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January 18. 2013 12:24AM

Fergus Cullen: What vanity plates say about Granite Staters

I have a vanity license plate. If that makes me vain, I have plenty of company: 163,617 New Hampshire drivers have the customized plates, which are found on 11 percent of all cars registered in the state. At $40 each per year, vanity plates add more than $6 million annually to the state budget through voluntary taxes.


Twitter gives you 140 characters to make your point. Ernest Hemingway, challenged to write a complete story in six words, is said to have come up with: "For sale: Baby shoes, never used." It takes real creativity to tell a story in six or seven characters on a license plate, the best of which are puns, puzzles, or riddles that say something about the driver.

What do vanity plates say about Granite Staters? All of the following are real New Hampshire tags:

We root for the home teams: YWKYWY, 12BRADY, REDSX04, NOMAH, BRUINFN, CELTGRL, O4&7SOX.

And other teams have fans, too: DBRNCOS, YANKY9.

We are proud to have served: VETRN, VIET67, VUSMC, WESTPT, WW2KOR, XNAVY, V164TH, US-POW, 12THCAV, SEMPRFY, NAM-3X.

We're always ready to talk politics: TAX2DTH, TAXDOUT, GOP-1, NOGOP, DEMOCRT, NO4NJNK, NO4NOIL, NOBAMA-.

Some of us have secret identities or superpowers: BATMAN, SUPAMN, ZOMBI, WIZRD, T&RDIS, DRTHVDR, 1DRWMN, +GONZO, ELV1S, SCOOBDO, UNDEAD, UNDADOG, DBLO7, SHREK, A-TEAM, DR-EVIL, MICKMSE, MOMPWR.

We play sports: WE-SKI, 2-PUTT, NO3PUTT, 1ST&TEN, T2GRN, T3NNIS, TACKL, SOCAH, RUN26-2, SKIBUM1, UMPREF, 1STRACS, DOSPRTS.

Some of us are barely holding it together: SYCOMOM.

Some have, if not delusions of grandeur, then high ambitions: USPRES, POTUS, 1STLDY.

We're true to our school: SUNDVLZ, 1UCONN, TARHEEL, UKHOOPS, UMAINE, U-MASS, U-MICH, UNHWCAT, DARTMTH, NOVA72.

We ponder life's mysteries: WHYME, Y-NOT-, -WWJD-, LETITGO, LFZSHRT.

We have a sense of humor: 155MPH, 2NDWFE, 3MPG.

We believe in the power of positive thinking: DO-N-OK, WE-WIN, TAKABOW, WAY2GO, +CLOUD9.

We like to see what we can get away with at the DMV: 1BADSS, SUMBECH, SHGNWGN, FUBAR52, SNAF-U.

Some of us wish we were somewhere else: WOOSTA, TAUNTON, LIVINVT, +BKLYN+, SUGARLF, VEGAS.

Many head for the hills: WHMTNS, T8KA-HK, +6288FT, WLDCAT, MTCLIMR.

We're hometown-proud: NAHMSHA, WEIRSB, SUGAHIL, SUNPEE, UMB-GOG, O38O1NH, MONADNK, LFOD.

We can be punny: SUEBARU, NOAHSRK, B+BEEP, UKELADY, NOJB2OD, MRSSIPE.

The car's not for us: 4ROVER, DOGBUS, DOGMOBL, DOGSSUV, DOGTAXI.

We're patriotic: +USA-1, 1776USA, ILOVUSA.

We're classic: +58VET, 1969VW, 1914T, 37PKRD, 65PONY.

We give fair warning: BADAPL, BIPOLR, BBBAD, 12-GAGE, 12STEPR, 1BADCHC, 1BDPNNY, NAASTY, DBLUGLY.

We're humming a tune: SUMRO69, SWTMLSA, SHNDOAH.

We love our grandkids: 11XMEME, NO1GRMY.

We're playful: TAGURIT.

We collaborate and help our communities: SHRINER, ROTARY, +BPOE+.

But officer: +BCNU, 2FST4U, RUNINL8.

And before you drive off, keep in mind: LFIZGD, DONWORY, NOBADYS, LIVALTL, +BEKIND, &PB4UGO.


Fergus Cullen, a freelance columnist, can be reached at fergus@ferguscullen.com.

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