Unidentified symbol in graffiti
September 22, 2021 7:23 PM   Subscribe

Please help me identify this symbol or logo, if it has any association with anything. This was inside a derelict house that had been used as a squat.
posted by Fiasco da Gama to Writing & Language (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
That reminds me of hobo code.
posted by vrakatar at 7:54 PM on September 22, 2021

It looks like a Chinese character to me, and a lookup matched "㞵".

No matches on Google translate for that character, but a brief search yielded this link, which says it is pronounced "tou" and means "frivolous; flippant; capricious; playful; sportive, cunning".

Perhaps a native speaker can provide more information on how it is often used.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 8:31 PM on September 22, 2021

Looks to me like the Chinese character for mountain(山), over the character for big, or large (大); which I can't find in my compact Nelson. On the contrary, Gomez_in_, your compound is mountain over the character for sentence, or language (文 ). Whichever, I think the resemblance is just a coincidence (because "big" is drawn incorrectly, and it's so basic).
posted by Rash at 10:04 PM on September 22, 2021

It looks like a stylised rendition of the word "Hike" to me.
posted by rongorongo at 10:31 PM on September 22, 2021

It's not any Chinese character I recognize.
posted by kschang at 10:34 PM on September 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: For what it's worth, it's in a part of western Sydney where it's monoculturally white; I'd be a bit surprised if it were a character. I was wondering if it might be a band logo or a brand of alcohol.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 11:37 PM on September 22, 2021

Complete uneducated guess but it was giving me jean michel basquiat inspired vibes, especially lots of his figures wear crowns. Could it be a pun- hi 'king', hiking?
posted by mosswinter at 12:18 AM on September 23, 2021

It's possible it is just someone's initials EK with the E written backwards and a dot between the E and K to be a personalized tag.

It could also be a gang symbol associated with three-pointed crowns. I wouldn't have any idea of what gangs (if any) are active in the local area, and if it would feasible for that. But anyway, if I saw that in specific areas of Chicago I would assume it was associated with a local gang, especially with the K underneath. Though in general gang graffiti tends to be more stylized than that in my opinion and it doesn't quite fit the pattern of what is local to me either.

Or it could just be someone playing around with spraypaint in an abandoned building and it means nothing at all.
posted by AlexiaSky at 1:40 AM on September 23, 2021 [4 favorites]

All I see is "E.K" - probably just someone tagging things with their stylised initials.
posted by pipeski at 4:54 AM on September 23, 2021 [3 favorites]

Attempt at the BTK Killer's symbol?
posted by tiny frying pan at 7:11 AM on September 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

My guess is that this is someone's tag, which are often very simple to be applied quickly. As others have noted it's likely a stylized version of that person's initials, nickname, or a phonetic or alliteration to their street id. The crown in particular is widely used by the People Nation affiliated gangs like the Latin Kings and I have seen many examples of similar tagging. I very much doubt that these "monoculturally white kids in western Sydney" are actually representing themselves as formal gang members here, simply working in that symbolic language of tagging and graffiti.
posted by zenon at 9:47 AM on September 23, 2021 [1 favorite]

Ok - so look at the symbol part: we have a crown above, a dot for the head and limbs below: king. Then we have the word “hi”. So “hiking” as a composite idea - or a greating to a king perhaps?
posted by rongorongo at 2:47 AM on September 24, 2021

Thirding the idea that it’s a stylized version of the initials EK (or KE).
posted by ejs at 11:05 PM on September 28, 2021

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