Another day, another deep-dive into Kookie’s tattoos. BTS’ Jungkook’s crossword tattoo meaning is making the rounds again after fans caught sight of it in the group’s new “ON” music video released on Feb. 27. After sitting on the footage for a few days, ARMYs are convinced they’ve put together a full picture of what Jungkook’s piece is.
It looks like the criss-cross lettering on Jungkook’s forearm has actually been a crossword tattoo all along. ARMYs weren’t always so sure, since the 22-year-old star rarely displays his ink so clearly—instead, fans have had to make do with the half-exposed glimpses we’ve gotten thus far. But the BTS “ON” video gave ARMYs another opportunity to really read into Kookie’s body art.
According to a translation by fans, the vertical lettering on his tattoo reads “rather be dead than cool.” If that sounds familiar, then a) either you’re a Nirvana fan, or b) you heard Jungkook talking about his love of the phrase in the past.
The BTS member mentioned how much he loves the quote from Nirvana’s 1991 track “Stay Away,” in a live-stream from April 2018. He even went so far as to say that it’s his life motto, according to EliteDaily—so it makes sense we’re seeing it displayed on his body. (Whether permanent or not, however, is still up for debate).
As for the horizontal lettering, fans have deciphered it to mean “Make hay while the sun shines.” That’s more of an old proverb, which ARMYs relate to making the most of any day and seizing every opportunity offered to you. As Twitter user @headbandsuga writes, ” He’s the epitome of hardworking. Jungkook!!!!!!”
When BTS originally released their music video for “ON,” fans also picked up on other tattoos scattered across Jungkook’s arm. Those include a flower, possibly meant to represent Kookie’s birthday (Sept. 1) or the Korean National Flower.