12 Best Swallow Tattoo Design Ideas for Women in 2020

Since the beginnings of the human conquest of the sea, the swallow has always been one of the emblems of maritime tradition. This is in part due to the fact that swallows were the first birds to be seen when sailors approached land. Seeing swallow tattoo designs meant that a safe harbor loomed on the horizon. The swallow became an anchor: a sign that, despite the rushing water, everything would be fine. The story of sailors and swallows began in the British Navy. Sailors decorated their bodies with swallow tattoo designs because they thought it would allow them to return home safe and sound.

 swallow tattoo on the calf

@hanstattooer via Instagram

According to a legend, the long history of swallow tattoo designs can be traced back hundreds of years. When the crew sailed a long distance on the ocean, usually 5000 nautical miles, across the equator, travel was often full of difficulties, diseases, hunger, and death. One sign that their trip is nearing the end is the appearance of swallows. Because these birds have never walked the far sea, they aimed at meaning that the land is near the end of long voyage. This fact has led many sailors to adopt swallow tattoo designs, which symbolizes hope and success in completing a long journey. As a follow-up to this story, a tattoo depicting two swallows shows a long journey of 10,000 nautical miles or more and a swallow tattoo design with a dagger through its heart symbolizes the memory of losing a friend at sea.

 swallow arm tattoo

@ebart.tattoo via Instagram

Another legend holds that because the swallows return to the same location to mate and build a nest, the swallows will ensure that the sailors return home safely every year. A sailor will tattoo a swallow before setting up the journey, and after their service period is over, return to their home port for the second swallow tattoo design. This also means that if the sailor is drowned, the swallow will carry his soul to heaven.

Swallow also expresses love, care and affection for family and friends, showing that people always return to their loyalty. Birds also represent freedom and hope.

The swallow tattoo designs were also an important step in the life of a sailor. According to legend, the more swallow tattoos a sailor wore, the greater the distance he could safely travel.

 swallow tattoo on the side of the body

@donna_tattoo via Instagram

The ancient Egyptians also revered these little birds. To them, swallows were mighty stars and living guardians of the souls of the dead. Swallows were also seen as creatures of the sun and their presence symbolized renewal and the arrival of new opportunities. This concept has found an echo in Christianity and several Bible verses mention swallows as a sign of rebirth and renewed hope during the time of persecution of Christians. In some circles, the sparrow and the swallow are emblems of Jesus Christ and show that he continues to watch over his faith-filled followers.His eye is on the swallow. If the Almighty keeps a watchful eye on the soul of a lowly bird (the swallow). He will surely watch over the souls of believers. If you are a person like this, a swallow tattoo design will be a good choice for you. 

 swallow tattoo on the hand

@wonderlandtattoobp via Instagram

The symbolism of a dead swallow represents the loss of freedom. Swallows have a free and indomitable spirit. They are considered the most difficult birds to housebreak and would rather escape than stay close and obediently sing. People with swallow tattoo designs are usually of this kind of personality.

Swallows are symbols of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, making them representations of love and desire. Classical writers, like Shakespeare, were not afraid to use these birds in their works to symbolize passion and lust. But despite their versatile nature, swallows are also symbols of motherhood. They are loving mothers who would do anything to protect their little ones. Therefore, you can get a swallow tattoo design with your mother or your daughter.

 tattoo of swallow with a woman portrait

@joaohellyeah via Instagram

Meanings of Swallow Tattoos

These birds are associated with some powerful characteristics:

  • Security and safety
  • Forecast
  • Maternity and family
  • Freedom and independence
  • Love and compassion
  • Hope and fertility
  • Jail
 tattoo of swallow on the fingertip

@punctumink via Instagram

Today, symbolizing the swallow can mean many different things. It is considered a staple of "British Tradition" and "Sailor Jerry Collins" style tattoos. A former sailor of the Royal Navy has a swallow tattoo on his wrists as a symbol of a successful voyage. Over time, swallow tattoos symbolize different people's different meanings. Some people think that the swallow is a symbol of success or victory. While others think that it can be a soldier who has returned from home for a long time. Another meaning of meteor is freedom. Some people released from prison have chosen this swallow tattoo as a sign of reintegration into society. Another meaning is eternal love and loyalty.

 dismembermented swallow tattoo

@jamesbutlertattoos via Instagram

Swallow tattoos have played a special symbolic part of the culture of various worlds for thousands of years. Nowadays, these tattoos are still very popular, and they are often just a consideration of the fashion and beauty aspects of swallow art. However, these designs have a deeper personal meaning.

But everything, the meaning conveyed by the swallow tattoo art, is a symbol of a specific area and a symbol of destination.

 skull face swallow tattoo double exposure

@skullavera via Instagram

Different Types of Swallow Tattoo Design Ideas for Men and Women

1.Symmetrical Swallow Tattoo Design Idea for Men and Women

This kind of swallow tattoos looks perfectly right on your chest. These two little bird flaunt your style and personality. As it’s on your chest, you can hide them often.

 Symmetrical Swallow Tattoo

@albertmodzelewski via Instagram

2. Tattoo of Two Swallows Design Idea for Men and Women

For sailors, a swallow tattoo marked a milestone in their life. Two swallows on the chest or shoulders (one on each side) represented a successful trip across the equator (out and back) or the completion of a 5,000 nautical mile voyage. In some places, the position of a swallow tattoo changes the meaning of the design. Swallows on both wrists would mean that you are an avid street brawler who has certainly spent time in jail.

 Tattoo of Two Swallows

@hooansen via Instagram

3. Tribal Swallow Tattoo Design Idea for Men and Women

There are designs that reflect the traditions of tribal cultures. The black and white tattoos of swallows are beautifully intricate and represent the religious image of the bird and its connections to the spiritual world.

 Tribal Swallow Tattoo

@unbroken.crue via Instagram

4. Rose and Swallow Tattoo Design Idea for Men and Women

The rose and swallow is a symbol of the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite. This design represents immortal love and is usually made in memory of a loved one, on a maritime background. Swallows are seen as guardians of the souls of the dead, which makes this design a perfect tribute to lost loves and departed loved ones.

  Rose and Swallow Tattoo

@cruel.monica via Instagram


Dolphin Tattoo Design Ideas

Noble King Crown Tattoo Design Ideas

Amazing Disney Tattoo Design Ideas

Fine Anchor Tattoo Design Ideas