UPDATED: The Continuing Misadventures of Ariana Grande's 'Barbecue Grill' Tattoo
Yet another reminder to not get a tattoo in a language you, yourself, cannot read.
Photo: Liyao Xie/Getty Images and YouTube
In addition to an extremely large social media following and a very long fake ponytail, Ariana Grande has dozens of tiny impulse tattoos. With at least 35 of them as of this round-up a few weeks ago, the pop star clearly isn’t shy about sharing her ink with fans and haters alike, who obsess over what they mean and why she got them. Some of those tattoos might be more regrettable than others—say, the multiple tattoos from her whirlwind relationship with Pete Davidson—but Grande’s latest tattoo might be setting a new bar for regret potential.
Yesterday, Grande debuted her newest tattoo in a now-deleted Instagram post. The tattoo, on her palm, is meant to say “7 rings” in Japanese Kanji, in reference to her newest single, which debuted at the top of the Billboard charts.
Grande’s tattoo currently reads “七輪.” As commenters have weighed in online, it should actually read “七つの指輪 ” in order to accurately translate to “seven rings.” And as Twitter users quickly pointed out, Grande’s tattoo as it stands actually reads “shichirin,” the Japanese word for a type of barbecue grill.
After the Chinese lettering tattoo trend of the 90s resulted in so many bad, mistranslated tattoos—and hopefully some regret—we’d think that people would learn from those mistakes, and maybe at least hit up Google Translate before putting them on their body.
Omitting characters in the middle of the phrase was actually intentional, Grande claims, because the tattoo hurt too much as-is. “I wouldn’t have lasted one more symbol lmao,” she wrote in a Twitter thread that has also been deleted, but still exists in screenshots.
According to Grande, it doesn’t matter too much because the tattoo is “99% gonna go away.” That was apparently told to her by tattoo artist Kane Navasard, who also did Grande’s Pokémon tattoo earlier this month. Many tattoo artists warn that palm and hand tattoos don’t come with a guarantee—they’re known to fade quickly since hands go through a lot of wear and tear.
Despite its incorrect phrasing, Grande is taking the tattoo in stride. “It’s my favorite one now tho so pls leave me and my tambourine grill alone. Thank u,” she tweeted. (The fact that all of her original Instagram and Twitter posts about the tattoo have been deleted might suggest a little buyer’s remorse.)
Luckily, of all the phrases you could incorrectly translate onto your body, there’s nothing not to love about Japanese barbecue.
UPDATE (1/31/19): After her tattoo became the laughing stock of the internet, Grande made attempts to fix it... but it's still not right. Grande’s palm now reads “Japanese BBQ finger.”