Language appropriation is not wise on many levels.
For one thing, pictorial languages generally can ascribe several meanings to one picture. For another, sometimes a slight misprint or or change to the characters changes the word completely.
And then you're stuck putting your foot in your mouth forever when you decide to get that misprint tattooed.
Here were some of the answers.
Dude was so proud of his grandson that he had a tattoo that said "I love my grandson"
Except I'm guessing everyone just googled "I love my grand son" because it came out reading "I love fat boys."
Nom Nom Nom
I have the characters for Shrimp Dumpling (Har Gow) tattooed on me. I knowingly did this, because I'm half Chinese and love shrimp dumplings.
I had a chinese girl ask me if I knew what it meant and I laughed and said of course, I love dumplings.
My chinese mother was not impressed but then laughed and said it was very me.
I noticed some random white guy with some interesting tattoos (I think it was in an amusement park) and then got a little excited to see Korean tattoos, which You rarely ever see. They were written vertically on his each of his calves. One said left leg, the other said right leg.
Dumb and pretty cool.
Once when I was in university, working at a shop, a very fat lady came in with the kanji for "large" tattooed on her shoulder blade. I politely complimented her tattoo and asked what it meant. She said it meant "sassy".
Dumplings Are Two For Two
I don't know if this was stupid or brilliant but someone had ＂您有小龍湯圓嗎？＂which is respectfully asking if they had soup dumplings. I thought it was really stupid until someone said that they must really like soup dumplings...
Seen a few over the years but one that I remember most was when I first started learning Mandarin.
The guy had a tattoo on the back of his leg that proudly said 牛肉 which means beef.
Could Still Be Apt
Japanese speaker here. Guy had one that read "トン勝" Someone told him that トン (Ton) means pig and 勝 (katsu) means to win. He thought that putting them together means to win against pigs (police?) とんかつ Tonkatsu means pork cutlet. I didn't have the heart to tell him.
You Need Some Ice For That Self-Burn?
Not my story but a friend of mine:
She could read kanji and was in class one day noticing this girl's tattoo for the first time. Confused she inquired about it:
"What does your tattoo say?"
Turns out it actually said pig princess.
It always cracks me up to see people with single characters tattooed on themselves, especially characters for the natural elements. I imagine the same tattoo except it says "dirt" in plain english, and it makes me laugh.
I met a girl when I was backpacking in China who knowingly had the characters for "prostitute" tattooed on her hip - she thought it was funny, and the only people who saw it would be ones she chose to show it to.
The Chinese guy who was drinking with us in the hostel was horrified, and suggested that she get another tattoo underneath which said "only joking".