The Family Tree
Ed shared a photo of this tree in 2013 with the caption "Got a family tree, I did."
The Teddy Bear
Ed's been sporting this since January 2014 because his childhood nickname was "Teddy."
The Gaelic Quote
Ed displays the Gaelic lyrics from his bud Foy Vance's song "Guiding Light": "nuair is gá dom fháil bhaile, is tú mo réalt eolais" which means "when I need to get home you're my guiding light." The lyrics are in Foy's handwriting.
Like many of his tattoos that represent his music,"Bloodstream" is the name of a song on his upcoming record,'X.' Ed got this inked sometime in March 2014.
The heart-spitting lizard (inked February 2014) represents a song off his new record out June 23rd. Lizard tattoos have been known to symbolize good fortune and wisdom.
Ed rocks a set of eyeglass frames on his right forearm, similar to a pair he has been known to wear.
The Mother And Child
Ed had this artwork, which dates back to 1950, by his mama's favorite artist,Henri Matisse, inked just for her.
The rose (inked December 2013) pays tribute to his upcoming sophomore album. Guess we'll have to wait until June 23 to find out what it means (but we're betting it definitely has to do with a bit of romance)!
The Tea Cup
Ed got this British staple inked November of 2012 for a live radio show in the UK.
This represents bestie Taylor Swift's Red album and tour. He opened all 66 shows for the country star and is featured in the song "Everything Has Changed."
The Heinz Label
Ed got this in September 2012 to signify the start of his tour, in Columbus, Ohio. He also just loves the condiment and once tweeted, "No one is too good for ketchup. Ketchup is too good for you."
'Prince' in the "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" font displays just how much of a fan Ed is of the series. He fittingly got the ink when he was on tour in Philadelphia in Septebmer 2012.
The Bon Iver Quote
Lyrics from the Bon Iver song "Re: Stacks" off their 2007 album For Emma, Forever Ago, are written in singer Justin Vernon's handwriting and read: "Everything that happens is from now on."
The Street Quote
Lyrics from The Street's "Everything is Borrowed" are written in lyricist's Mike Skinner's handwriting and read: "I came to this world with nothing, And I'll leave with nothing but love. Everything else is just borrowed."
With a collection of tats from almost everywhere he visits, Ed got this in New Zealand in 2013.
The Chinese Character
While in Japan, July of 2012, he was hoping to get the Japanese character for "egg fried rice", but since the tat artist was offended, Ed went with the character for "yes" in Chinese instead.
It is rumored that Ed got the whimsical artwork of Van Gogh to remind him of his father and the song "Vincent" by Don McLean, which Ed covered in a live chat in May of 2012.
Each piece represents a close friend who each has a corresponding piece on their own arm. There is one empty spot for his future wife. Aww.
Pause/Play/Rewind/Fast Forward Buttons
Ed must've been feeling nostalgic for those cassette player years when he got this ink in Utah.
The Lego Head
This pays tribute to Ed's hit "Lego House", the second single released from + in February 2013.
We think this number could be referencing Ed's EP No. 5 Collaborations Project from January 2011. The EP features "haunting" themes and British grime artists such as P Money, Devlin, and Ghetts.
The Paw Print
Ed adopted this logo early on for "no real reason" but has joked that it means "tiger blood" on twitter. This is Ed's first ink which he got when he was 18!
This is Latin for "hurry slowly", which his uncle used to say to him when giving love advice. "It means have the intensity of love but don't rush into it," Ed explained.
The Snow Flake
This highlights the time he toured with Snow Patrol in 2012.
The Angel Wing
This celebrates the first time "The A-Team" (with lyrics "It's too cold outside for angels to fly") was first played on the radio in May, 2012 in San Francisco, where he got the ink.
The Canadian Maple Leaf
Ed dedicated this ink to his Canadian fans in June, 2012.
Damien Rice Signature
Ed proudly sports this ink of the autograph he got from his "idol",Irish singer Damien Rice from when he was 11 years old.
In the song "Wake Me Up" Ed croons "I should ink my skin with your name." So he literally got inked with the words "your name"!
This of course pays homage to his debut studio record +, released in the United States, June 2012, hitting #5 on the US Billboard 200.
Leaf tattoos often symbolize the circle of life. It's fitting that Ed has them throughout his arm sleeve which is filled with ink signifying the most memorable moments from his life.
The 6 St. Sign
Ed wrote the song "Photograph" on this street in Denver. But when he tried to go back to the location, turns out it was 6th avenue. Woops! Photo Credit: Urban Ink Hamilton/ Facebook.
The Gingerbread Man
Along with his Puss in Boots tat, this (inked October 2012) expresses his love for the film "Shrek." He was also a gingerbread man for Halloween in 2013.
The Maori Ta Moko
Ed celebrated touring New Zealand (October 2013) by getting a symbol from its indigenous people, the Maori. The ta moko represents family and love. Photo Credit: Urban Ink Hamilton/ Facebook
This marks everything Ed accomplished in 2012 when he was 21. He achieved international success, performed for the Queen, closed out the Summer Olympics, toured with Snow Patrol…2012 sure was busy for the Brit!
In September 2012, Ed took a stab at being a tattoo artist and picked up the needle to ink a paw print on MTV Canada personality Phoebe Dyksta. She returned the favor with the word "MEOW."
In August 2012, Ed got this portrait of the penguin from a children's British claymation series with pal Harry Styles who had the word "Pingu" inked under his arm. How bro-mantic!
Ed got inked with this cute companion in August of 2012 in Australia to remind him of his trip down under.
Ed got this matching bro-tat with his friend and songwriter/rapper, Random Impulse
The Red Star
Ed sports this matching ink with his cousin and artist ALONESTAR.
This commemorates the worldwide release of his "+" album in 2012.
The Tiger Stripes
Tiger tattoos symbolize power, courage, and passion. Are you hiding a wild side, Ed?
In May of 2012, Ed tweeted "to find out the meaning of the goat, go to @dancinggoatfram and get a milkshake, all will be revealed." He also mentioned it has a "sentimental reason."
We think this and the handprint on the other side of his left arm might represent the song "Small Bump", which he wrote for his friend who had a miscarriage.
Triangle tats signify creativity and talent, which Ed certainly has a lot of!
Puss In Boots
The adorable cat from the film "Shrek" and "Puss in Boots" pays homage to his song "Wake Me Up" with lyrics, "And I know you love 'Shrek', 'cause we've watched it 12 times, But maybe you're hoping for a fairytale too." Plus, he loves cats.
The Division Symbol
With albums titled + and x, it's not surprising Ed got inked with a division symbol (which is actually called an obelus!).
The myth of the phoenix (inked January 2014) rising from the flames,signifying rebirth, gives Ed hope.