Tattoo Word History

The actual practice of tattooing the body is very old; the English word tattoo is a relatively new word. The explorer and Royal Navy Captain, Captain James Cook introduced the word to English speakers in his account of a voyage around the world from 1768 to 1771. “Tattoo” comes from Polynesian languages such as Tahitian and Samoan actually not too far from Hawaii. The earliest use of the verb tattoo in English is found in an entry for 1769 in Cook's diary. He and his sailors introduced the custom into Europe from the Pacific societies in which the art of tattooing was practiced, it originally remained associated with sailors and the navy, although now many people from all walks of life get permanent tattoos and socially use temporary tattoos as well.

Final note on Captain Cook

Captain Cook, was not a triathlete, but he did pass away in Hawaii on the big island.  Let’s keep his sense of adventure alive and wear our TriTats at all of our events.  For those of us lucky enough to go to the big island and compete at Kona… please be sure to wear your TriTat and send a big thank you his way for bringing as that wonderful word… “Tattoo”.