When all is not as it seems
It's funny how perceptions vary. Personal numbers may have many different meanings. In some cases that meaning is very specific and significant to the owner but, in some cases, it may not be immediately obvious to the uninformed beholder.
Some private plates, such as John Madejski's JM 1, Sir Alan Sugar's AMS 1 or Paul Daniels' MAG 1C leave no room for doubt, but others seem almost to be in code (often intentionally) and the meaning is only clear to people intimately acquainted with the owner. Where some people like to be seen and recognised, it is evident that just as many private plate owners really just want that touch of personalisation without attracting too much attention.
UK garage music star DJ Pied Piper has a fairly cryptic registration on his Porsche Carrera 2 - 15 EN. "Only close friends and family know the true meaning behind it," says the DJ, who originally planned to buy 2 DEX (two decks), but discovered it had recently been sold when he called up to make the purchase. That's when he decided to go for the plate which would have a special meaning known only to him and those close to him.
TV and movie Actor Noah Huntley, for example, opted for private plates that had personal significance for him and his career, but one that would not, to the casual observer, hint too obviously at his identity. His private plate, B4 WCH, is quite eye-catching, but few would guess at the joke meaning: "Before Will Curtis, Holby". A gentle kick back at the tendency people have to typecast actors, and a reminder that Noah had a successful career before he became a familiar face as the Holby City TV character Will Curtis!
Private plates can be just that, private. If the owner wants to share the meaning, then that's fine. But there are times when it's enough just to know the gag yourself!