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Number Plate - Novelty, Wogboy, circa 2009 Object Reg. No: HT 23689

Novelty Number Plate embossed with the term "Wog Boy" in capitals in white type. Aimed at the male population this number plate was not manufactured for insulting purposes but as a humorous way of reclaiming the term 'wog'. This number plate does not indicate an Australian state and is not authorised for road use.

This number plate show how a racist term 'wog' has been reclaimed in recent times and proudly used to broadcast a non-Anglo Australian ethnic identity. The term 'wog' and its racial underpinnings are thought to derive from the word 'golliwog' in the late 19th century. In Australian English since the 1950s, 'wog' is a slang term directed against people of Southern European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern ancestry. More recent stereotypes of 'wogs' suggest that they take great pride in their cars, typically driving turbo, 'hotted up' cars such as V8s. The combining of the word 'wog' with the material artefact of the number plate playfully reinforces the modern stereotype of a 'wog' and is not racist if used by a self-identified 'wog'. It shows how a racist term can be reclaimed and worn with pride.
This Novelty Number Plate is a standard Australian sized black number plate embossed with the term "Wogboy" in capitals in white type with 'Australia' painted in white type above it. There is also a white border around the edge of the plate and eight round holes for screws to attach the plate to a car, imitating authentic Australian standard number plates. The Novelty Number Plate is made from a light weight sliver coloured metal, possibly tin. The reverse side is unpainted and has a batch number printed in blue.

This number plate does not indicate an Australian state and is not authorised for road use.
Discipline: History
Dimensions: 132 mm (Height), 370 mm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: racism, greek communities, greek immigration, racial identity, number plates, ethnic groups, cultural stereotypes, cyprus
Themes this item is part of: Identity: Yours, Mine, Ours, Immigration Museum Exhibition, 2011-2021, Objects & Cultural Stereotypes in Museum Victoria Collections
Primary Classification: CULTURAL IDENTITY
Secondary Classification: Ethnicity
Tertiary Classification: promotional materials
Inscriptions: Front, embossed: "AUSTRALIA / WOGBOY"
Reverse, printed, blue ink: LB 0645 130309 CP-8-002905 6004799
Place & Date Used: Victoria, Australia, circa 2009

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