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Innocent looking tattoos spark outrage because of their ‘hidden meaning’ – so can you spot it?

Two friends who got matching tattoos of knives sitting on hot stoves spark outrage due to the ‘trashy’ design’s hidden meaning

  • Two friends’ matching tattoo of knives heating on a hotplate have caused a stir
  • NZ tattooist Rob Kemp posted a picture of the design to Facebook on Thursday
  • But the body art, which refers to a way of smoking cannabis, created outrage  

Matching tattoos inked on two friends’ arms of butter knives heating up on hotplates have sparked outrage online – because of their reference to drugs.  

New Zealand tattooist Rob Kemp, who works at The Collective in Napier, posted a photo of the women’s body art to his Facebook page, Arkay Tattooer, on Thursday. 

‘Finally got to do number two today! Left one fresh, right one healed. Driving buddies for life,’ he wrote.  

Tatooist Rob Kemp posted a photo of his work on the two friends to Facebook which has since gone viral

In New Zealand, ‘driving’ is a slang word for smoking cannabis also known as ‘hot knives’. 

Many social media users were left confused by the design and its obscure meaning. 

‘What does a butter knife on a stove burner have to do with being driving buddies?’ one person asked. 

Another suggested:’Perhaps a picture of a car would have been more accurate.

Others felt the women’s choice was distasteful.

‘This is the dumbest idea for a tattoo I’ve ever seen,’ someone wrote.

The Collective (pictured) tattooist said the women inked identical symbols as a tribute to their friendship

The Collective (pictured) tattooist said the women inked identical symbols as a tribute to their friendship

One person added: ‘I thought tramp stamps were trashy but this definitely tops every single tramp stamp ever.’

‘I thought those were dart boards with poorly drawn darts,’ another comment read.  

The post has since gone viral garnering international attention. 

Mr Kemp told the NZ herald that the women chose the design as a tribute to their long friendship and had it placed on their inner arm where it was hidden. 

‘Hot knives’ occurs around the world but is particularly popular in New Zealand, according to the NZ Herald. 

In the country, being in possession of a heat-blackened knife can count as possession of drug paraphernalia.


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