Kvasir (reclamationzone) wrote in eastling,

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My Auspicious New Plate and Asian Superstition

Went to register my jeep right afterwork and so I get to choose my plate number. The numbers that were available were between 507 and 525 following the particular three alphabetic digits. I sounded out each one of the numbers and picked 524.

"524" when sounded out in Cantonese: 五二四 /m3 ji6 sei3/ sounds like 唔易死 /m4 ji6 sei2/ (not easy to die, or too tough to die). Many chinese (particularly Cantonese speakers) would avoid getting vehicle plate or house number that sound inauspicious. Usually it's pretty hard to pick a number starting with 5 because 五, and consequently 唔 is a negation and there is only a few that would work. Even though I'm not particularly superstitious, anyone would rather pick a nicer sounding number right?

This is a list of negative plates in the 500s:
507: 五零七 /m3 ling4 tsVi1/ -> 唔擰得 /m4 ling2/4 dVk1/ (can't twist/turn)
518: 五一八 /m3 jVt1 bat3/ -> 唔得發 /m4 dVk1 fat3/ (can't get rich)
520: 五二零 /m3 ji6 ling4/ -> 唔易擰 /m4 ji6 ling2/4/ (not easy to twist/turn)
521: 五二一 /m3 ji6 jVt1/ -> 唔易得 /m4 ji6 dVk1/ (not easy to get)
523: 五二三 /m3 ji6 sam1/ -> 唔易生 /m4 ji6 san2/ (not easy to give birth)
527: 五二七 /m3 ji6 tsVt1/ -> 唔易得 /m4 ji6 dVk1/ (not easy to get)
528: 五二八 /m3 ji6 bat3/ -> 唔易發 /m4 ji6 fat3/ (not easy to get rich)
529: 五二九 /m3 ji6 gVu2/ -> 唔易救 /m4 ji6 gVu3/ (not easy to save/rescue)
531: 五三一 /m3 sam1 jVt1/ -> 唔生得 /m4 san2 dVk1/ (can't give birth)
537: 五三七 /m3 sam1 tsVt1/ -> 唔生得 /m4 san2 dVk1/ (can't give birth)
543: 五四三 /m3 sei3 sam1/ -> 唔洗衫 /m4 sVi2 sam1/ (not doing laundry)
548: 五四八 /m3 sei3 bat3/ -> 唔使發 /m4 sVi2 fat3/ (no need to get rich)
578: 五七八 /m3 tsVt1 bat3/ -> 唔得發 /m4 dVk1 fat3/ (not going to get rich)
579: 五七九 /m3 tsVt1 gVu2/ -> 唔得救 /m4 dVk1 gVu3/ (not saved (religious sense))
591: 五九一 /m3 gVu2 jVt1/ -> 唔救得 /m4 gVu3 dVk1/ (can't save/rescue)
597: 五九七 /m3 gVu2 tsVt1/ -> 唔救得 /m4 gVu3 dVk1/ (can't save/rescue)

Only a few positive plates:
514: 五一四 /m3 jVt1 sei3/ -> 唔得死 /m4 dVk1 sei2/ (can't die)
541: 五四一 /m3 sei3 jVt1/ -> 唔死得 /m4 sei2 dVk1/ (can't die)
544: 五四四 /m3 sei3 jVt1/ -> 唔使死 /m4 sVi2 sei2/ (don't have to die)
547: 五四七 /m3 sei3 tsVt1/ -> 唔死得 /m4 sei2 dVk1/ (can't die)
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