The 12 Posts of Christmas No 12: New Year, New Cars

16 Jan

Ok, this will be the last of the Christmas posts, although frankly, it’s more of a New Year post.  But cars are on my mind lately for two reasons:

1.I just took the DTT (Drivers Theory Test) and passed with, as the fellow said: “farty outta farty” in other words “40 out of 40” or 100%.  Woo hoo! 

2. New year means new license plates to look for.

The thing about Irish license plates is that the first two numbers represent the year the car was made and the second set of letters represent the County where the car is from.   Here’s the license plate of Jim’s Volvo that he’s been letting us drive around (legally on my tourist license thank you very much until I get a local license)

So as the new year arrives, children will begin looking excitedly on the roads for the first sighting of the “12s”.  What I’ve also noticed is that suddenly (and not surprisingly) there are significantly more “11”s on the road from all the last minute end-of-the-year deals that were made.

The info on the license plates here means that anyone who looks at your car can tell a few things about you instantly and the license plate becomes a matter of status based on what year your car is and where it’s from, even how low the number is meaning that you bought it early in the year versus later in the year.

Thus you hear things like “things must be tough in the whatever business, he’s still driving that 98″ or “you don’t see many cars higher than 08 around wherever” or “the party was very posh, the parking lot was full of 10 Ds”.

“D” in the middle of the license plate means you’re from Dublin (or at least the car is).  The “D” would have a bit more status in most places than a license plate from, let’s say, Monaghan for instance (unless you happen to be in Monaghan).   And of course the year gives instant status.

The make of the car is, of course, important, but interestingly enough, it would seem the year is almost more important than the make.  For instance, it seems that an 07 Toyota would have a higher status level than a 02 Mercedes, although a Mercedes would obviously have more status than a Toyota of the same year.  Unless the Toyota was from Dublin and the Mercedes was from Offaly or something, in which case the location might be worth a year or two in status level.

The last interesting thing about the license plates here is that although the County of origin is represented by the letters in the middle of the plate, the full name of the County shows at the top of the plate only in the original Irish.  I find myself trying to figure out the counties from the letters and the Irish name.  This is not nearly as easy as you might think, since Dublin is a represented by the letter “D” on the plates, but the Irish name for it is: “Baile Átha Cliath” (BALL-ya A-ha CLEE-ya) – go figure.  I never would have figured that out if someone hadn’t told me.  But to my credit I did figure out Tipperary without asking anyone.  

So in the spirit of the new year, here is a new thing for my blog: a game! 

See if you can match the letter code for the 26 counties of the Republic of Ireland with their County name in English and Irish (the 6 counties of Northern Ireland use the British license plate system):

Code County or City Irish name
1. WD AA. Cavan A. Luimneach
2. WX BB. Clare B. Liatroim
3. G CC. Westmeath C. Cill Dara
4. WW DD. Longford D. Corcaigh
5. CW EE. Louth E. Ceatharlach
6. LD FF. Meath F. An Cabhán
7. CN GG. Dublin G. An Lú
8. MH HH. Carlow H. Baile Átha Cliath
9. KY II. Kerry I. Muineachán
10. DL JJ. Kilkenny J. Uíbh Fhailí
11. MO KK. Kildare K. Ros Comáin
12. RN LL. Wicklow L. An Clár
13. OY MM. Cork M. An Mhí
14. MN NN. Donegal N. Ciarraí
15. LS OO. Galway O. Cill Mhantáin
16. KE PP. Laois P. An Longfort
17. D QQ. Leitrim Q. Sligeach
18. WH RR. Wexford R. Laois
19. KK SS. Limerick S. Dún na nGall
20. LM TT. Mayo T. An Iarmhí
21. CE UU. Monaghan U. Cill Chainnigh
22. LH VV. Waterford V. Gaillimh
23. C WW. Roscommon W. Loch Garman
24. LK XX. Sligo X. Maigh Eo
25. TN YY. Tipperary Y. Tiobraid Árann
26. SO ZZ. Offaly Z. Port Láirge

I’ll post the answers in a day or two if nobody posts them before me!

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One Response to “The 12 Posts of Christmas No 12: New Year, New Cars”

  1. tomasmor January 23, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Here are the answers to the License plate puzzle that I posted the other day:

    1.VV.Z; 2. RR.W; 3.OO.V; 4.LL.O; 5.HH.E; 6.DD.P; 7.AA.F; 8.FF.M; 9.II.N; 10.NN.S; 11.TT.X; 12.WW.K; 13.ZZ.J; 14.UU.I; 15.PP.R; 16.KK.C; 17.GG.H; 18.CC.T; 19.JJ.U; 20.QQ.B; 21.BB.L; 22.EE.G; 23.MM.D; 24.SS.A; 25.YY.Y; 26.XX.Q

    But if you don’t want to figure it out yourself, here is the table unscrambled:

    Code County or City Irish name
    1. WD, VV. Waterford, Z. Port Láirge
    2. WX, RR. Wexford, W. Loch Garman
    3. G, OO. Galway V. Gaillimh
    4. WW LL. Wicklow O. Cill Mhantáin
    5. CW HH. Carlow E. Ceatharlach
    6. LD DD. Longford P. An Longfort
    7. CN AA. Cavan F. An Cabhán
    8. MH FF. Meath M. An Mhí
    9. KY II. Kerry N. Ciarraí
    10. DL NN. Donegal S. Dún na nGall
    11. MO TT. Mayo X. Maigh Eo
    12. RN WW. Roscommon K. Ros Comáin
    13. OY ZZ. Offaly J. Uíbh Fhailí
    14. MN UU. Monaghan I. Muineachán
    15. LS PP. Laois R. Laois
    16. KE KK. Kildare C. Cill Dara
    17. D GG. Dublin H. Baile Átha Cliath
    18. WH CC. Westmeath T. An Iarmhí
    19. KK JJ. Kilkenny U. Cill Chainnigh
    20. LM QQ. Leitrim B. Liatroim
    21. CE BB. Clare L. An Clár
    22. LH EE. Louth G. An Lú
    23. C MM. Cork D. Corcaigh
    24. LK SS. Limerick A. Luimneach
    25. TN YY. Tipperary Y. Tiobraid Árann
    26. SO XX. Sligo Q. Sligeach

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