30 Amazing French Tattoos with Meanings

When you imagine France, what appears in your mind?  The Eiffel tower?  A French baguette? Conceivably something less apparent like a spring of lilac-purple or a portrait by Dégas? Whatever perceptions your mind implores when you think of France, they can readily be seized in a French-inspired tattoo- and why not? France has been the most commercial tourist target in the world for over 25 years. So whether you’re a Francophile in search of deifying your love of France or simply like a glimpse of an Eiffel tower tattoo, here are 25 colossal French tattoos to incite your innovation. So scroll down the feed and decide for yourself!

French Tattoos



  • Hope Tattoo

French Tattoos

This tattoo intends to mean “hope” in French, which is both super passionate and super ambiguous.

  • France Map

French Tattoos

This design is a cartographer’s dream tattoo if (s)he admired France. A tattoo of the outline of France is not only an entertaining way to show your love for the motherland but also your wanderlust heart. It’s not overly blatant like a tattoo of the Eiffel tower. Most non-Europeans might not even acknowledge the popular hexagon shape which all the people in France discover at a very young age. But that’s alright because it’s a great dialogue starter.

  • French Flag

French Tattoos

As one of the most recognizable flags on the planet, no one will have to guess which country this blue, white and red striped flag pertains to. The abundance of designs that can be considered up to make your ink look unique and discrete is infinite.

  • Swallow Tattoo

French Tattoos

French Tattoos

Although swallow tattoos were formerly made famous by British seafarers of the past, thanks to the legendary French fashion stylists like Coco Chanel who use the swallow in their designs and the fact that the swallow typifies travel, a symbol of a swallow is excellent for anyone who cherishes France as well as travelling. Be cautious when getting a swallow tattoo because it is oftentimes mixed with the sparrow.

  • Classic Perfumes

French Tattoos

Chanel No 5, Guerlain Shalimar, Lanvin, Yves Saint Laurent Parisienne- are just a few of the prestigious French Perfumes that have long been corresponding with luxury, prestige and of course, beauty! A tattoo of your preferred French perfume or even a nonexclusive photo of a perfume bottle is a classy way to upgrade your tattoo style.

  • Lavender Pattern

French Tattoos

Provence France is associated with many things but most recognizable might quite simply be the shade, the texture and the fragrance of its world-renowned lavender fields.

  • Lily Flowers

French Tattoos

Lily of the Valley flowers, known as “Muguet” in France, has a very unique place in French history. You’ll discover it in everything from perfumes to brews. It has long been conventional to offer spring or corsage of Lily of the Valley to comrades and loved ones on the 1st of May to commemorate the appearance of spring and the good weather that goes with it.

  • Fleur de Lis

French Tattoos

Fleur de Lis commonly denotes “flower of the lily” and is a lily fashioned with three petals connected together near their roots. This classical French design was first used by French monarchs on their shields. English emperors later used the emblem on their coats of arms to highlight their claims to the throne of France.

  • Le Coq

French Tattoos

“Le Coq Gaulois” or the “Gallic rooster” is one of the most internationally acknowledged and identifiable figures of France. It has been employed intermittently since ancient times on French illustrations and coins and has become the trademark of French country design. French labels that consolidate the coq in their logo include sports brand giant “Le Coq Sportif” and “Pathé” cinemas in France.

  • French Poodles

French Tattoos

Notwithstanding its name, French poodles are technically not a French breed nonetheless the French were capable of assisting in the advancement of the breed and encouraging their popularity which may be why most people correlate them with France.
  • French Bull Dog

French Tattoos

What could be a stronger representation of French than a super cute or scary French bulldog tattoo “Bouledogue”.

  • Artistic Designs

French Tattoos

If you’re into art from popular French craftsmen like Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne, Marc Chagall and innumerable others, there are literally thousands upon thousands of tattoo designs out there waiting to be explored. Just crack open an art book for motivation.

  • Cartoon Designs

French Tattoos

If you’re interested in comics and animations, you have quite a few to pick from. There’s Astérix et Obilix, Les Aventures de Tintin, Lucky Luke, and Les Daltons to mention a few. Although several of the standard French cartoons are from Belgium cartoonist, they are nonetheless remarkably popular in France and recognizable by all French people. Bet you didn’t recognize that the Smurfs was also a Belgium creation by the Belgian cartoonist Peyou. They’re called “Les Schtroumpfs” in French.

  • Monumental Designs

French Tattoos

France is loaded with remarkable buildings and beautiful compositions – all good artists should be able to draw any of these majestic masterpieces onto your body in any fashion and size of your selection. Home is where your tusche is. If your love for Paris goes exceeding any one thing or you just can’t get enough of Paris then a Paris skyline tattoo is a conspicuous way to announce it.

  • Eiffel Tower Tattoo

French Tattoos

  • Chef’s Tattoo

French Tattoos

Omit the conservative clean-cut image you have of French chefs. Yes, they subsist but these days there’s a new variety of tattoo wearing chefs. Tattoos have grown into a kind of status symbol, relatively a conventional attire in expert kitchenettes. Just take a look at the famous French chef Ludo Lefebre who is enveloped in significant tattoos- like little emblems of remembrance.

  • Butcher Cut Tattoos

French Tattoos

A fashionable way to signify your secret chef is to dawn an ancient-looking butcher’s cut tattoo. Convey your pick- beef, chicken or pork.

  • Mise-en-Place

French Tattoos

If you’re a home cook with insane chopping abilities, a knife tattoo might be suitable for you. One current leitmotif is to tattoo the French culinary slogan “Mise en place”- which means “putting in place” or “everything in its place.”  In an adept and even a home kitchen, it’s the construction of courses and constituents before the inception of service.

  • Food Tattoos

French Tattoos

France is the authorizing country of dozens of famous foods and is acknowledged globally for its generation of the perfect wines, distinguished cheeses, and delectable breakfast pastries. If you’re a foodie then the potentialities are infinite when it comes to French cuisine-inspired ink.

  • Wine Lovers

French Tattoos

No description needed here. The French devour more wine per capita than any other nation in the world. Consequentially so, the possible designs are limitless. Just take a peek in a wine magazine for inspiration. If you have a favorite pitcher of wine or champagne, why not get a tattoo of that?

  • Macarons

French Tattoos

The French macaron, not to be mixed with coconut macaroons are the joy of France. This sweet meringue-based pastry is generally filled with ganache, buttercream or jam filling in almost every flavor you can possibly think of. The color of the macaron perpetually harmonizes with the filling- Brown ones are normally chocolate or coffee, red ones are strawberry, blue ones are blueberry and so on. Get an ink in every flavor and in full color to determine your inclination for French confectionery.

  • Snail Tattoo

French Tattoos

A pervasive stereotype is that the French eat snails called ‘escargot’ in French. Who doesn’t love escargot hovering over butter and garlic?

  • Baguette Designs

French Tattoos

  • Inventive Designs

French Tattoos

A lesser-known fact about the French is that they’re accountable for many significant discoveries and technological advancements, including (but not restricted to): The hot air balloon, the bicycle, and the submarine!

Two French brothers were the first to triumphantly venture the first manned hot-air balloon ascent in 1783. Although the French didn’t really invent the submarine, the French Navy did formulate the first non-human powered sub in 1863 termed as le Plongeur meaning, “the diver”.

  • Traditional French Tattoo

French Tattoos

French smoking pigeon with Eiffel tower, wine, and baguette tattoo

  • Phrase Tattoos

French Tattoos

Alexandra Shipp has a tattoo on her right foot reading “C’est la vie” – which is French for “that’s life”.

  • French Quote

French Tattoos

Bishop Briggs got an ink of her handwriting in the French quote “Vaut-il mieux parler ou mourir?” – which is a line from the movie Call Me By Your Name and it means “is it better to speak or die?”.

  • Celebrity French Tattoo Design

French Tattoos

Reginae Carter has a French word inked on the right side of her abdomen by Jon Boy.  The tattoo says “foncedé” which indicates high or stoned.

  • Feet Designs

french tattoo

In September 2011, Ashley Tisdale went with best friend Vanessa Hudgens to get tattooed by Bang Bang – who’s also inked the counterparts of Rihanna and Katy Perry. They didn’t opt for coordinating tattoos, instead, Ashley got “jamais seule” tattooed on her foot, which is a French phrase meaning “never alone”, and Vanessa got the “Om” emblem on her hands. Ashley got the tattoo thoughtfully arranged so that it shows even when she is donning heels.

The more you probe into French culture, the more comprehensive is the likelihood of endangering even more wonderful tattoo ideas. If you’re still insufficiently equipped with the ideas after scanning through the article above, then another French tattoo motivation is never far away. You can find it easily with magazines, journals and French-themed websites obtainable in the thousands just waiting to ignite your imagination. Remember though – tattoos are for life. Make sure you’re confident that you want something inked onto your body eternally and make certain that you take care of your new tattoo as best as possible to guarantee that it looks beautiful for as long as you live.

French Tattoos

Here are some notable quotes which look excellent when inked.

  • joie de vivre

This is my “word of the year,” even though it’s a phrase rather than a word. It’s a great motto to live by.

  • Il ne faut pas attendre d’être parfait pour commencer quelque chose de bien.

A quote from the religious leader L’Abbé Pierre. “Don’t wait to be perfect to start something good.” Wise advice.

  • l’amour l’emporte

“Love wins.” Always!

  • amour sans fin

“Endless love.”

  • Savoir, penser, rêver. Tout est là.

“To know, to think, to dream. That is all.” by the wonderful writer Victor Hugo.

  • Il n’est rien de réel que le rêve et l’amour.

“Nothing is real but dreams and love.” This extremely romantic quote is from the French writer Anna de Noailles.

  • cœur fidèle

“A faithful heart.”

  • J’accepte la grande aventure d’être moi.

“I accept the great adventure of being me.” by the great Simone du Beauvoir.

  • Petit a petit, l’oiseau fait son nid.

If you are searching for a phrase about persistence and perseverance, you can stay put on this one: “Little by little, the bird makes its nest.” It is an extremely cute design and it really does vocalize to the nature of success.

  • n’oublie pas de vivre

“Don’t forget to live.”

  • la vie en rose

“Life in pink.” This means seeing life through rose-colored glasses. Some people might see that as a negative, but not necessarily so.

  • l’amour et l’amitié

“Love and friendship.”

  • L’amour est la poésie des sens.

“Love is the poetry of the senses,” a quote from the writer Honoré de Balzac.

  • qui cherche trouve

This is a Christian one: “Seek and ye shall find.” (Matthew 7:7).

  • Le cœur a ses raisons que la raison ne connaît pas.

“The heart has its reasons, of which reason knows nothing.” This is a quote from the mathematician and philosopher, Blaise Pascal. It’s no justification for unscrupulous behavior, of course, but an affirmation that seldom you have to follow your heart.

  • Voyager, c’est vivre.

“To travel is to live.”

  • Sois belle á ta façon.

“Be beautiful in your own way.”

  • je passe quand même

“I pass, anyway.” This is a good proverb for someone who feels unstoppable.

  • belle âme

“Beautiful soul.”

  • Qui n’avance pas, recule.

“If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.” It’s so true…we always have to keep on acquiring and advancing.

  • ce que femme veut, Dieu le veut

“What woman wants, God wants.”

  • C’est cela l’amour, tout donner, tout sacrifier sans espoir de retour.

This is a quote from Albert Camus: “That’s love, to give away all, to sacrifice all, without the desire to get anything in return.” It’s a very passionate and a noble predilection (and one with Christian connotations, too.)

  • Créer, c’est vivre deux fois.

“To create is to live twice.” Also Albert Camus.

  • toujours debout

“Always standing,” or “Still standing”. This is a good note for someone who’s a derelict.

  • vouloir, c’est pouvoir

“To want is to be able.” This recalls to the mind one of the quotes credited to Hannibal: “I will either find a way or make one.”


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