A tattoo of a teardrop, under the eye of a person that has been raped in prison.

The teardrop tattoo is humiliating as the prisoner had the tattoo forced onto them and it may also indicate they're someone else's property, to be sold and traded throughout the penitentiary.

An urban myth exists in some circles that the teardrop means the wearer is a murderer; this myth was likely started by those that have been raped and 'teardropped' in prison. Some will even foolishly get these thinking it will earn them respect because they've seen tough looking lifers and ex-cons wearing them, not realising these guys were once weak/jumped and raped when they first entered prison long ago.

When you think about it... Can you imagine a murderer who wants others to fear them, asking a tattooist, 'Please place a tiny tattoo on my face that makes me look like I'm crying."
Hahahaha it just doesn't happen. Except for a few circumstances, crying is frowned upon in the penitentiary; it's a sign of weakness. A murderer and a rape victim are polar opposites of the prisoner spectrum and realistically, would you cry after murdering someone or after being raped?

More recently, trendy rappers, hipsters, etc. who want people to feel sorry for them, get the tattoo thinking they'll fool others into believing they're grieving and perhaps some of them are, not realising that in prison terms it means they are in fact grieving their anal virginity and 'street' innocence.
See that guy with the teardrop tattoo ... he was raped in prison.
by Chad the gooch October 01, 2019
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Signifies the person was raped in prison. The tattoo represents the tears they couldn't cry while being inside.
See that guy with the teardrop tattoo, he was raped in prison.
by Jazpur October 06, 2011
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Made famous by Johnny Depp's character in the movie Crybaby. It is a tattoo of a teardrop below one's eye on either side. Originally placed in prison to signify that the bearer was owned by a fellow prisoner. In prison terms "there bitch." The tear drop signifies that pain and humiliation one would feel after being "turned out" in prison. The tattoo is placed on the face to further humiliate the victim and mark them in a place where they could not cover the mark.

Confusion about it's meaning has come from the victim's having to explain the tattoo when they get out of prison and have to explain it to family and loved one's. They would often state that they got the tattoo because they killed a man in prison. This statement was not far from the truth since their submissive act of becoming another man's "bitch" could easily be viewed as the death of their manhood.

Problems arose when men on the outside began to get the tattoos and brag that it signified their killing someone or lost a loved one. Unwittingly they had marked themselves as a target for predators if they ever went to prison.
"Did you hear, Marcus put a teardrop tattoo on his new bitch. I wonder how long before he starts trading him for cigarettes."
by keifermail June 29, 2009
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