Tit for Tat

Okay. I’ll admit it, I couldn’t come up with a good title for this blog.

What we have up there isn’t just a *meh* title either. It’s a bad title. It implies things that simply are not borne out in the blog itself. This is simply a blog about tattoos.

Let me make it up to you with a utterly useless etymological fact: The phrase “tit for tat” actually comes from an old Norse expression “tip for tap” which meant, literally, “If you hit me, I’ll hit you back.”

How do I know this? Hell. I’m an endless trove of useless, fascinating information. I don’t even bother seeking it out any more. It just comes to me. I accrete it. I pluck it from the luminiferous aether. I apprehend it through examination of my Socratic soul.

It’s also possible that I make some of it up, then forget that I make it up. Or that I dream it. Or that I lie. But you know what? Sometimes I make shit up, and I *know* I just made it up, but it turns out to be real anyway. Or real enough, at any rate.

Anyway, tattoos.

Several years ago, I met someone that had tattooed my signature on their arm. An act of devotion that was equal parts flattering and flummoxing. But I assumed that that event was going to stand by itself as a statistical anomaly.

Then, a while later, someone dropped me a link to a literary tattoo page. I just went looking for now so I could link to it, and got 404’d, but I did find the photo archived somewhere else….

tumblr_m3ngblWc3e1rvxj0ko1_500

If I remember the story from that now-defunct website correctly, she’d been through a bad breakup, and got a Kvothe’s quote as a reminder for herself.

At first I thought, “Wow. That’s pretty cool.” And, of course, I was flattered, too…

…but more than that, I realized I was oddly proud. Those words are words I’m proud to have someone claim as their own.

Since then I’ve had perhaps a dozen people e-mail me or facebook me pictures of their NOTW tattoos.

Tattoo

Most of them are texty:

Tatoo - sun will shine

(“And the sun will still rise in the morning.”)

Some are no text at all…

book cover tattoo

Some have quotes I would expect….

941647_10151677890130908_1405206476_n

Some have quotes that were a surprise to me….

DSC01514

(“Vorfelan Rhinata Morie”)

And some that are as simple as they are obscure:

Tattoo - name

The horrible thing is that I know I have more pictures than these, but I can’t for the life of me find them on my computer. I haven’t cleaned up my desktop in… well… years at least. Maybe forever.

But rather than postpone this blog as I have so many others, I’ll post it up for now, incomplete as it is, with the hope that these pictures bring you some of the geeky joy that they brought me….

Wearily but with love,

pat

This entry was posted in a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Surreal enthusiasm. By Pat52 Responses

52 Comments

  1. Albender
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 2:37 AM | Permalink

    “My name is Kvothe” tatoo has to be my fav. :-) Nice blog entry Pat.

  2. panda
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 3:08 AM | Permalink

    There I am, sucking in my belly! I love this post. It is nice to see what words/images other people have chosen. :) x

  3. Posted September 23, 2013 at 3:24 AM | Permalink

    Congratulations on having such dedicated fans! Thanks for sharing – although I do not have any myself, I’m still able to appreciate other people’s tattoos.

  4. SMantzoros
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 4:02 AM | Permalink

    I love “a few words you’re probably going to have to look up”.

    Because then I look them up and my Knowledge: Aracana increases. -Evil laugh-

    But seriously, I learned the word “hame” from Pat.

    That’s one of the coolest words to know. Like, ever.

  5. maine character
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 4:40 AM | Permalink

    That’s some serious artwork.

    And I found the story of the first tattoo here.

  6. emsilua
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 5:30 AM | Permalink

    “Vorfelan Rhinata Morie” was always one of my favourites, partly because it’s a good quote and partly because I just love (invented) languages.

  7. JeremyM
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 9:14 AM | Permalink

    This is actually probably my next tattoo. I’m thinking it will be the scene where Kvothe and Denna encounter the Draccus. Or maybe Auri. Or maybe the Princess…. So many choices.

    • Neville Longbottom
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 11:39 AM | Permalink

      I could spend hours describing my mental picture of Auri. Hours and hours. Every artist throughout all of time could create a whole new body of masterpieces based on my descriptions.

      But still. I’d look at each one. Over and over again they’d be not. quite. right…

  8. Kyrenna
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 9:44 AM | Permalink

    Defnitely bringing me geeky joy, both as someone who loves books, and as someone who loves good tattoos.

  9. ali rahemtulla
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:26 AM | Permalink

    This fills me with utter loathing. Kvothe never said “my name is kvothe, you may have heard of me”. That is from the BLURB! THIS IS WHAT IS WRONG WITH HUMANITY TODAY. THEY CONSTANTLY MAKE CRAP UP TO SUIT THEIR NEEDS. THIS IS OUR BLEAKEST OUR. THE HEAVENS ARE HIDDEN AND THE SKIES IS RED WITH BLOOD. THIS SICK, TWISTED PSYCHO’S ACTIONS BATTER AGAINST OUR SOUL! HE MUST BE PUNISHED! THE END IS NIGH!!!!
    Cool post.

    • ntungren
      Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:44 AM | Permalink

      He never says the quote directly, but the beginning of the section starts out with, “My name is Kvothe.” and it ends with, “You may have heard of me.” It’s at the end of chapter 7 of The Wise Man’s Fear.

      • ntungren
        Posted September 23, 2013 at 12:30 PM | Permalink

        Sorry… Name of the Wind. Not Wise Man’s Fear. I always get the titles confused.

    • Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:52 AM | Permalink

      This, my friends, is how you do sarcastic rage on the internet. So frothy that you know the commenter is poking fun. We could do with more of this and less of the other type of web-rage.

      As for me, I assumed an implied Ellipsis. “My name is Kvothe. […] You may have heard of me.”

      • Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

        I think if I ever got a tat, I’d probably get: […]

        A bracketed ellipsis can contain pretty much anything. It would never go out of style.

        • SporkTastic
          Posted September 23, 2013 at 1:45 PM | Permalink

          Oh my god, Pat. I have a Zelda tat I’ve been saving to get, but this supersedes. I laughed harder than it probably warrants, which means it’s farking awesome. Thanks for the smiles.

        • angmas
          Posted July 19, 2017 at 11:04 PM | Permalink

          It would be awesome to get […] in the palm of one hand and the infinity symbol in the palm of the other hand.

      • Treggar
        Posted September 23, 2013 at 1:41 PM | Permalink

        Unfortunately, the internet is guided by Poe’s Law.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poe's_law

      • Nikki
        Posted September 23, 2013 at 1:52 PM | Permalink

        Sometimes I get a little too involved… :)
        http://xkcd.com/386/

    • Caesura Poetkiller
      Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

      In “The Name of The Wind”, in the chapter 7, right at the end there is a whole paragraph dedicated to Kvothe’s name. The first line is “My name is Kvothe.” and the last line is “You may have heard of me.”. Rather long for a tattoo…

      • ali rahemtulla
        Posted September 23, 2013 at 4:57 PM | Permalink

        You sicko. TRYING TO JUSTIFY THIS CRAP, ARE WE NOW? WELL, LET’S SEE ABOUT THAT. DID YOU KNOW THAT TATTOOS ARE THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE FOR TATTOOS. HUH!? DID YA’!? BET YOU’LL THINK TWICE ABOUT TRYING TO JUSTIFY THIS KIND OF MORAL DEPRAVATION IN THIS PATHETIC SHAMBLE WE CALL A SOCIETY. I BET YOUR DRACULA SIMIA IS TOO SICK TO EVEN LOOK AT YOU RIGHT NOW. IN FACT, HE/SHE/IT HAS PROBABLY LEFT YOU BY NOW. FOR SHAME. AND PAT, YOU TWO? WHAT WILL OOT THINK. HE’S PROBABLY GOING TO THINK SOME CRAP LIKE “Ooh, my body is my own property. I can make it more aesthetically pleasing to myself if I want to!” NOW DOESN’T THAT JUST MAKE YOU SICK? IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT YOU SON TO BE? SOMEONE CAPABLE OF THINKING FOR THEMSELVES!? WELL? IS IT!?!?!?

  10. Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

    I am currently unmarked, and I’ve never felt the need to get a tattoo, but I’ve got to admit, that ‘Chase the Wind’ tat is pretty sweet.

  11. Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

    I’ve gone 35 years without permanent adornment. I’ve played with a number of ideas for the past 15 or so. I’ve occasionally played with the idea of getting a set of talent pipes. My profession makes obvious tattoos somewhat unacceptable, so as much of the debate as “if” is “where.”

  12. khalilcanabarro
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

    Check out my friend’s tattoo. I couldn’t find the photo o f the tattoo done, but this is the design anyway. Hope you like it.
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-frc1/295250_3521787606491_645073027_n.jpg

  13. hastaggs42
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

    I have been contemplating a NOTW tattoo for months. These have given me my own great ideas!

  14. Auri Rodrigues
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM | Permalink

    I’d probably get something like this:
    “My name is Auri.
    […]
    You may have heard of me.”

  15. blinkore
    Posted September 23, 2013 at 1:15 PM | Permalink

    I am planning my next tattoo. My first idea is “be wary of the foly”…. but I will read (again) the WMF just to be sure

  16. Posted September 23, 2013 at 3:39 PM | Permalink

    Cool post, I love talking to people about their tattoos when they have a good story or some reason behind them.

    I’ve been contemplating a KKC tattoo for awhile now myself and have ideas for a couple. I really really want to get the script “One Family” in a circle though. My boyfriend and I will have been together for 10 years in 2015, so I think for our anniversary we should get matching KKC tattoos, and this will have a sorta double meaning. Plus, not too flashy, gotta stay kinda low key for work as some others have mentioned.

  17. Posted September 23, 2013 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

    The tattoos are beautiful. It was interesting to get your perspective on literary tattoos. I always wonder how authors feel when people get tattoos of their work.

    • Posted September 24, 2013 at 11:32 AM | Permalink

      I agree, it is good to know he doesn’t view them with disdain. I have a cousin who is an amazing artist, he used to design artistic character suits for action figures, anyway, a family friend had a piece of artwork he’d done and ended up tatooing it on his arm, it looked awesome but my cousin secretly hated it and found it uber-creepy for some reason. LOL.

      Nixed my idea that I’d get one of his artwork too. Bummer. But glad I found out before I did it!

  18. Kerensky287
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    How ’bout if I got a tattoo that just said “The Name of the Wise Man’s Doors”? Then I’ve got the whole damn series covered ahead of time. And it’d be a good icebreaker.

    “What the hell is that on your arm? Are you insane?”

    “Yes, but that’s not why I got this tattoo.”

    The rest should be self-explanatory, really.

    • Neville Longbottom
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 11:47 AM | Permalink

      I presume I’ll never meet you, but you have exactly the same sense of humor as every friend I’ve ever had…

      • ali rahemtulla
        Posted September 24, 2013 at 12:46 PM | Permalink

        Simple explanation really. Your parents secretly cloned him several times from varying ages, resulting in similar friends with ever so slight variations in psyche/physic. Go now to this primarch of friends, and embrace him in thy sweet bosom. Or just, you know, send him another message.

  19. cheengOwn
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    I wish people like you all existed where I live.

  20. ali rahemtulla
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    I’m pretty sure we’re all giant monkey men from the twelfth dimension… Right? Like, it’s not just me, is it? I mean, sure, some people say I’m weird, but it’s not like everyone else is secretly from the eleventh dimension and secretly/openly is disgusted by me? Right? RIGHT!?

    • cheengOwn
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 3:53 PM | Permalink

      That is exactly how I feel if I someone asks me what my favorite book is, and I tell them around these parts..

  21. Robo
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 1:10 PM | Permalink

    This thread needs less tats and more tits.

    • Kerensky287
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 8:59 PM | Permalink

      I’ll be honest, when I saw the title, I got excited for a second, then realized I was going to be disappointed, and then there actually WERE both tits and tats on display!

  22. Stormbird
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 3:33 PM | Permalink

    I have ‘She isn’t seen as beautiful. She is beautiful, seen.’ Across my back. Nobody gets it. All I ever hear is ‘that doesn’t make sense’. Well go read the best book ever written, then tell me it doesn’t make sense.

    • TK2187
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 8:18 PM | Permalink

      That is so sad that no one gets it. I thought it was one of the most beautiful lines and something I’d hope my future daughters would understand and take to heart about themselves.

      • Constance
        Posted September 27, 2013 at 12:29 PM | Permalink

        That line always reminded me of a short story in a Sandman/Endless anthology about Desire and a feudal lord and the birth of courtly romance. It was called “Stronger than Desire” and is in Book of Dreams. It puts out the same point – once a woman is courted and praised and thought of as beautiful, she becomes it. Transformed by the adoration beause her soul is beauitifed.

  23. Rob
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    I’m still torn between getting “Pat Rothfuss is my master now” tattooed on my ass and getting a tattoo of .

  24. Rob
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:45 PM | Permalink

    . . . .

  25. Rob
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:47 PM | Permalink
  26. firebird
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 11:31 AM | Permalink

    On to a topic completely unrelated. I made a femal character in final fantasy xiv name Kvothe Thekingkiller. I’m interested if anyone on that server will teconize the name. In hind site I should have modeled the toon after his image but shit happens.

  27. SanguineScumbag
    Posted September 30, 2013 at 3:47 AM | Permalink

    Some may not realize this, but the above post contains the key to perpetual harmony within the sane quantity of this universe. I have organised this into a stepped method:

    1) El’the Rothfuss tattoos the ending to the chronicles in the most brutally honest, sadistically unmusical and viciously succinct way across his adamant-hard chest.
    2) El’the Rothfuss discovers the name of the tattooist, and proceeds to smite his memory with fire and lightning (an unfortunate but necessary casualty).
    3) El’the Rothfuss threatens to expose his aeruh-inked torso in public, if we don’t get a fucking grip. This public display of indecent presentment is spread across the everyverse, tabloids screaming “Rothfuss makes a fuss”
    4) As us (moderately) sane people realize that the enactment of the threat would tear the fabric of the universe, pluck the moon from our sky, merge our world with that of the Fae, cause the destruction (vs. creation) war, make the chandrian shit fight us all, and worse of all, destroy Kvothe in all his beautiful, flawed complexity, we SORT OUT OUR FUCKING PRIORITIES.
    5) El’the Rothfuss has won. We know what shit really matters.

  28. ChristianJohannesen
    Posted October 4, 2013 at 12:35 AM | Permalink

    After the first photo, I probably would have titled the blog tat for tit.

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