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Apr 21, 2011

No pimping this ride

An extraordinary story appeared yesterday morning concerning a minor dispute between the NSW Roads and Traffic Au

An extraordinary story appeared yesterday morning concerning a minor dispute between the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority, and the owner of the personalised numberplate ‘Kiki’.

Kirsten Perry, whose nickname is ‘Kiki’, was required to show ‘just cause’ for keeping her beloved plates on account of the fact that the word is apparently used to describe “part of a woman’s genitals” in Tagalog, a language of the Philippines.

Of course, the whole thing was an absurdity and by 5pm the ABC was reporting that the RTA had backed down having conceded that a “common sense approach to the complaint was not adopted”.

A visitor to the Facebook page of 105.7 ABC Darwin demonstrated more common sense when she pointed out that obscene bumper stickers written in English are tolerated but not regulated in the same way. Meanwhile, the hapless Kiki herself commented, “Quite frankly it’s a bit of a funny thing, but at the same time quite a bit scary that we’ve got people that can just report a number plate that seems seems quite inoffensive to 99 per cent of us out there, but one per cent have an issue with it.”

In fact, it’s unlikely that anyone had an issue with it.  According to my Tagalog-speaking friends, kiki does mean ‘vagina’ but it’s neither offensive or particularly vulgar. The word kiki is a kind of kid-speak along the lines of ‘doodle’ or ‘front bottom’. It’s faintly ridiculous but you can’t really use it to insult anyone. The same innocuous meaning holds for other languages of the Philippines which include the word kiki. If the RTA’s decision was the result of a complaint, as was reported by the SMH by the late afternoon, then it could hardly have been a justifiable one. My theory is that this is more a case of Bureaucracy Gone Mad than Political Correctness Gone Mad and that kiki was caught in a shoddy automated filth-filter.

Fully (sic) asked the RTA for a list of banned words, should such a thing exist, and will share this with readers if and when it becomes available.

In the meantime, I urge you to go ahead and test the RTA’s multilingual smut filter by typing supposed ‘taboo’ words into the testing space at their ‘design a plate‘ page.

Send screenshots, like the one above, to fullysicblog @ gmail.com, and please provide meanings for non-English words!

[Update: Find responses at No pimping this ride, continued…]

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11 comments

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11 thoughts on “No pimping this ride

  1. Terminologia etc. » » Parole proibite alla TV americana

    […] di vista legislativo e burocratico australiano in Fully (sic): A f#@%ing stupid law, Being a DIC e No pimping this ride. Facebook Linkedin Tumblr Twitter Feed RSS […]

  2. nerk

    I recall as a teenager seeing an ancient cloth-capped bloke in an MG convertible with rego ‘LUVA69’. Laughed all the way home. Those were the days – when dirty old men were real dirty old men.

  3. No pimping this ride, continued… | Fully (sic)

    […] Crikey's Language Blog Skip to content « No pimping this ride […]

  4. BlackIvory

    Phelch got through…

  5. wamut

    Slightly off topic, but here in Katherine I like seeing the occasional number plate using Aboriginal languages. The ones that spring to mind are:

    DALABON – a local artist who proudly drives around with the name of his language as his number plate
    BAIBUL – Kriol spelling of ‘bible’, belonging to some local missionaries
    JURLPU – ‘Bird’ in Warlpiri, seen on follow blogger and ethno-ornithologist Bob Gosford’s (“The Northern Myth) troopy
    and GUYU – an Aboriginal English / Kriol exclamation meaning ‘look out!’

    Hopefully plates like these will become more prevalent. I’d still like to come up with a suitable Marra word to put on my fieldwork vehicle’s plates. 🙂

  6. green-orange

    On “The Investigators” (yes I’m old) they said “6ULDV8” was banned.

    Bumper sticker :
    “I FISH AND I’M A WANKER”

  7. Quizzical

    For me, enjoying the humour also, this is yet another cost to Australians of the lunatic political correctness taking over and perverting our culture.

    Still, best the RTA database loads all the Chinese bad words so we do not offend the nation that will take us over 🙂

  8. Aidan Wilson

    Interestingly, there are two different responses from the website when a license plate is unavailable. Either it gives you:

    The nominated plate content is not available. There are no alternatives available. Please try a different combination.

    Or it gives you a full range of close combinations and gives you the option of restyling a plate if you already own it.

    I take the first response to mean that it is a word the RTA considers inappropriate. Putting in CAZZO (Italian for penis) resulted in this, whereas putting in something like SEXBOY elicits the second.

    So presumably the RTA truly does use a smut filter on this site.

  9. Catsidhe

    Meanwhile, the Friends Of The Zoo have bumper stickers all over the place, yet I haven’t heard any Germans complaining about seeing FOTZ everywhere.

  10. William Steed

    The all-purpose Chinese swearword ‘tamade’ went through fine: https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/ZYVHEvjHxHoaLMbJk0qgcG0-heW7jkZoAYjmE87rDtM?feat=directlink

    The more serious one “cao ni ma” and its Cantonese equivalent “diu nei ma” are too big to fit in.

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