The verb Caesar uses to describe the process of woading is “inficere”, to paint, stain or dye. The mummified Lindow man had dyed skin, which would support tribal Briton woading during the Roman period (Pyatt et al, 1991: 61-73). Britons woaded to create temporary patterns, though the appellation “Picts” appears to be related to the Latin “punctus”, a reference to the pricking method required for permanent tattooing. Other Roman authors such as Solinus, Herodia, and Claudian refer specifically to tattooing among the Celts living in the British Isles. Isidore of Sevillle claimed that the Picts, Scots, Irish and Britons were tattooed, and that tattoos were used to mark high social status (Lindsay, 1911: XX, sect. XIX; 23, 7; IX: 2, 103). William of Malmesbury described the pre-Norman British tribal tattooing traditions in the 12th century:
“In general, the English at that time wore short garments reaching to the mid-knee; they had their hair cropped; their beards shaved; their arms laden with golden bracelets, their skin marked with punctured designs (picturatis stigmatibus cutem insigniti); they were accustomed to eat excessively, and to drink until they vomited.” (Stubbs, 1887, book III, part 245, p. 305).
Contemporary descendants of Britons, who enjoy many of these same ancient traditions on weekends, may also enjoy wearing their appropriate body art heritage, at least until the following Monday.