Tuesday 23rd January 2018
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Contest time: tattoo redux edition

Last week when I mentioned  I had a tattoo, a few of you expressed curiosity as to what it might be.


So here you go. A serpent. Symbol of renewal, rebirth, creativity, and desire.

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 9.40.24 PM

And also—as I discovered when I  spied this first edition cover of Joan Didion’s Play it as it Lays one day while searching for inspiration—a perfect shape to gracefully cover up a tattoo I had gotten a number of years before, and grown to loathe.


Care to hazard a guess as to precisely that tattoo was? You can still see its (near) exact outline, lurking beneath the serpent. Whoever guesses correctly first wins a $100 gift card to Love, Adorned, one of the best boutiques in all of New York—and sister to famed tattoo emporium New York Adorned. You can guess as many times as you like. Here are a couple of hints to get you going: it’s not a letter of the alphabet. And once you see it, it’ll be the most obvious thing in the world.

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Posted on January 7th, 2013 58 Comments

58 Responses

  1. MPortley says:

    The “at” sign used in email addresses? @

  2. Kristen says:

    A horseshoe?

  3. Elise says:

    Is it a copyright symbol, the c inside the circle?

  4. Amanda says:

    A yin-yang symbol?

  5. Nancypie says:

    Crescent moon, jesus fish?

  6. Nancypie says:

    A snail?

  7. Debra says:

    astrology sign for Taurus?

  8. Bailey Kellermann says:

    An olive.

  9. Robyn says:

    A spiral? Heart with an arrow through it?

  10. kimum, I did not know you had a tattoo.

  11. Tanvi says:

    Mushroom? A swirl symbol? Slug?

  12. Jen says:

    I see a tiny blueish star.

  13. Jane says:

    Cupid’s arrow?

  14. Debra says:


  15. Sarah says:

    The e circle symbol etc

  16. ktbuffy says:

    A heart, covered up by the snake’s head.

  17. Jill says:

    A star, a moon, and a flower?

  18. Dena says:

    I think I see an eye.

  19. A hat, a coat, or a pterodactyl? Or the @ symbol. Other than those guesses, I got nothin…

  20. Nancypie says:

    A heart with an anchor on it?

  21. Sara says:

    A seashell!

  22. Emily says:

    Koi fish or Yin Yang!

  23. mims says:

    an ouroboros?

  24. Marianne says:

    All I see is an “@” symbol.

  25. Jenn says:

    Celtic spiral? (Am possibly projecting, as I have an age old “Celtic” tattoo that I try not to think about. It is also sort of in the tramp stamp place, gotten prior to knowing what a tramp stamp was.)

    LOVE the use of the Didion cover–long one of my favorite designs.

  26. Rebecca says:

    A fibonacci spiral

  27. Rebecca says:

    an ecolocation/wifi/”radioactive” symbol (of multiple “waves” stacked together)

  28. Daffodil says:

    A bow and arrow?

  29. c.w. says:

    looking “underneath” the serpent I only see a spiral a la Anazai Indians or taking in more of the serpent I only see the “@” symbol like so many others. Do love the Didion cover and her writing!

  30. Charlotte says:


    And another love of the original J. Didion cover.

  31. Marsi says:

    All I see is a penis with unfortunate proportions.

  32. Kim says:

    An AIDS/breast cancer red/pink ribbon?

  33. laura says:


  34. Lorimac says:

    Do you remember “Friends”? Phoebe had a blue dot tattoo. I can’t remember why…

    I am voting for one of those Grateful Dead dancing bears. Kim has been hiding this former Deadhead existence!

    • Kate says:

      She went with Rachel, and the blue dot was all the pain she could stand. Like, the tattoo pen touched her to make a dot, and she said “Done!”

      And I have sads for remembering that.

  35. Margaretta says:

    I see the shape of a “cause ribbon,” like the AIDS ribbon or the breast cancer awareness ribbon. But I have no idea why you would get that as a tattoo.

  36. Angela says:

    A heart! The snake’s head used to be a heart.

  37. Joanna aka Alexa (@alexa11221) says:

    Something like one of these?


  38. Lisa J says:

    om? the copy write symbol?

  39. maggie says:

    a leo zodiac symbol?

  40. Amy says:

    A small turtle.

  41. Viajera says:

    I got nothin’.

    But I have to say, as tats go, the snake is kind of nice. It is good to see snakes get re-habbed into something positive.

  42. Teresa says:

    Smiley face.

  43. LeopardPrint says:

    Since everyone else guessed “@” already, I’m going to have to go with an ampersand? Or some kind of zodiacal symbol.

    One of these: &

    You’d have to be a pretty big Belle and Sebastian fan (see my avatar) or typography fan to get one of those, though.

    Now I’m burning with curiosity!

  44. Jane Doe says:

    A heart — that you made into the serpent’s head

  45. Alex says:

    An apple

  46. Maja says:

    A butterfly

  47. Maja says:

    A spade

  48. marit mccabe says:

    I’m thinking the @ sign also. One really far-fetched notion is a smiley face, but that would be extremely odd. Whatever it was, the cover up is lovely.

  49. marit mccabe says:

    oh lord, it’s not the time warner logo, is it? eek.

  50. Debra says:

    Is there no winner yet?!?

  51. Acacia says:

    My guess would be @.