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Danielle Lloyd: The Dumbest Hebrew Tattoo Yet!

9th September 2008

I don’t know who Danielle Lloyd is; I guess she is some sort of British celebrity. All I do know is that she — and her so-called tattoo artist — doesn’t know a stitch of Hebrew. And she apparently doesn’t know how to surf the web or google anything, since she went ahead and got a major “Hebrew” tattoo without getting it checked out. Here is the picture that is circulating on the news services (I have shifted its orientation to better read the supposed Hebrew):


Danielle Lloyd's Incorrect Hebrew Tattoo

Danielle Lloyd's Incorrect Hebrew Tattoo



Not only is the tattoo gibberish; it isn’t written in Hebrew (i.e., the language) at all! When I first looked at the pictures of the tattoo, I couldn’t figure it out. It wasn’t Biblical Hebrew. I didn’t think it was modern Hebrew. I was looking up words in my modern Hebrew dictionary and starting to think that I shouldn’t be teaching Hebrew this semester! Then I figured it out. The tattoo isn’t written in the Hebrew language, but is English written with Hebrew letters! If you transliterate the Hebrew characters into their English counterparts, voila!, you get the supposed translation: “Only God can judge me, only God can judge me.” What makes this even more silly utterly ridiculous is that the transliteration isn’t even consistent. In the first occurrence, “can” is spelled qof-nun (קן) while the second time it is spelled kaf-nun (כן). Not only doesn’t Danielle know Hebrew, she apparently doesn’t even know how to spell “can” in English! (I won’t even comment on the rest of the supposed transliteration)

If there was a prize or award for the dumbest tattoo, this should certainly win. I just can’t believe it… this is beyond stupid.

I’m going to begin my Hebrew class tomorrow by highlighting yet one more benefit to learning Hebrew:  so you can make fun of דם celebrities!

(Note to any rich celebrities reading this: I will gladly provide you with the proper spelling for your Hebrew tattoo… at least for some money and fame!)


21 Responses to “Danielle Lloyd: The Dumbest Hebrew Tattoo Yet!”

  1. Phil Sumpter Says:

    You forgot the mem-sof at the beginning of “me.” I’m not sure why wanting to transliterate from Hebrew is dumb, though. I found it quite cute.

  2. Ken Says:

    Aside from the misspellings/inconsistencies, I have to agree with Phil that transliterating isn’t necessarily dumb in itself. She’s obviously aware that it’s English using the Hebrew alphabet so basically code. Incidentally, if this is dumb, wouldn’t scholars be dumb for transliterating Hebrew with English? You seem a little overboard about this.

  3. Tyler F. Williams Says:

    There is a big difference IMHO when scholars represent Hebrew in Latin characters. What she is doing is something a six year old would do to make a secret code, but considering the errors, I think she believes she got herself an actual “Hebrew tattoo” — but I could be wrong. I can’t even figure out what “code” she used to get some of the equivalencies. Why does she spell “God” ending in what appears to be a chet? (or is it two dalets in a row?) Why the abbreviation for Lord’s name for “u”? Why the comma(?) for “e”? Why is one mem medial and another final? This to me smacks of a couple people with absolutely no knowledge of Hebrew sitting down with a Hebrew font or an interlinear and trying to figure out the spelling for a cool “Hebrew tattoo.” Just doesn’t seem like the smartest thing to do… but, like I said, I could be wrong. Perhaps Danielle will read this post and clarify the whole situation by commenting! Danielle…?

  4. Kevin A. Wilson Says:

    You are judging her for the tattoo, which is beautifully ironic given what it says. :) I agree that transliterating it as a “secret code” seems a bit too cutesy for the quote, considering it is from a 2 Pac song.

    The show Miami Ink did an episode about someone getting the same phrase tattooed in Egyptian (although as it turns out, the symbol is adinkra, not hieroglyphics). Equating that symbol with the entire phrase was quite a stretch, though.

    Someone in my building has the same quote tattooed on his back. Overall I think the people who use it are trying to assert that other people shouldn’t disagree with them or question their actions (which, of course, is not actually judging). It is possible to tell someone that what they are doing is wrong without judging them.

    The phrase is just one more step away from a society where social norms help regulate personal actions.

  5. Scott Says:

    I think I’m going to have to roll with Tyler on this one. Perhaps, there is a level of innocuousness with the tattoo; however, I would bet when people ask her what her tattoo says she probably begins her response with, “It’s Hebrew for ‘No one can judge me…’”

    She probably doesn’t say “It’s a Hebrew transliteration but not a real Hebrew transliteration for ‘No one can judge me…’ it’s my own code.” Most likely she would “It’s Hebrew for…” which would intimate to the hearer or reader that it is the actual Hebrew language which it is not. Therefore it is a dumb mistake.

    It is dumb in the sense that there is most likely a sense of self-seriousness and self-justification involved with the language of the tattoo and the message. She probably begins other conversations with, “I’m not religious I’m spiritual…” and proceeds to have further ignorance tumble from her brain.

    Like the professor that argued we should no longer demand that students spell properly at a University level obviously some think Danielle’s obvious lack of gray matter is cute and defensible. I would argue that upon closer inspection her tattoo reveals her as DUMB!

    Don’t judge me Phil. Oh wait, I’ll make it “cute”: Dount guge I fill.

  6. tattoodesign Says:

    I agree iIf there was a prize or award for the dumbest tattoo, this one should certainly win

  7. BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » News Blog » BREAKING NEWS: Angry Guys Are Angry Says:

    [...] on the Internets, Tyler F. Williams unleashes the hate for Danielle Lloyd — allegedly some sort of British pseudo-celebrity — who just [...]

  8. Hundie Jo [dot] Com » Blog Archive » Tattoos Says:

    [...] know of anything I would want written on my body until I die. The second reason? Stuff like this: Danielle Lloyd: The Dumbest Hebrew Tattoo Yet!  Not only is the tattoo gibberish; it isn’t written in Hebrew (i.e., the language) at all! [...]

  9. Another Brutal Hebrew Tattoo « Scotteriology Says:

    [...] Hebrew Tattoo Posted on September 9, 2008 by agathos Once again Tyler gives us another Hebrew tattoo that you do not want… and I agree with him this one is dumb. Even imagining the way that this [...]

  10. Ken Says:

    If she believes she got a Hebrew tattoo… sure. I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt though I guess.

    I think she is spelling God plene with a vaw holem (so, gimmel, holem, dalet). Also, the “e” might not be a comma but rather a vowel point — it’s difficult to make out — though, even so, the likeliest candidates (shewa or hireq) are poor choices. In any case, the person is, like you say, either deliberately inconsistent or completely uninformed about Hebrew… either way, I doubt very much that that matters to them. I doubt they have many Hebrew speaking friends.

    You are right, of course, about scholarly transliteration… :-) I was just poking fun with that comment. I should have made a reference to your occasionally transliterated bonus questions on Hebrew quizzes instead. :-)

  11. Ken Says:

    Actually, looking at it again… the comma is probably there to be a comma… not a letter. The “e” is left off “Judg” and probably also “me” as well.

  12. Pat McCullough Says:

    Well, only God can judge her.

  13. David Gerard Says:

    It actually says “idiot gentile bimbo”. http://tinyurl.com/6zjqj9

  14. Reut Says:

    I don’t really understand how the “me” is writtent here. At first I figured the first one accidently used a mem sofit instead of a regular mem, and that the comma is what was supposed to be a yod.
    But looking at the second “me”, i can’t figure out what’s that letter there. At first I thought maybe it was yod-vav (you), but everyone says it’s also supposed to be “me”.
    The rest of it is very clear to me, though. Somehow I managed to read it right away upon seeing it. The only error in the “only god can judge” part is that in the word “judge” the j is represented with gimel” instead of gimel’, and the second gimel’ like sound is a simple gimel. The pronounciation, though, is correct for someone with an English accent. You can hear the O in the word god and U in judge when someone speaks with a UK accent, so keeping that in mind, the way she wrote “only god can judge” is alright.

  15. Ava Odoemena Says:

    Evaluating a tattoo by the rules of language is a form of technocratic reductionism equivalent to judging a meal by its content of carbs, proteins and fats. It ignores everything actually relevant to the meal: tastes, aroma, intent of the chef, the setting in which it is enjoyed, the people around at the time and so on.

    Tattoos are art and therefore are liberated from the rules of language, even if language is an aspect of the art. That I need to explain this to people who most likely consider themselves intelligent strikes me odd, however, the elements of smug aggression expressed in the entry and some comments may indicate that the critique is not about a “wrong use” of Hebrew, but a front for encoded sexism behind it or another form of primeval dominance behavior. Equally childish encoding as accused, which would ignite the irony of projection.

    I observe with worry, the emerging group-fantasy of technocrats, in which they believe that they are a *social* elite.

  16. Richard Says:

    All rather comical!

  17. Sonya Says:

    One of my friends decided to get a Hebrew tattoo on her hip. She told me it translated to “Follower of Christ.” I can not read Hebrew and have been looking on the internet to see if the tattoo says what it says. I believe people should be very careful using the Hebrew language and she needs to know if it is right. Would someone e-mail me the translation of “Follower of Christ” please? Thank you!

  18. Jessica Says:

    I was thinking of getting a tattoo saying “Peace of God” but I really don’t want it to come out wrong, any help?

    Email me at kpappas622@gmail.com

    Thanks

  19. A funny story of my own at Tête-à-Tête-Tête Says:

    [...] Dumbest Hebrew Tattoo Yet reminds me of a funny story from my own youth. At school, we were given an opportunity to sign up for foreign pen-pals. I don’t know – this had to have been fifth grade or earlier (for my sake, I hope much earlier). [...]

  20. Dani Says:

    i’m trying to get a correct hebrew translation fo a tattoo i want. can anybody help?

  21. Yael Says:

    To Dani, what is the phrase you want to translate? Maybe I can help.