebrew. It's a very common tattoo and a quick Google search should be enough to secure a correct translation.

Today's victim apparently forgot to pay his brain bill. What else would explain getting three letters wrong in a four letter tattoo?

The first letter CHET was turned into a HE, they're somewhat similar, I can understand that. However, turning two YODs into a double-quote? That's just dumb.

Now, this is how the normal people write "Life" (Chayim) in Hebrew:


  1. It would be interesting to see what you would suggest the victim do to try to correct these hilarious mistakes. This should be a relatively easy one to fix...

  2. Wow, so I totally love your site. I had NO idea how many people actually get hebrew tats, and then how many people TOTALLY SCREW THEM UP. I was actually just researching trying to figure out how to spell some of my ideas, and thank God I stumbled upon your site.
    I'm trying to figure out something like my name (Rebecca [which I guess would be Rivkah]), "God's Faithful Servant" (the meaning of my name), "peacemaker" (another meaning of my name), "encouragment" or "one who encourages"... something like that...
    if you could help with the spelling so if I decide to get a tattoo, i don't end up a "victim" that would be WONDERFUL :) Thanks!
    Rebecca Sweat

  3. @Rebecca - Lots of translations there, I'll send you a mail later this week.

    @Anonymous - Yep, this correction is very simple. He should just fill the gap in the CHET and make the YODs longer and fatter.

  4. You are incorrect my friend, the tattoo is Hey, and Quotes and not supposed to be a Chet and two Yuds and therefore Chaim.

    The same as when Jews write Z"L which is an acronym for Zichron LeBracha...

    Nice try though. Love the site!



  5. You told me what Z"L stands for, but not what H"M in this tattoo does. That's because H"M doesn't stand for anything, it's not an acronym I've ever seen.

    You could suppose that it was meant as name initials or something, but the owner stated himself it was "life" on the site where I got this photo from.

  6. Correct me if I'm wrong (I'm from Israel myself) but he got 4 out of 4 letters wrong :) The last letter looks more like TET than MEM. Pretty sure actually, this is TET the way it looks in every TANAH.

  7. I would actually say that it looks mostly like הייט and it'd be a transliteration of Hate (or Height or even some sort of Heit or Hite).

  8. Perhaps he enjoyed staying at a Hyatt hotel.

  9. I agree with Alice that he got 4 out of 4 letters wrong, but I think the last one looks like a regular mem rather than a mem sofit.

  10. ok so i got faith in hebrew behind my neck and the tatto artist fliped it so its like upside down, i know is really stupid and to be sincere i cant believe this happened.. i guess i was just too nervious thank god the tatto is not really that big but still i would like to fix it, what can i do ? what do you guys recomend?? the tatto is totally facing the sky..

  11. Don't forget the Mem (a final mem) was replaced by a tet. So what was supposed to say CHAYIM now says something more like HYATT, as in the hotel chain.
    I'm using Lawrence Kushner's Book of Letters to analyze Hebrew tattoos.

  12. It does look a lot like a Tet, but I tend to believe it's not intentional, but rather just a bad rendition of a Mem.

    I've seen Mems written in a similar font before, but that gap definitely shouldn't be there.

  13. Don't these people ever consider the fact that most tattoo operators are neither Jewish (speak/write Hebrew) or students of the Talmud. Go figure. Ya think that might be an important consideration??? Perhaps these "victims" should have intelligent thoughts tattooed on themselves instead to help them function.

  14. ה"מ (H"M) is commonly used for "HaChatum Mata", (the one Signed Below, a formal indication to someone who signed a petition or a formal letter within the letter/petition itself)

  15. i vote that that if you are jewsih, you shouldn't even consider getting a tat since it's forbidden in the bible itself.
    better safe than sorry....

  16. Hoffman Kids & Tom are correct. Every single letter is wrong if you're trying to spell "Life" in Hebrew. The last letter should be a "mem sofit". A "mem" that appears at the end of the word instead of in the middle or beginning. At least that is what I learned in school while living in Israel for almost 20 years. Just my 2 cents.


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