The meanings of homemade tattoos?

I’ve often seen these homemade tattoos… one is three dots either on the wrist or between the thumb and forefinger. Another is the teardrop underneath the eye. The dot thing I’ve seen on otherwise normal, middle-class women, so I don’t think it has anything to do with gangs.
Do any of you dopers know? Just curious. I did do a search on the web, but couldn’t find those particular meanings.

A teardrop beneath the eye was originally a criminal thing, although it may have become a fashion statement by now. I believe it originated in Cuba. Depending on who you ask, it can either indicate the wearer killed someone or is mourning a friend who was killed. Or maybe killed a friend.

Those both sound like jailhouse tattoos to me; you never know what is in those average middle class women’s pasts. Not really clear on the symbolism of either one, although I’ve heard rumors about the teardrop design being reserved exclusively for killers.

Antone know what the little cross between the thumb and forefinger means?

The teardrop apprently used to mean the death of a clorse friend or family member or somesuch. Now it’s “neat looking.”

I’m not exactly sure about the dots, but I have two things related:

A guy I knew for a (thankfully) short period of time had (If I can remember this correctly) a single dot on three fingers on one hand, and on two on the other. According to him, it meant White Pride. Hmm.

I’ve known several people who get a dot or series of dots as their first tattoo, to test the waters. Maybe that’s what you’re seeing?

The three dots in the finger webbing generally means “mi vida loca,” my crazy life. It and the hand webbing cross may not definitely signify gang membership, but are usually seen as gangster-esque or jailhouse-y. The teardrop tattoo can mean that the wearer has killed someone, had a close friend or family member killed, or a few other meanings, or no meaning at all. There isn’t really a central repository for meanings for this sort of thing.