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Swallow Bird Tattoo Definition Essay

If you are looking for a cute tattoo design, then look no further than the swallow tattoo. It’s not only beautiful, but it’s rich in symbolism and history. It may just look like a little bird, but it’s not. The swallow is linked to loyalty, wealth and long health, not to mention it’s connected to long-distance travel.

It’s a trendy tattoo to get these days, and one that you can’t deny is very cute. You can get the swallow tattoo alone, or you can get it with other elements such as stars, banners, text, cherries, arrows, or flowers. Then you can create your own design for a unique tattoo to fit your own personality. You can get a swallow tattoo placed anywhere, but the most popular places to get the swallows tattooed are chest, shoulders, hip and lower back.

The swallow has always been a symbolic bird, especially when it comes to sailors. These were the birds that offered up a sign to the sailors that land was near. This was of course long before there was ever any navigation technology. When sailors got these tattoos, it was a sign of the hope that he had that he would return to his home safely.

Swallows are a breed of bird that chooses their mates for life. So, their species has a romantic affiliation with them. They hold a symbol of love, loyalty, and family.

Other Symbolic Meanings:

  • The return home after a struggle
  • A hardship survived
  • A victory gained.

Below are 97 Cute Swallow Tattoo Designs To Try For Your Next Tattoo:

1. Black and White

A beautiful sparrow tattoo with a banner.

2. Colorful Birds

Colorful sparrows are a gorgeous tattoo idea, and you have one for each side.

3. Many Elements

You can add your swallows to other tattoos to create a unique design that fits your personality.

4. Stomach Tattoo

If you are looking for a stomach tattoo, then you are sure to love this one.

5. Flying Swallows

These flying sparrows are stunning, and they have a personal message with them as well.

6. Musical Swallows

There is an anchor with these swallows so it could be a sailor’s tattoo. There are many elements that make this tattoo awesome.

7. Detailed Birds

A great detailed tattoo that is sure to please anyone.

8. Holding Jewelry

A beautiful swallow tattoo with two of them holding jewelry.

9. Two Swallows

These two swallows are gorgeous together, creating a one of a kind style.

10. Flying Together

A great swallow tattoo of the two of them flying together.

11. About to Land

This detailed swallow image is one of a kind indeed. It shows the swallow about to land.

12. Soaring Swallow

A great image of a swallow that is soaring in the air.

13. Geometric Designs

Geometric designs always look really cool, and this one is no different.

14. Add Some Blue

A great swallow that has some bright colors with it.

15.  Tiny Swallow

This small swallow can fit anywhere like the foot or the wrist.

16. Dark Colors

Another swallow that has some dark coloring creating a great contrast between colors.

17. Pretty Designs

A great swallow tattoo design and this one is beautiful with all the colors.

18. Unique Designs

I love this sparrow design as it is truly one of a kind. The design on the side is made into an eye.

19. Paint Splatters

A gorgeous swallow tattoo made up of paint splatters. These are my favorite tattoo designs.

20. Neck Tattoos

These three silhouettes make for a great neck tattoo.

21. A Small Tattoo

A great swallow tattoo that fits behind the ear. If you want a sweet design, then this is it.

22. Great Drawings

These designs look like they are drawings. They are truly original images.

23. Carrying a Flower

A great swallow design that is holding a flower.

24. Arm Designs

A great tattoo design that has a flower sitting on the arm. It’s an image that you are sure to love.

25. Circular Designs

This is an amazing geometric design full of circles; it’s as if you can see the wings of the swallow moving.

26. Darker Lines

This dark tattoo really stand out on the skin.

27. Origami Designs

A gorgeous tattoo that is shaped like an origami bird and the colorful floral designs on the inside are truly extraordinary.

28. Simple Designs

This simplified tattoo is no less beautiful than the rest, and it can fit anywhere.

29. Different Colors

Two swallows but they are colored differently, a sweet design.

30. Bright Colors

A great colorful design that you are sure to love. The blue back and a red back together.

31. Red Belly

This swallow has a bright red belly, and it’s absolutely wonderful.

32. No Colors

A great swallow design and it’s beautiful without the colors.

33. Two Birds

A great design that has two flying swallows.

34. Paper Birds

Another origami design that is stunning in design. If you want something original then look no further.

35. Floral Designs

A beautiful floral design on the inside of the tattoo.

36. Size of a Dime

A tattoo the size of a dime can be placed anywhere if you are looking for something small.

37. Brush Strokes

This swallow looks as if it was painted on the skin; it’s so beautiful and elegant.

38. Many Shapes

This swallow is all about shapes. It’s a geometric design that is formed from the shapes itself.

39. Perfect Shading

A great tattoo that looks like a drawing, the shading is quite remarkable.

40. Floral Tattoos

This floral design is shaped into a swallow. It’s unique and beautiful.

41. Incredible Colors

The best part of this tattoo is the wonderful colors that you see. Each foot is in a different color, and they are very eye-catching.

42. Black Designs

These tattoos are bold because of the black coloring.

43. Hip Tattoos

These two colorful tattoos fit nicely on the hips.

44. Perfect Drawings

This drawing-like tattoo is one stunning design.

45. Dotted Designs

A great tattoo that has dots creating the wings. That’s how you get the different look.

46. Nautical Designs

A great tattoo design that has many different elements to it including a nautical symbol.

47. Small Swallows

A small tattoo design that shows a cute swallow.


48. Three Swallows

This great design is one for the books. An elegant shoulder tattoo that you are sure to love.

49. Cartoon Designs

These images have the cartoon look to them. If you are looking for a cute tattoo, then this is it.

50. Shocking White

I love the white on this tattoo; it really helps it stand out.

51. Striking Tattoos

A bold tattoo design that is very elegant.


52. Space Design

This origami design has some space coloring on the inside. It’s stunning.

53. Beautiful Colors

A great swallow design that is full of color.

54. The Great Swallow

A great design that shows a cute swallow.

55. Green Swallows

A great example of the swallow tattoo but these ones are in green.

56. Teal Designs

A gorgeous teal swallow that will look wonderful tattooed anywhere.

57. Family of Birds

A great design that you are sure to love for an arm tattoo.

58. Contrasting Designs

A great design that is beautiful because of the contrast between black and white.

59. Original Designs

An unusual design that creates some beautiful swallows.

60. Pink Bellies

A stunning swallow design with a pink belly, it’s truly unique.

61. Fluttering Wings

A stunning drawing of a swallow with his wings fluttering in the wind.

62. Double Swallows

A great tattoo design that is really cute.

63. In The Stars

Two swallows are flying amongst the stars. It’s a beautiful tattoo.

64. Creative Tattoos

A unique design of a swallow amongst some cool looking flowers.

65. Scratchy Designs

A stunning tattoo of birds with some scratchy lines. The lines are unique and really bring above a very different look.

66. Double Designs

These chest tattoos aren’t too big, and they look great together.

67. Back Tattoos

These are great tattoos that work well as shoulder tattoos because they are matching.

68. Neck Designs

A purple swallow that looks great as a neck tattoo.

69. Showing Off

Another great example of a swallow as a neck tattoo.

70. Heart and Locket

A unique design of swallows holding a key and a locket.

71. Colorful Hips

These hip tattoos are full of beautiful colors.

72. Foot Tattoos

A great tattoo that fits perfectly on the foot.

73. Stunning Colors

This swallow tattoo is one that stands out because of the bright colors.

74. An Outline

An elegant tattoo that looks like it is made from a couple of strokes.

75. Wrist Tattoo

A swallow that is small enough to fit nicely on the wrist.

76. Matching Designs

A great tattoo design that looks cool if you want to match them on each wrist.

77. Flying Shoulder

A great shoulder tattoo of a flying swallow.

78. Tiny Tattoos

These tiny sparrows are the perfect tattoo design for someone who wants something small.

79. Sexy Designs

A great tattoo design that looks cool as an arm tattoo.

80. Add a Message

Add a message to the swallow tattoo to personalize it.

81. Cute Colors

The cute tattoo has a sweet eye on the swallow.



82. Dandelion Fluff

I love how the dandelion fluff turns into flying swallows. It’s a unique design.


83. Yellow Swallows

A great swallow design in yellows.

84. Sleeve Designs

A great tattoo sleeve design that incorporates a swallow into a larger design.


85. Different Designs

These different shapes come together to make a beautiful swallow.

86. For the Cause

This lovely swallow is holding a ribbon for the Breast Cancer cause.

87. Bigger Designs

This tattoo design has many large elements that all come together for one design.


88. Flying Swallows

These swallows are flying up the body.

89. Five Swallows

These sweet swallows are a family and will always fly together.

90. Double Origami

These small origami swallows are a perfect example of small but cool looking tattoos.

91. Galaxy Colors

These stunning galaxy colors look amazing inside of this large swallow.

92. Unique Colors

These unique colors come together to create a great tattoo design.

93. Cartoon Hearts

Another great example of the cartoon version of the swallow.



94. Classic Designs

A simple yet perfect design of the swallow.

95. Flying in the Air

Another great example of the swallow flying.

96. Hand Tattoos

These matching designs are great for the hands if that’s what you’re looking for.

97. Moonlight Adventures

These swallows are flying in the moonlight.

Swallow tattoos are rich with history and symbolism all over the world. Over the centuries, the little bird has been linked to health, wealth, loyalty, and the rigors of long-distance travel.

The Swallow tattoo is cool and trendy nowadays, just as other bird tattoos and old school designs such as the nautical star tattoo. Swallow tattoos are often combined with stars, cherries, flowers, arrows or a banner with text. Popular body parts to wear a swallow tattoo are the hip, chest, lower back and shoulders.


What Does a Swallow Tattoo Symbolize?

Swallow Tattoo

The swallow, as well as bluebirds and sparrows, has always had a symbolic meaning for sailors because these birds were usually the first sign that land was near (before modern navigation technology). A swallow tattoo for a sailor reflected his hope of coming home safely.

Another fact is that swallows return home every year, no matter where they are. Every year, Mission San Juan Capistrano in California plays host to this wonder of nature. A flock of the tiny birds numbering in the tens or even hundreds of thousands descends upon the mission in a grand display of the workings of migration.

The swallow is a bird that chooses a mate for life. Therefore a swallow tattoo is also a symbol for love and loyalty to the family.

Other symbolic meanings are in the same line:

  • The return home after a struggle
  • A hardship survived
  • A victory gained.


The origins of the swallow tattoo go back to a ship named The Swallow. At one time, the crew of the ship had a mutiny. In order to recognize each other, the 7 mutineers who started the mutiny had a swallow tattooed on their chest.

After that, the swallow tattoo was the tattoo design for sailors to show off their sailing experience. Every five thousand nautical miles (5750 miles or 9250 km), a sailor traditionally has a swallow tattooed onto his chest:

  • Traveling over sea in the early years was a dangerous and difficult undertaking, so a sailor with one or two swallow tattoos was considered very experienced and therefore trustworthy and valuable.
  • Legend has it that if the sailor does not survive his travels, and ends up drowning, the birds alight upon his soul and carry him from the murky waters, into heaven's grasp...certainly a haunting image.
  • Other occasions sailors used to get swallow tattoos:

    • After sailing all 7 seas.
    • After sailing around the horns (the bottom of Africa and South America).
    • 1 swallow tattoo after crossing the equator and another one when coming back.


Other Meanings of Swallow Tattoos

  • In some cultures, the first swallow of spring is a very fortunate sight because it is an omen of financial success. To ensure wealth through the year, one must rub two coins together while watching the bird.
  • A tattoo of 2 swallows represents freedom. It is a popular tattoo design amongst people who are just released from prison.
  • A swallow tattoo on the fists does symbolize that the person who wears it is a good fighter (in the UK). The tattoo is supposed to give you fast hands in a fight.
  • Sometimes a swallow can also be seen in gang tattoos.
  • Swallow tattoos, as wells as bluebird and sparrow tattoos (jailbirds), are also a symbol of white supremacy for some people.

The swallow tattoo and other old-school tattoos are trendy again, especially in some scenes, such as the rockabilly scene. They are a popular design amongst rockabilly girls and other retro chicks, just as nautical stars and cherry tattoos. This is due to the fact that these old school tattoos were common during the prime time of rockabilly music. A good example of the tattoo designs typical for that time is the work of tattoo artist Sailor Jerry, who had his tattoo parlor in Honolulu's Chinatown. Sailor Jerry's pupil, Ed Hardy, is known for this traditional style as well.

A symbol of hope for the return home, of loyalty to one's family and home, of freedom, the swallow is a beautiful choice for a tattoo, whether or not you plan on spending your days out at sea. As with all anamorphic, you can decide how to explain the meaning behind your skin art, each has his or her own symbolic interpretation.


Check out these photos and designs:

 Make sure you also check out ourHeart Tattoo Designs


Celebrities With a Swallow Tattoo

  • Robbie Williams: this celebrity has a tattoo of 2 swallows on his abdomen.
  • Marc Almond: singer from the British band Softcell, has a swallow tattoo on his neck.
  • Marianne Faithfull: singer with swallow tattoo on her left hand.
  • Christina Applegate: Married With Children actress, has a swallow tattoo on her abdomen.
  • Mark McGrath: singer from the band Sugar Ray, has a red swallow on his right shoulder and a blue swallow on his left.
  • Rachel Perry: VH1 host with two swallows on her abdomen.
  • Johnny Depp: has a swallow tattoo on his right arm. He's full of tattoos, you couldn't find a better actor for the role of Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean.



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