Tattoo sleeves are defined as a large tattoo or a bunch of small random designs that when placed together cover most of the arm. A serious and committing tattoo style, sleeves start at the shoulder and continue down, usually carrying a centralized theme. While sleeve tattoos continue to rise in popularity, especially among women, you should always consider the following before opting for a full arm of art.
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The word tattoo, or tattow in the 18th century, is a loanword from the Samoan word tatau, meaning "to strike". The Oxford English Dictionary gives the etymology of tattoo as "In 18th c. tattaow, tattow. From Polynesian (Samoan, Tahitian, Tongan, etc.) tatau. In Marquesan, tatu." Before the importation of the Polynesian word, the practice of tattooing had been described in the West as painting, scarring or staining.