Why is it called The Tattoo?

The Tattoo in 1995, with some of the original members

Long, long ago, when The Tattoo was a nameless new thing, we recognized that coming up with something to call ourselves was priority number one.

It seemed a simple enough task. Just grab a name like a thousand other newspapers before us: the Post, the Times, the Globe, the News, the whatever. We didn’t much care, truth be told, as long as everybody was happy with the name.

So we told the first group of Tattoo kids – Devin Kingsbury, Mike Kelly, Jenny Jenkins, Corrie Balash, Hackysack Matt and more – to figure out a suitable name.

They took up the matter with suitable urgency but didn’t exactly race to a conclusion.

For weeks, they debated this name and that, considering all sorts of long-forgotten possibilities that fell by the wayside.

In the end, it came down to The Tattoo, which appeared to be everyone’s second choice.

Sometime later, the group again took up the issue. Rachel Jennings, who joined after The Tattoo already had a name, pushed hard for Tsunami, a word that at the time was little known in Connecticut (tragically, we all know all too well what it is today).

A big meeting was scheduled. Rachel would make the case for Tsunami and Bryan Pena would argue for The Tattoo. When they finished, a vote would take place and the decision would stand.
That night, neither Rachel nor Bryan showed up.

So The Tattoo kept its name by default.

Here we are, 127 issues and a dozen years later, still stuck with the name, proud of all that’s been done under The Tattoo masthead but still sheepish when we have to explain to a senator or a public relations guy that, yes, The Tattoo is a real newspaper and that it has nothing whatsoever to do with tattoos.

In fact, we have an official policy against tattoos that means exactly nothing to anyone. But we have it anyway.

Jackie came up with that “Making a permanent impression since 1994” tagline for The Tattoo that goes a long way toward coming up with a rationale for the name. The slogan was an afterthought, but perhaps a saving one.

In any case, we’re The Tattoo, and proud of it.

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