由 18 世纪英国著名航海家库克船长引入英国，来自太平洋小岛某土著语言，其原义可能为 在脸上打的标记或以示惩罚的记号，后引申词义文身，刺青。比较《水浒传》。
- tattoo: English has two words tattoo. The older, ‘military display’ , was borrowed from a Dutch word, taptoe, that means literally ‘tap to’, that is, ‘shut the tap’ – a signal to shut off the taps of the beer barrels at closing time in the taverns. By the time it reached English it was being used for a ‘drum beat signalling the time for soldiers to return to their quarters at night’, and in the 18th century it was applied to a ‘military display based on this’. The tattoo on the skin  was borrowed from a Polynesian language, such as Tahitian (tatau) or Marquesan (ta-tu).
- tattoo (v.)
- "mark the skin with pigment," 1769, tattow, from tattoo (n.2). Related: Tattooed; tattooing. Thackeray has tattooage.
- tattoo (n.1)
- "signal calling soldiers or sailors to quarters at night," 1680s, earlier tap-to (1640s), from Dutch taptoe, from tap "faucet of a cask" (see tap (n.1)) + toe "shut, to," from Proto-Germanic *to (see to (prep.)). "So called because police formerly visited taverns in the evening to shut off the taps of casks" [Barnhart]. In 17c. Dutch the phrase apparently was used with a transferred or figurative sense "say no more." In English, transferred sense of "drumbeat" is recorded from 1755. Hence, Devil's tattoo "action of idly drumming fingers in irritation or impatience" (1803).
- tattoo (n.2)
- "pigment design in skin," 1769 (noun and verb, both first attested in writing of Capt. Cook), from a Polynesian noun (such as Tahitian and Samoan tatau, Marquesan tatu "puncture, mark made on skin"). Century Dictionary (1902) describes them as found on sailors and uncivilized people or as a sentence of punishment.
- 1. He has a tattoo on the back of his hand.
- 2. He beat a frantic tattoo with his hands on the door.
- 3. I've decided to get my tattoo removed.
- 4. She's having a tattoo done on her leg.
- 5. In the old days, they would paint and tattoo their bodies for ceremonies.
[ tattoo 造句 ]