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Crab claw? Carson Daly shares the tales behind his tats

May 8, 2014 at 9:40 AM ET

Video: Forty percent of Americans now live with someone who has a tattoo, according to a new poll. Carson Daly reports from the Orange Room.

According to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, 40 percent of Americans say someone in their household has a tattoo. Carson Daly is one of them.

The TODAY anchor revealed his eight tattoos in the Orange Room Thursday morning. Carson said that for him, the key to his tattoos is the sentimental value behind them.

"I want it to be timeless—something where you look at it in 30 years and you're not embarrassed by what you have," Carson said. "I'm a family-first kind of guy, so everything on my body is really about my family."

1. One-eyed Jack for his son

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Matt Murray / TODAY

"This one is for my son, Jack. I designed it myself and it has a lot of Jack references. So that's a one-eyed Jack playing card being pierced by an actual jack from the game Jacks. My son was born on March 15, which is the Ides of March, so there's the reference to that. I put at the bottom there a little Pisces, which is his sign. On the left side of the playing card, I put the American flag. I wanted a lot of Americana references."

2. Remembering 9/11 

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Matt Murray / TODAY

"This NYC one I got the day after September 11, here in New York. I went to work at MTV in Times Square and there was a bomb threat the next day, so we had to evacuate the building. As we were trying to figure out if we'd be on the air, I was kind of aimlessly walking around New York ... it was really weird. So I went to my tattoo shop and sat there listening to music and ended up having him put that on me as a sign of pride for being a New Yorker."

3. Tribute to his father

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Matt Murray / TODAY

"J.D., James Daly, is my father who passed away when I was 5. He has the same initials as my son, Jack Daly, and me, Jones Daly. (Jones is Carson's middle name.) He was a Corvette dealer and the tattoo is designed after a hood ornament of a 1977 Corvette that he left me . I actually have the car that it's designed for. I wanted a nice memento to my father without it being too somber."

4. Green Beret

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Matt Murray / TODAY

"This is probably my favorite one. My grandfather, my mom's father, was a green beret in the Army special forces. And this is from his actual green beret that he left me. This text in it is Latin for 'to free the oppressed.'"

5. His niece

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Matt Murray / TODAY

"Jaden Patricia is my niece, my sister's firstborn. Patricia is my mom's name."

6. Curly Sark

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Matt Murray / TODAY

"Cutty Sark is my step dad's favorite drink. It's a famous, old-school whiskey. It's like the Old Spice of whiskeys, it's just been around forever. His nickname is Curly, so I changed it from Cutty Sark to Curly Sark. And instead of 'Original Scotts Whisky,' I wrote 'Original Pops Whisky.' So it's an homage to my step dad who is like my father. I essentially have had two fathers. "

7. 456

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Matt Murray / TODAY

"456 is the logo of a record label I had in New York City and it just reminds me of that time in New York and my love of music. So it's just a reminder of really everything I'm about. 456 is a street dice game and it's a hip-hop label, so that's where we got 456. I don't have the label anymore."

8. The crab

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Matt Murray / TODAY

"The crab was tattooed on top of the name of an ex-girlfriend. I was getting another tattoo at the time, and so I asked if they could just black out the name. So my tattoo artist had an idea, so I let him do whatever he wanted. My leg was up so I couldn't see it and an hour later when I finally looked at my leg, I asked him what it was. He said, 'It's a crab claw coming out of a pocket knife,' and I just said 'Perfect, thanks!'"

He currently has eight tattoos, but he says he's not done yet.

"I still need to get one for my daughter, Etta. And my sister has had another kid, so the kids are coming faster than my tattoos," Carson said. "I'm dying to go right now and get more."

Video: As the tattoo taboo fades, our bodies have become a more popular place to express ourselves. NBC chief political director Chuck Todd reports, and Carson Daly in the Orange Room reveals TODAY viewers’ first impressions about someone with a tattoo.

Now that you've seen Carson's ink, he wants to see yours. Send pictures of your tattoos to Carson on Facebook or Twitter using #OrangeRoom. Here are some of our favorites so far:

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