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Angelina Jolie tattoo back

Angelina Jolie's many tattoos and the meanings behind them

The Tomb Raider star shares six children with ex Brad Pitt

Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
June 17, 2024
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When Angelina Jolie stepped onto the red carpet with her daughter Vivienne at the Tony Awards on June 16, they stole the show with their matching attire. 

But it wasn't just Angelina's dress that drew attention, it was her new tattoo. The actress sported a small inking of a sparrow on her chest, perhaps a symbol of freedom and love, which was inked by Mark Mahoney – founder of Shamrock Social Club.

The artwork is latest to be added to her extensive collection which we will explore below. 

See photos of Angelina Jolie's tattoos and read some of the sentimental reasons behind the creations.


Angelina Jolie shows off her coordinates tattoo

Coordinates tattoo

The tattoo with arguably the most significant meaning is the inking on the star's left arm. The tattoo features the coordinates of locations where her six children, Knox and Vivienne, 15, Shiloh, 18, Zahara, 19, Pax, 20, and Maddox, 22, were born. 

Alongside her children's coordinates are the ones of her former husband Brad Pitt's birthplace of Oklahoma. However, back in 2000 this tattoo used to be an inking of Billy Bob Thornton's name, her ex-husband, above a dragon. This tattoo was removed after the couple divorced in 2003.


Angelina Jolie's Buddhist spell tattoo

Buddhist spell tattoo

The body art on the left side of her back is a Buddhist spell dedicated to her adopted son Maddox. The tattoo is for protection, translating as: "May your enemies run far away from you. If you acquire riches, may they remain yours always. Your beauty will be that of Aspara. Wherever you may go, many will attend, serve and protect you, surrounding you on all sides."


A close look at Angelina Jolie's back tattoos© Samir Hussein

Back tattoos

These three designs on the middle of Angelina's back represent four continents and the classical elements of earth, water, air and fire. 

The tattoos were added to her collection whilst the star was in Cambodia filming First They Killed My Father

The tattoos were inked onto her skin using steel rods that were mounted with a surgical steel needle. One of the tattoos features a Buddhist temple design which is thought to remind the individual to have mercy on oneself, whilst the one on the far right of the shoulder is a design to bring luck and wealth. The largest piece in the middle represents the four elements.


Angelina Jolie's tiger tattoo

Bengal tiger tattoo

On the lower back of the star, there is a 12-inch long Bengal tiger tattoo that was completed in July 2004, after two hours of patiently waiting, the new piece of body ink was supposedly blessed by a traditional Thai needle. 

The tattoo represented Angelina's Cambodian citizenship that was granted in 2005.


Angelina Jolie's h tattoo

Letter h tattoo

The actress has a rune style tattoo on her wrist featuring the letter h. It is not clear if the ink is symbolic for her ex-boyfriend Timothy Hutton or her brother Janes Haven.


Angelina Jolie's The Clash tattoo

The Clash tattoo


Angelina Jolie's Arabic script tattoo

Arabic script tattoo

Angelina has an Arabic script tattoo that translates as determination on her right arm that covered up her custom abstract lines tattoo created by Billy Bob Thornton and herself during their marriage.


Angelina Jolie's Winston Churchill quote tattoo

Winston Churchill's speech tattoo

On the side of her left forearm, Angelina has a tattoo of the Roman Numeral XIII V MCMXL which translates to the numbers 13/5/1940. 

The tattoo is the date when Winston Churchill delivered his speech on 13 May 1940 that famously stated: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."


Angelina Jolie's cross tattoo

Cross tattoo

The day before Angelina married Johny Lee Miller in 1995, the actress got a cross tattoo on her hip, to hide a little dragon with a blue tongue she had from a trip to Amsterdam. Next to the cross tattoo is the Latin phrase: "Quod me nutrut me destruit" that means "what nourishes me, destroys me."


Angelina Jolie's Persian script tattoo

Script tattoo

She has two lines of Persian script on the inside of her right arm. The artwork depicts a phrase from the poetry of the Persian writer Rumi. It reads: "There exists a field beyond all notions of right and wrong. I will meet you there."


Angelina Jolie's hand tattoos

Hand tattoos

Angelina's delicate tattoos on her fingers were revealed by her tattoo artist, Mr K, who shared a photo with fans on Instagram in 2023. 

He said: "This tattoo represents two daggers in a geometric abstract way / nothing related to religion or cross." 

The two matching dagger tattoos are on her middle fingers, with the geometric design offering blank space between certain elements of the weapon. 


Angelina's other new tattoo debuted in April© Getty

'Stay Gold' tattoo

In April 2024, Angelina made a public appearance at the opening night of The Outsiders and displayed new ink. 

Nestled amongst many of her other tattoos on her left arm, she had 'Stay Gold' written. 

The line is from the S.E. Hinton book, The Outsiders, and Francis Ford Coppola's movie which the Broadway show is based on. 

It is also the name of one of the songs in the show. 


Angelina's incredible new tattoo© Getty

Bird tattoo

The meaning behind Angelina's new sparrow tattoo on her chest hasn't been revealed, but the small bird often symbolizes loyalty, protection, love and coming home. 

According to the U.S. Naval institute: "Legend has it that tattoos began when seven sailors from a ship called the Swallow each tattooed a swallow on his chest to mark their mutiny. Tradition, though, generally holds that a swallow tattoo is used to measure how far a sailor travels. Originally, a swallow was earned every 5,000 nautical miles.

"Swallows often were the first birds sailors would see when nearing land, and they came [to] represent homecoming."

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