Previous “License Plates” posts

Yuck To This Rejection

I have contempt for this decision.

In 2022, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles approved approximately 15,000 vanity license plates, but rejected 897. Axios has a look at a few. The reasons for rejection for some are obvious, but I would fight against this:


The RMV says the word “yuck” could be considered “an expression of contempt, ridicule, or superiority of a race, religion, deity, ethnic heritage, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or political affiliation.”

The RMV is off the mark on this one. I say “Yuck” is a simple state of mind, and a reasonable reaction to much of the world. It may not be upbeat, but it’s not offensive, and the idea that it relates to race, religion, or anything else, is an enormous and foolish reach.

Alas, a new law in Massachusetts will apparently now prevent rejected plates from being released. Thankfully, there are other states in the union, such as California, that are willing to tell us about the vanity license plates they reject.

Quite A Dingusy Translation


It’s apparently bad translation week here at One Foot Tsunami. Today’s edition starts with a rather garish Bentley convertible I recently saw here in Boston. The vehicle initially caught my eye because it was such a bright green, but I felt compelled to pull my phone out and take a picture because of the goofy vanity plate. I later posted that image to my Instagram account:

A photo captioned “Dingus”.[Photo courtesy of P. Kafasis]

“Dingus” is an informal English word that can be used to refer to an article whose name isn’t known or remembered, along the lines of “thing-a-ma-jig” or “doodad”. It’s also a pretty good insult, which Merriam-Webster defines as “a dim-witted, silly, or foolish person —often used in a joking or friendly way”. As such, it’s an amusing thing for someone to pay to have as their license plate.

My best guess is that this person wants to call other people on the road dinguses, but I read it as a self-applied description. Someone driving a $200,000+ car on the potholey streets of Boston? What a dingus.

Anyhow, given that this word can be found in an English dictionary, I found it strange for this to be offered under my caption:

A translationg of “Dingus” to “Missing Dinghamma in the past.” Weird.

Yes, Instagram is offering to translate my caption. What happens when we tap to see the translation?

A translationg of “Dingus” to “Missing Dinghamma in the past.” Weird.

Huh. That’s…something. More specifically, it’s something broken. By playing around with Google Translate, I was able to determine that “dingus” is the Lithuanian word for “missing” (or at least close to it). Still, I have no idea where “Dinghamma in the past.” came from. It would appear that the machines still have some learning to do.

A Cannabis-Themed License Plate Auction 

I hope some guy named Herb buys the HERB plate.

In Colorado, certain vanity license plates are auctioned off by the state to raise money. At present, the rights to marijuana-themed license plates are being auctioned to benefit Colorado Disability Funding. Naturally, the auction began at 4:20 PM on April Fools’ Day, and ends at 4:20 PM on 4/20.

An assortment of marijuana-themed Colorado vanity plates

While this is certainly a clever way to raise funds to benefit the disabled community, I can’t say the plates seem like a very good idea. It is of course still illegal to drive while under the influence of marijuana, and these plates are certain to catch the eye of Colorado law enforcement. Worse still, drivers will surely leave Colorado occasionally, and enter states where marijuana is not yet legalized.

Also, the fact that “HAPPY” is considered marijuana-themed is somewhat troubling.

Ben Hart Might Be God 

Prove him wrong, religious people. Prove him wrong!

After a four year legal battle, 80-year-old Ben Hart has finally received his vanity Kentucky license plate, which reads “IM GOD”.

In addition to getting his message stamped, Hart appears to be selecting plate types which are specifically religious in nature. Take a close look at the photo above, and you’ll see that his Kentucky plate reads “In God We Trust”, while the Ohio plate says “One Nation Under God”. Neither of these are the default plates for their respective states.

Offended by Micturation 

Every time a licensing plate mentions micturation in this fair state, they have to reject it?

For 15 years, New Hampshire resident Wendy Auger has had a cheeky license plate.

Now, New Hampshire is coming for it.

Previously in rejected vanity plates: I Really Want to Know Why “TUNAFSH” Got Rejected

Update (August 30th, 2019): Just one day after this story appeared on One Foot Tsunami, it has a happy ending. New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu must not have a lot going on, because he stepped in to overrule his DMV, and Wendy Auger will be able to keep her plate.

The Backfiring Vanity Plate 

There are a lot of bad programmers out there.

When computer hacker Droogie scored the license plate “NULL”, he thought it might prevent him from ever getting a ticket. Things have gone a little differently.

Previously in null-related Nonsense: Little Jenny Null

I Really Want to Know Why “TUNAFSH” Got Rejected 

Vanity plates are big and amusing business.

In California, approximately a quarter of a million vanity license plates are requested each year, and a small team of bureaucrats is responsible for approving or rejecting those requests. Each applicant must include an explanation as to why they’re requesting this plate. Los Angeles Magazine has collected some of the most amusing plate requests, as well as the notes from the DMV employee who review it.

A plate reading Oh En Double-U 2 Be Why Be

Applicant Explanation: On my way to bang your bitch

DMV Comments: What he said

Verdict: No

Come on, man, at least try! An explanation of “On my way to baby” would have worked, and almost certainly gotten this stupid plate.

Also, a side note: The article’s introduction includes this strange text:

Helpful departmental guidelines also warn reviewers to watch out for words like “pink,” “monkey,” and “muffin”—all euphemisms for vagina—along with their phallic counterparts like “knackers,” “anaconda,” and “nards.”

I have never, ever heard “monkey” used as a euphemism for vagina. Have you?

“In Pursuit of a Red Honda Civic, License Plate Echo-Alpha-Tango 💩” 

These emoji license plates aren't cheap, but they could be worth it.

For residents of Queensland, Australia, the future is (almost) now. Very soon, those lucky dogs will be able to add emoji to their license plates.

This could be quite beneficial. Depending on how angry a driver you are, getting the perfect license plate emoji could really save a lot of wear and tear on your own digits.

Seems Legit 

What is this world coming to when driving with a laughably bad hand-painted cardboard license plate is a crime?

Fake Plate
How did they even spot the forgery?

License Plates of the Past 

License plates in America were once things of beauty, or at the very least, simplicity. Over at Slate, William Morgan takes a look back.

MA License Plate with Tiny Fish
A rather guppy-looking cod.