Tattoos on Johnny Depp

By: Robert Thomson

Johnny Depp started having tattoos at the age of seventeen. Each tattoo marks a significant thing in his life, a person, an event, or an idea. As Johnny explained, his body is a journal in a way.

As of last count, Johnny has 12 known markings covering his body. He maybe has more but only these twelve are the ones recorded.

Listed below are his tattoos in no particular order:

A swallow over a sunset with Jack tattooed underneath. While he was filming one of his most famous movies, Pirates of the Caribbean, he had to wear a fake version of these tattoos. He liked it so much that he had them tattooed on his right forearm. Contrary to what people may have assumed, Jack is in honor of his son, and not his character Jack Sparrow. He also had the swallow tattoo inverted so that it is flying towards him. As he stated in one of his interviews in 2004, he always wants his son to come back to him.

The inscription Lily Rose. Found over Johnnys heart, the script honors his daughter Lily Rose.

Heart and Betty Sue. Johnny had his mothers name engraved on a heart and tattooed on his left bicep on May 31, 1988 in honor of the first woman in his life.

Wino Forever. Found on his right bicep, it originally read, Winona Forever in honor of his then girlfriend, Winona Ryder. After their breakup, Johnny had it laser-removed.

Native American Head. Just below the Wino Forever tattoo is a Cherokee Indian Chief in full headdress. Johnny had this tattoo to signify his ancestral cultural heritage.

The Brave symbol. This tattoo found inside his right arm is from one of his movies, The Brave.

Inverted Triangle. Above his mothers name tattoo is an inverted triangle which also represents the heart. It is also a universal symbol of the feminine and is often used to express romantic love.

Three Rectangles. Found on his right index finger, Johnny describes them as a permanent phone doodle. In many of his movies, Johnny wears a large ring to cover this tattoo.

Number Three. On Johnnys left hand, between his thumb and index finger, is the number three tattoo. In April 1996, he made a comment about the number three in the Young Flix Magazine. He described the number three as special, creative, mystical, and magical. However, in another interview, he said that he and a friend had that tattoo one day while they were bored.

Crossbones and Skull with the inscription Death is Certain. Johnny claims to be the only one who knows exactly what that saying means.

Question Mark (?). On the right inside leg, over Johnnys ankle is a question mark tattoo.

Silence Exile Cunning. This latest tattoo found on Johnny’s arm is a quote from James Joyces book A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It was first seen on June 2, 2008 at the MTV movie awards.

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Brian is the staff writer for, a website dedicated to the tattoo, tattoo design entusiast. Visit Tattoos on Johnny Depp.

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