"Poison" vs. "Wife"

Reader A. Hanagata emailed this photo with the following description:

"I'm Japanese, and a friend of mine has this tattoo... she told me it meant 'poison' and I told her that it most certainly did not. Perhaps in Chinese it means something. I personally do not recognize it."

I used the similar font that tattoo was done, the closest character I have found is , which means "wife".

Among other similar characters are:

= absurd, foolish, reckless; false
= concubine
= appoint, send, commission
= ginger

Update: Reader Joel/Zhwj emails

The top portion is a typical way of writing the top of 毒, 青, and so on (here's a 精神, for comparison); the bottom portion has three main differences from the type version of 母: (1) it's rotated, so the verticals and horizontals are now angular; (2) the the hooked turning stroke is connected to the middle horizontal, and (3) the dots have been made into a line, which unfortunately doesn't extend below the middle horizontal (this is the main source of confusion, and is probably due to the lack of resolution the tattoo artist had to work with). I've sent you an image, Tian, of the two characters written in a font modeled after Qi Gong's handwriting; the 毒 is written in the same style as this photo.


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