View Full Version : What does a Teardrop Tatoo under your eye mean?


missellie
04-22-2005, 10:11 PM
Does anyone know what a teardrop tatooed below the right eye stands for.Does the right or left eye make a difference?I was told it means regret by my son.Then I was told it means you lost someone close to you or you murdered someone.I'll welcome any info.

asweetangel99
04-22-2005, 11:58 PM
from my experience it either means you killed someone or you lost your homeboy... eye might make a difference if they are in a certain gang... here is an article that appeared in our local Journal/Sentinal about this type of tattoo and the meanings it carries...

http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/jan05/297560.asp

you can find more info if you google this (tattoo, gang, teardrop)

lstreeval
04-23-2005, 12:07 AM
It's a gang symbol. Doesn't always means anthing significant. Should mean that you killed someone, but it used loosely.

Lisa

kelly&Jasonnks
04-23-2005, 06:08 AM
a few people that I know that have them , them under their left eye and for each tear drop they have its' for someone that killed

joenash4lyf
04-23-2005, 07:47 AM
If you killed someone..That's what I hear..God bless

jftazzy102
04-23-2005, 08:09 AM
If you have killed someone that is what the tear drop means.

jeffsprincess
04-23-2005, 08:38 AM
The ladies are right, it means you killed someone!!!

Lilboobooev
04-27-2005, 07:19 AM
It means you killed someone...some people get them if someone they know died too...

RayRaysGirl
04-29-2005, 08:04 AM
My fiancee told me it means that you've raped and murderd. but i think ppl get it done for their own reasons.

stephwill
04-29-2005, 04:41 PM
Killed someone..

MrsPhil
04-29-2005, 04:51 PM
My fiancee told me that it originally meant that you killed a police officer but now I guess it has many meanings.

AEMS
04-29-2005, 05:07 PM
I always heard it meant you killed someone.

JamesWifey
04-29-2005, 05:16 PM
Ditto.... Killed Someone!!! Lots of rappers have them!

one_luv
04-29-2005, 05:36 PM
My husband has a tear drop under his eye.

He did not have it put there because he killed someone. It represents. It can represent one of many things, most often that you had a homie killed by gang violence, you did time in prison, you killed someone or all of the above, and as missellie mentions: Regret.

Essentially it stands for the tears you couldn't shed because you were so hardened. My husband says he got it as a reminder to his past life (in a gang).I call it his "tribute to a life of hate". I don't think he or I can explain it in a post, it would have to be a term paper. We have talked at length about it and what it means to him and others.

I used to hate it with a passion, because of the judgement of other people, I mean look at what the PTOers even say. But now I accept it because it's a part of him and who he is, but it is getting lasered off as soon as he gets out (he had promised to get it off when I married him, he just never had time before he was arrested). Until I read this post, I never knew so many people actually thought it only meant you killed someone.

I think the news article asweetangel posted was accurate.
It just goes to show that you shouldn't judge someone by their body.

amusick
04-29-2005, 05:43 PM
my bf has one under his left eye, its meaning for him is that he never had a good realationship with his mother and never new his father. He says it stands for his loss of family. I do know others who have the drops for killing someone. I guess every tear drop is not only different in size and shape but also different meanings for those who have them

bpdv4df
04-29-2005, 05:45 PM
Each tear drop is a body you have............ Another words, each one is someone you killed...........

one_luv
04-29-2005, 05:48 PM
Ditto.... Killed Someone!!! Lots of rappers have them!

How can you say both of these things in the same sentence? Most all the rappers you see on TV are NOT real thugs, everything they do is to look cool and hard.
The teardrop started in the US in Latino gangs, so since it crossed cultures, don't you think it might have changed what it stood for?
L'il Wayne has a teardrop and he hasn't killed anyone. He says it's for his homies and his dad who died.

one_luv
04-29-2005, 05:53 PM
"Some concerned by teenage trend of teardrop tattoos"


By MEGAN TWOHEY

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/nation/10837653.htm
Published 2/7/05


MILWAUKEE - When David Romo returned to Milwaukee last summer after 16 years in the federal penitentiary, he was surprised by how many young people in the city had teardrop tattoos.

Romo, a large man with a bald head and pockmarked face, had been tattooed with the symbol in the early 1990s. At that time, he said, the marking was worn only by those who had committed murder, served time behind bars or lost a fellow gang member to violence.

The 52-year-old suspected that many of the teenagers he was seeing with the teardrop couldn't make such claims.

"Since I've been out, I've seen a lot of kids with them," Romo said. " It's like they don't even know the real meaning."

Romo isn't the only one noting the growing number of teardrop tattoos popping up under the eyes of youths.

Police and youth workers are alarmed by the trend.

They worry teens are wearing the decades-old tattoo as a fashion statement without understanding that it can cause them harm.

"They are a very dangerous fad for young people to be getting involved with," said Richard Harris, a former gang member turned youth worker in Green Bay, Wis.

"There's an expectation among older gang members that you know what it means. At one time, I would have caused some serious harm to someone who had teardrops who hadn't gone through what I had."

Nailing down the origins of the teardrop tattoo is difficult.

Wes McBride, president of the California Gang Investigators, said it surfaced in California's Hispanic gangs in the 1940s. Other gang experts said the marking began in Mexico and Puerto Rico.

Whatever the exact history, it has continued to be associated for the most part with Latinos, said law enforcement officials and former gang members, who agreed with Romo's description of what the symbol has meant.

For decades, only hardened gang members and convicts wore the tattoo. That has changed in recent years.

"Ten or 15 years ago, you didn't see teardrops very much. Now you see it quite often," said Michael Young, captain of the Milwaukee Police Department's intelligence division.

"It's rampant on the south side," said Shaphan Coleman, a former gang member who does youth outreach in neighborhoods throughout Milwaukee.

Today, teens and young adults are getting the marking to demonstrate their gang affiliation, no matter how loose.

A teardrop under the left eye symbolizes gangs that fall under the category of People, said Stanley Cole, other youth workers and gang members.

One under the right eye signifies gangs that fall under Folks. People and Folks are two different gang "nations." There are many different factions affiliated with each nation.

Others without a gang affiliation are getting the teardrop to look cool, Cole said. Rap music and fashion offer inspiration. L'il Wayne, the popular teen rapper, dons two small teardrops under his right eye.

"It's a fad," Harris said. "Kids get them because they like the way they look."

The fad is cheap. Most people tattoo themselves or have a friend do it.

As Young put it, "Any kid with a bottle of ink and a pen can do it."

That's how James, a handsome 20-year-old with smooth skin and dark hair, got the marking. He was 12 and had just joined a Milwaukee gang.

As James watched a friend use a homemade tattoo gun to carve the symbol on the cheek of a fellow gang member, he decided he wanted one, too.

There was some personal meaning behind the symbol.

His father had died. But James made the decision more on a whim. The boys had been smoking marijuana. James found the marking attractive.

"I just wanted it," said James, whose name has been changed to protect his identity. "It looked tight."

But eight years later, James regrets his decision. At 16, he was sentenced to four years in prison for armed robbery. Behind bars, the teardrop inspired harassment from other inmates.

"I'd look in the mirror, and say, ` This brings a lot of problems,' " said James, who got out of prison last month.

Problems also can surface outside prison. Back in Milwaukee, James is struggling to stay clear of trouble. But the teardrop can make that difficult.

"You walk into the wrong neighborhood with that and you can get killed," said Ramon Candelaria , director of the Latino Community Center.

The marking also can be a barrier to employment.

Romo is working to resurrect a concrete business he ran as a young man . His teardrop has created barriers to success.

"I've lost a lot of customers," Romo said "They said: `I don't want this crazy gang banger working on my house.'''

Frustrated by the tattoo's stigma, Romo and James plan to have theirs removed.

"I'm done with it," James said. "I want to start a new life."

"Since I've been out, I've seen a lot of kids with them.

It's like they don't even know the real meaning."

David Romo, speaking about teardrop tattoos

MiaBellaAngela
04-29-2005, 05:57 PM
The left or right has meaning. The left can mean you are a member of one of these: the blood gang or People nation or the Sur gangs (from Cali). The right can mean: the Crip gangs or folk nation or the Nortenos from Cali.

Whether the teardrop is filled in or not means something too.

Teardrop can mean:

1. number of years "on the tier" (years in prison)
2. murders committed (if filled in)
3. homeboys you are crying over who died

However, there are many people who get this tattoo who have not "earned it." So just because you see it it does not mean they necessarily killed someone.

Kids are getting them also "to look tough".

Ciao

CRAZY4ALBERT
04-29-2005, 07:33 PM
EXACTLY WHAT LILBOOBOOEV SAID....... IT CAN BE ONE OR THE OTHER.



It means you killed someone...some people get them if someone they know died too...

PhillyGurLL
04-29-2005, 07:39 PM
I heard it either meant you killed someone
or
it symbolized the time you spent in prison

cyndi34
04-29-2005, 07:42 PM
According to my best friend who is a counselor at a youth boot camp,a black tear means you took someones life.A red one means you lost a loved one.These are the gang meanings,I guess one could use it to represent many things.

babygirl350
04-29-2005, 07:50 PM
I have been told it meant you killed someone. I do know one guy who has one and he killed someone, however, he has never been in a gang before nor is he in one now.

~Laurie
04-30-2005, 11:43 AM
It sounds like it can mean different things to different people or in different parts of the country. It has been explained to me that it indicates you served five or more years in prison. A teardrop is sometimes added for each additional five years. Some people have several teardrops going down their cheek.

1dayatatime
04-30-2005, 11:47 AM
From people that I know and what I hear---it means you killed someone

kreepsgirl
05-07-2005, 06:21 PM
I have heard cause that person killed someone and if they have more than one that means they have killed more than one person.

valorie1
05-07-2005, 06:37 PM
One of my pen pals is a member of the Latin Kings and he has 1. he killed 1 guy on his own and he killed a prisoner as a hit for the Latin Kings. I asked him about the teardrop, but he has not recieved that letter yet. I think it is how many people he killed as a hit for them though.

valorie1
05-07-2005, 06:39 PM
My pen pal has been in prison for 20 years so I know his has nothing to do with how many years he has served but I found that interesting.

valorie1
05-07-2005, 06:42 PM
I think the different colors make sense. My pen pals is black.

one_luv
05-07-2005, 09:25 PM
I just want to add that although someone may have killed someone, it doesn't necessarily mean that's why they got a teardrop. A large majority of gangbangers HAVE killed someone, but if you were to ask them why they got it, they wouldn't always say it was because of that.

I am curious to know if any of you who responded know someone who has one and if you asked them why they have it what they said????????

~Laurie
05-08-2005, 01:49 PM
I am curious to know if any of you who responded know someone who has one and if you asked them why they have it what they said????????
I do. An older guy. He's not in a gang and years ago when he got it it represented having served more than 5 years. Basically showing that you served hard time (not six months in the county jail). That's why it seems like it means different things to different people, different times and places.

adams_wife4life
05-08-2005, 01:52 PM
killed some one

Hommiette
05-20-2005, 02:23 AM
when it is an unfilled teardrop you lost someone close, when it is a filled teardrop you revenged. (last time i heard)

AMANE
05-20-2005, 02:32 AM
I've always known it to mean you've killed someone. The people that i know who have them thats what they've got them for

vanessaboricua2
05-20-2005, 10:51 AM
My Friend Is In For Murder And He Has One On HIS Right Cheek It Is Green And Unfilled And When I Asked Him He Said It Was For Is Aunt That Passed Away.

qwerty
05-20-2005, 11:08 AM
I have always heard it means you've lost a loved one...

Lots of girls/women have them where I live and they've all lost someone.

Brittanie_LeAnn
05-08-2008, 02:30 AM
Does anyone know what a teardrop tatooed below the right eye stands for.Does the right or left eye make a difference?I was told it means regret by my son.Then I was told it means you lost someone close to you or you murdered someone.I'll welcome any info.




well im from kc and it means that you killed some one and thats i was allways told so idk :)

ohwhatacruise
05-09-2008, 02:34 PM
I asked a guy who said he had his because his cousin got killed...not that he killed anyone....

PTO-92958
05-09-2008, 08:33 PM
Technically...or traditionally...it does mean you caught a body (or more).
But...
I think this post below sums it up best.
It can mean any one of many things to the one who chooses to put it there.


My husband has a tear drop under his eye.

He did not have it put there because he killed someone. It represents. It can represent one of many things, most often that you had a homie killed by gang violence, you did time in prison, you killed someone or all of the above, and as missellie mentions: Regret.

Essentially it stands for the tears you couldn't shed because you were so hardened. My husband says he got it as a reminder to his past life (in a gang).I call it his "tribute to a life of hate". I don't think he or I can explain it in a post, it would have to be a term paper. We have talked at length about it and what it means to him and others.

I used to hate it with a passion, because of the judgement of other people, I mean look at what the PTOers even say. But now I accept it because it's a part of him and who he is, but it is getting lasered off as soon as he gets out (he had promised to get it off when I married him, he just never had time before he was arrested). Until I read this post, I never knew so many people actually thought it only meant you killed someone.

I think the news article asweetangel posted was accurate.
It just goes to show that you shouldn't judge someone by their body.

treesrblue
05-29-2008, 09:37 AM
30 odd years ago i asked one of my fathers mates why he had a tear tattooed on his face. He said he had it because he'd spent so many years in jail. I think he said 5 years or more.

Colenecb
08-07-2009, 11:56 PM
I was told by an inmate that had one when I was visiting my son that it meant he killed someone.(By accident):rolleyes:

justbeth
08-08-2009, 06:17 PM
tear drop tattoo 39 up (javascript:void(0)), 26 down (javascript:void(0))http://static3.urbandictionary.com/images/thumbsup.gif?1249254831 (javascript:void(0))http://static2.urbandictionary.com/images/thumbsdown.gif?1249254831 (javascript:void(0))Before the corruption of its meaning in the 1940s by numerous gangs, the tear drop tattoo has had an even longer history dating even as far as the 1920s. Symbolizing the loss of a loved on, be it family or freind, or for a wife when one is away at war. Despite its murder count and prison time meanings, it is a display of closure from death.
I have a tear drop tattoo under my left eye because i lost someone very close to me.
Before the corruption of its meaning in the 1940s by numerous gangs, the tear drop tattoo has had an even longer history dating even as far as the 1920s. Symbolizing the loss of a loved on, be it family or freind, or for a wife when one is away at war. Despite its murder count and prison time meanings, it is a display of closure from death

the tear drop tattoo has had many different meanings. When they were first worn they meant that the wearer had been incarcerated and or killed someone while in or out of prison. As times have changed however, the teardrop has come to symbolize a friend or fellow gang member or family member that has died while the wearer is incarcerated.
Now however the teardrop seems to have become a fad, which granted has gotten people in trouble.
It has also been used as a gang identifier. If it was on the right it meant you were a Crip or part of the Folk Nation, on the left meant Blood or People's Nation.
I had a tear drop tattoo in blue under my right eye. I went to Cali and found a lot of teenagers had a teardrop tattoo. I remember one group of teens i saw, a few of the teens had the tattoo on the right side and a few on the left. When i got mine you would never be seen with someone with a tear on the left side if you had it on the right side.

It means many things some of the definitions are: You killed a someone depending on the amount of people you have put in the dirt you can add teardrops on. a friend, family member, gang member or someone you like has died. It could also mean you spent time in jail. It can also mean you were in a gang when you got the tattoo. It can also mean this person has sorrow and suffering in their lives. However it has become a sort of fad.

justbeth
08-08-2009, 06:20 PM
QUESTION
What is the difference between a tear drop tattoo on the face that is filled in and not filled in



Answer
The teardrop tattoo that is not filled represents someone that committed murder. If it's filled, that person lost a loved one.