Forget cell phones, DVD players, and other distractors inside the car.  I will tell you what should be banned – personalized license plates.

If you ever pass me while I’m driving, and you see me mumbling to myself, apparently alone in the car, the explanation could be one of two:  I’m singing loudly with the radio so as to break the eardrums of any serial killers who might be hidden in the back of my car, or I am trying to figure out another ding danged personalized license plate.

As some of you may know, I am a bit competitive.  And I get really irked when I can’t figure out someone’s plate.  I feel like I am the only one on the interstate who doesn’t get the inside joke.  At first, I feel dumb.  And then I start feeling angry at the plate displayer.  How dare they put a plate on their car that purports to convey a message when no one can figure out what the darn message is?

Today, I drove for about a mile behind a car whose plates said, “RAPAZA.”  I know there are clever little tricks for these things, like saying the name of the letter instead of its sound, so I spent a long time trying every combination that popped into my mind.

“Rap Pee Aza, Are a Pee Aza, Are Ay Pee Assa…”

What the heck?  Then I started trying to say it really slow at the beginning and speeding up on the last syllable.  Then I switched it.


Frustrated, I tried to take a picture of the plate with my cell phone.  Yes.  I know.  That makes me a bad driver.  Guess what?  I can’t cook and I can’t wrap gifts either.  But I’ve been able to do the Jonas Snap since I was 10, so I’m not a complete loser.

Taking a picture didn’t work.  My cell phone has about .001 megapixel resolution, and going 65 miles per hour while I’m trying to take a picture doesn’t seem to improve it.

As soon as I got my frustrated self home, I went to the computer and Googled “Rapaza”.  Guess I could have done that on my iPad while I was driving.  But I do have some limits.

Anyway, some of you may already know where this is going.

According to one of the millions of reliable Google sources, “Rapaza” is in fact not Spanish, but Galician (one of the languages spoken in Spain).  And it means young girl or teenager.”

O.K. That’s just not fair. If I can’t figure out half the ones that are in English, how am I supposed to decipher one in another language?

Two can play this game, you know.  I’m going to get a license plate that says this:

(I just want to tell you that I also tried translating the first syllable of this to Spanish, and it was “preguntarse” – which seems far more appropriate, but is also far too many letters.)

And, yes, I will bestow the coveted award unique to this website upon the first commenter to translate my license plate.

Posted on February 22, 2012, in Annoyances, Humor and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.

  1. HAHAHA! I saw a personalized plate today that was pretty dumb. It was something like “swt chks” REALLY?! Sweet cheeks?! That’s what you want everyone to know you as?! … And what cheeks are we talking about here?…

  2. Ok, I was hoping someone had already figured it out. These things drive me crazy too. I Lacrosse? I love a cross? I’m so bad at this! 🙂

  3. Oh man, I can have so much fun trying to figure out personalized plates. But it can be annoying too… so there’s that. Also, some are so stupid! But I like my license plate number and it’s not personalized! So take that everyone else!

    Anyway, great & funny post, thanks!

  4. I have no clue! What’s the point of sending a message to everyone unfortunate to travel behind you, when no one has a clue what the heck you mean?

  5. I have no idea, but my person says her nieces play lacrosse.

  6. One lacey….I dunno geez.
    One lacey rose..

  7. I suck at these! They are so hard!
    Won lay cross……
    Won’ll a car owes…
    Won’ll ace rose……
    Won’ll ace our ohs….
    Only a cross…
    One lays Ross…
    I give up.
    Does the first syllable have to do with “wonder”?

  8. I have followed people longer than I should while trying to figure out their plate –


  9. Well, I went to my trusty Google and preguntarse means to wonder so at first I thought your plate meant One Wonders but I think that is wrong. So I’ve no idea! But your blogs are fun to read!

  10. Is it ask what you meant to say? Ask for the translation? ‘Cause that’s what’s happening…

  11. My personalized plate is my last name without one of the E’s. To be honest, it makes me laugh to think of people trying to figure out what the heck SMLTZER means.

  12. number one lacrosse player??? i couldn’t agree with you more. are these dumb ass plates really necessary??? this could be more dangerous than texting while driving. i obsess on them only while i can see them. once they turn i forget them.

  13. Unlike SOME license plate reading people, I can let these glide by without a second thought. But I’m nothing if not a good sport.


    Hmmm…I eliminate lacrosse cause that usually LAX.
    Hmmm…something about lactose comes to mind, but nah.
    Hmmm…maybe it’s an anagram, although I don’t think Lacros is a word.

    Maybe it’s meant to be read backwards!

    Sorcal = someone who is a mixture of Northern and Southern California which, as far as I know, doesn’t apply to you. Nonetheless, that’s what I’m guessing.

    Southern and Northern California One

    Jeez, I could’ve just made this a post of my own.

  14. 1 = Won
    Lac is the Egyptian word for “The” which as we know in German is Der
    Ros is Latin for ass or in polite society…Butt

  15. Drives me crazy too when I can’t figure them out. I’m betting Rich won the prize and I’m grateful to him for commenting right before me.

  16. I like Rich Crete’s answer, even if its not right!

  17. I saw one yesterday that said- DAY 1 PT. I still don’t get it? They irritate me to and I spend too much time thinking about them.

  18. On the bright side, vanity plates are much easier to remember when you want to report the driver for being a jackass.
    Which he is.
    Because he has a plate no one understands.

  19. I sing for the same reason! I like reading bumper stickers but only when I’m a passenger. Since I’m still a new driver I freak out every time I have to drive and am super focused. A license plate like those though and I might just break my concentration to try and figure it out.

  20. Making me crazy on this too. Is it – I lane cross? Do tell!

  21. HA HA HA! Great post! We think Rich Crete has the correct answer for it makes sense! 🙂 Cant wait to see your next post!

    Your laughing friends!
    The Collies and Chuck 🙂

  22. myfriendmissmiller

    Hahaha. I am totally with you on the loathing for personalized license plates. But at least those are interesting and make you think. I was on a dance team in high school and one girl had “NP04QT” on hers, because NewPhila was our hometown, and QT was the name of our dance team…. and of course, her graduation date. I mean seriously.. if you’re going to be dumb, then at least be original and dumb.
    Love your blog!

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