Kelly In Catty

This blog is Kell's attempt to keep in touch with friends far away who complain that I don't e-mail nearly enough.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

1895 Education

NOTE: According to - this post is unverified. They have a copy of the test - and it's from where they said, but they can't verify if the test was for students or for teacher certification: Sorry for the confusion. I've once again jumped the gun.

I have no idea if this is true or not - but a friend e-mailed this to me today. Enjoy. I promise when I don't have three million trillion things to do, I'll get back to telling you weird stories (like how my band has a new fan, who last week, drove two hours to hear a Sunday gig when he'd just been to our Friday Gig... and couldn't make our SATURDAY gig because he had a blind date) (whom he took to Red Lobster...)(And said it went very well, but he wasn't sure it could continue because the woman is a public school teacher who lives a few hours away..... never mind.)

What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895

Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had
an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed
the 8th grade in 1895?

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina, Kansas, USA. It
was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley
Genealogical Society and Library in Salina, KS, and reprinted by the Salina

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina, KS -1895
Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.
2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.
3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph
4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts
of"lie,""play," and "run."
5. Define case; Illustrate each case.
6. What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.
7 - 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you
understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time, 1.25 hours)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many
bushels of wheat will it hold?
3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel,
deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?
4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to
carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for
5. Find the cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton.
6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per
8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which
is 640 rods?
10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and
8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849,

Orthography (Time, one hour)

1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic, orthography,
etymology, syllabication.
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?
3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals,
diphthong, cognate letters, linguals.
4 Give four substitutes for caret 'u'.
5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e.' Name two exceptions
under each rule.
6. Give two uses of silen t letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi,
dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name
the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise,
blood, fare, last.
9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain,
feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by
use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
4. Describe the mountains of North America.
5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba,
Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the
sources of rivers.
10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete. Gives the saying "he only
had an 8th grade education" a whole new meaning, doesn't it?!


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Oh, Baby!

I've never really shot baby portraits before - so when a former bride-client of mine called, I thought I'd better give it a shot - here's how it went. Hope you like 'em.


Late Summer in a VAAAAHSE.

Check out my cool new flower vase. It's a ceramic pillow-shaped thing with several holes in the top. It's made even ME a florist (incidentally, for Dave: A florist sells and designs flowers. A florist does not sell floors)... Thes are flowers from my yard.


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

November 16, 1983

I found my junior high school diary... I was surely not the sensitive blogger I am now:

I wrote, "Today wasn't great. Gwen's (my sister's) birthday. She got a pretty dress. She doesn't look all that great in it, but don't tell HER that. She got $, etc... She's going to get a gift certificate for a hamster. (signed, Kelly)"

I would like to issue an open apology to my sister for the awful things I said about her in my diary in 1983. I'm sure I meant it at the time - yet, it was so very, very wrong. If it's any consolation, I'm sure her hamster bit me.


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Look, Mom! I'm 20!

I must be 20 years old. Why else would I stay up till 4:30 AM and keep my 7:45 AM haircut, followed by meeting a bride to deliver her wedding album - and oh, by the way - I didn't finish the album...

So, what happened was - I spent the day at the Philadelphia Folk Festival (more on that later, when I'm not so bleary I remember that Tommy Hilfiger spells his last name with only one "L") - and everytime Dave and I got up to leave, someone else entered the campsite. At midnight, Scott came by with his family... Then, all of our Festival buddies showed up - by 3 AM, our campsite was packed full - and the happy inebriates in the back kept yelling, "Kell! Sing us a song!" (flattering, I'll admit - but y*a*w*n!)

Ok. So I got home at 4:30 and looked at the wedding album I had to fill. I did a few pages, then thought, "I'll just get up at 6, finish, get my haircut, and deliver..."

Just FYI, on the ride home from the festival, Dave wondered aloud why I just didn't cancel my appointment (I have this hairdresser I'll blog about someday - but suffice it to say that once you get an appointment, you keep it. Once Kelly Jo is your hairdresser, you may find that - even when you move two hours away, you still drive back for haircuts - and bring your friends)

So I wake up at the same time my cut is supposed to begin. I call Mike, the salon owner (he's straight - isn't that weird?) - Mike - I can reschedule if Kelly Jo is jammed, or come now."

"Come with a wet head," suggested Mike.

This leaves the issue of the empty album. I did the following. I'm not proud, and I will note this disclaimer: Do NOT attempt this yourself. Don't do it. It's really really stupid...

I put the book together en route to the salon - on highways, on side streets... I stuffed an entire album while driving - and as fate would have it - I am alive to tell the tale. Don't do it. Really. It's dumb.

But the book is delivered. I'm seriously going to bed now.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006


Last night, for the first time in a looooong time – I went back to school shopping with Dave’s daughter. If I remember my own high school days, I usually went with my mother – tried to go to a big mall out of town, and usually, I blew whatever money I made as a trail guide at the riding stable I worked at. I also remember going on ‘spree’ with my friend, Jessica. We’d do the Charlie’s Angels thing in the parking lot… We’d flirt with shoe salesmen (I can’t actually even remember the last time I’ve been to a shoe store where the sales person actually put the shoe on my foot), and eat at Chi-Chi’s (which always gave me pains the next day).

I don’t remember having too many arguments with my mother about my wardrobe… But when we disagreed – well, looking back – I now understand my mother’s point of view. It WAS the Flashdance-era 80’s after all…

“Kelly, that thing has no neck!”

“But Mom!” I protested, holding the panda sweatshirt with no cuffs, neck, or waist, “Everyone’s wearing them. And I love it! Look! Panda bears!” We eventually compromised. I could have the sweatshirt, but I agreed to wear something underneath it.

Every now and then, I hear echoes of my mother in myself. “Mother-in-me” pops up in odd places (i.e. when I’m arguing with my nephew, and out of desperation say, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!” or encourage a busybody to butt out by reciting the poem my mother always told me:

“Never trouble trouble –
Till trouble troubles you.
You’ll always DOUBLE trouble
And trouble others too!”

Last night – mother-in-me emerged at the mall. She stayed quiet for a long time... Until we walked into Hollister.

NOTE: Have you ever been to a Hollister?!! Hollister infringes on my sense of propriety in that most of its merchandise has “HOLLISTER” emblazoned across the chest. My take – and it’s the same for Tommy Hilfiger, American Eagle, Old Navy, Gap, or even Anne Taylor (although Anne would NEVER do this to me…) – is that if I’m going to wear your name across my breasts, you’re going to pay me to do it. It’s called ADVERTISING, and if you’re not paying, I’m not wearing… nor am I buying. It seems counter-intuitive!

Dave’s daughter didn't feel the same way, because she immediately chose a yellow sweatshirt (price $40. Think about it. She was willing to pay Hollister 40$ for the priviledge of advertising the brand!) with the logo sewn across the front. “What do you think?” she asked.

I explained my theory of advertising. She wasn’t interested in my theory of advertising. She said she loved the sweatshirt and was going to get it. She moved on to these itsy bitsy scraps of denim skirts and said, “I need skirts.”

Here is where my mother-in-me couldn’t help but recoil in horror. She couldn't help it but to exclaim, “They’ll let you wear that to school?”


First, Dave’s daughter, very very slim and lovely, isn’t even large enough to warrant an actual number. She’s a size ZERO. Second, the skirt was barely crotch-lengthed. I would understand if she wanted this rag for the summer at the beach over a swimsuit – but school?!!

I– or more succinctly – my mother – asked the obvious.

“Can you sit down in that? Doesn’t it ride up your butt? How do you bend?”

“I wear shorts under it.”

“But – look at this!” I motioned to a ragged hole located right in front, slightly to the left of the fly. “Are you okay with that?”

NOTE 2: In case you’re wondering where Dave was during this double-team rally, he was standing outside the store against the railing with all the other dads in the mall that night. This was clearly up to mother-in-me and me.

Dave’s daughter thought about the skirt for a moment. I don’t know if she was appeasing me, or really thought maybe it was too holy and short. She put the $40 rag scrap back on the shelf. My mother-in-me raised her hands in victory.

Then, she did something I wasn’t expecting – she put the Hollister-ad-cum-sweatshirt back on the shelf too! Then she chose a smart-looking button down striped shirt and said, “What do think of this? It’s expensive, but I like the way these fit me.”

At this point, mother-in-me lowered her hands and waited to see what I would do, as if to say, “I wouldn’t pay 40 bucks for that – but whatever, Kell – it’s your call…” She disappeared, leaving Dave’s daughter and me alone. I picked up the shirt. It was nice. It had finished hems – it was well constructed. I shrugged and asked, “Will you wear it a lot?” She nodded. I told her I liked it…

As she paid, I went out to find Dave. “You owe me. I just talked your daughter out of buying a 40$ short-short skirt with a hole in the front…”

“Man, I’m glad you’re here…”

He didn’t acknowledge mother-in-me, but I didn’t expect him to know much about that part.


PS – On a completely different note, I just spell-checked this post… THE COMPUTER KNEW THAT HILFIGER IS SPELLED WITH ONE “L.” – This is completely WHY I don’t wear Hilfiger. If he’s so famous that the computer knows how to spell his last name, he doesn’t NEED my advertising… However, Tommy? If you’re willing to pay, just send the shirt and the check. I’ll wear it.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006

It's My Loss

I lost about 8 lbs. over the past nine months or so... I know this doesn't sound like a major accomplishment - Especially considering that gaining well over 30 lbs. over the past three years seems so much more monumental... but I seem to have crested the hill (and hallelujah for that...)

I'll keep you posted.


Still in the same pants size, yet breathing a little easier.


Ew... but Aaah Hah!

This from my friend, Eric - Ew, but aaah-ha! Click on this to be able to read the copy. It's a good one. Gives the term "Briefcase" a whole new meaning. I wonder what the ladies' version looks like? Never mind - I already know!


Saturday, August 12, 2006

Why oh "Y?"

Has anyone notyced that "Y" is the new "I?" I've met lately a pyle of people who spell theyr names with "Y's" where "I's" once reigned... Alice is now Alyce... Melissa - Melyssa... Even my friend Kevin got in on the action. For awhile, I noticed he'd sygn his letters to me, "Kevyn" I couldn't stand it any longer. I had to ask:

Kelly: Kev, what's wyth the "Y?"

Kevyn: I don't know - I'm embarassed now!"

My name has always been spelled with a "Y" - yet somehow I don't thynk it's made me any cooler.

What gyves?


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Petty Theft

Tonight, my sister called to tell me that she, my two nephews and my nephew's chickieboom were going out to eat near my house, and would I join them...

I know my nephew's been dying to introduce his girlfriend to me - and where I had plans later in the evening, I agreed to sit with them for a half hour or so.

When I arrived at the restaurant, my youngest nephew was showing my sister an itsy-bitsy rolling pin. "Look what I found!"

Found? From my youthful theiving days (a time that I'm not particularly proud of), I understood what "found" meant... It's got it's roots in the ancient, yet still practiced tongue of "Far Fetch-ed Gibbibble," and it is where we get the English word "Pilfered." The litte rolling pin couldn't have cost more than a quarter - but letting my nephew keep it would be so expensive some day I couldn't stand it... Besides - This is not the first time I've caught him 'finding' things. I don't like the idea that he's simply practicing for some future bank heist.

"Hey, Jill," I said, "Since we're standing in this long long line, why don't I take him to return it?"

She agreed, nervously. See, for a long time, my nephew and I didn't get along very well, but lately we've been doing much better - so I thought maybe we could have a little discussion on the way to return the rolling pin...

"So, do you steal a lot?" I asked.


"Well, I have to tell you that one of these days - very likely sooner than later, you'll probably get caught... Do you know what tends to happen when you get caught?"

"No," my nephew likely fibbed to me.

"Well, stores generally put you in a back room and call the police. The police usually come - and you might get taken to the station - and everything will be recorded onto your permanent record. Do you want to be a ten-year old with a record?"

"No," my nephew answered.

"Have I lectured you long enough?"


"Ok - then it's important that we bring this back to the store."

We arrive at the craft store. I ask my nephew to tell me where he got the little bitty rolling pin. He shows me a spot on the ground beneath the side walk sale tables. I look around. I can't find where it came from. I take it from him. "I can't find the bin - I guess we'll have to ask the sales lady where it came from."

My nephew followed me sheepishly.

"Hi, Um, my nephew took this, and we'd like to return it - but would you mind telling him what happens to people who take things out of stores without paying for them?"

"Sure," said the saleslady. She then proceeded to tell a tale that was MUCH MORE than I ever asked for. In fact, no child of a single mom who has a crazy dad should ever hear this:

"Well, we call the police. Then the police come and I'm not really sure what happens then - but I will tell you that since you're too young to be put into jail, they'll take your mom instead. Which means you'll have to live with another family. If your mother seems fit by the court, they MAY let her out... Do you want that to happen?"

Oh, PLEASE! Stop, saleslady! I just wanted to stop at the police.

Before we left, my nephew decided to purchase the rolling pin...

Rolling Pin: Ten Cents
Gas spent returning the rolling pin: $1.98
Humiliation telling my sister what happened: Priceless.


Tagged: I'm It

HP tagged me to answer the following intensely personal questions about books in my life... So here goes:

I know this is going to sound hokey to say that a self-help book changed my life, but a book called BOUNDARIES really turned a corner for me. I read it at a time when I was being pressed, pulled, pushed, manipulated, and otherwise annoyed. The basic premise of the book is to teach where other people end and where I begin - that perimeter was constantly being breeched in my life...

What really got me about this book was that (ahem) - when I started exercising my boundaries as they should be, people reacted EXACTLY how authors Cloud & Townsend said they would... People got angry, but I was expecting it. I began to see what I learned in this book as "My Plan." (I'm big on plans now... Not necessarily planning, per se, but I always feel better when I have a plan).

I've given so many copies of this book to friends who I've seen in similar situations that I've lost count.

Oh, dear - there are so many. I guess I'll resort to my childhood and say I read the stuffing out of my Little Golden Book, "The Three Little Pigs." I'm not sure what fascinated me about the book - but I do remember thinking that I probably wouldn't have LIKED the third (smart) little pig - but respected him.

I'd take the Bible with me - because lately, I've decided to read through the Bible end to end - and find the more I read, the more questions I have - which is what good literature should do.

"The Brothers K" by David James Duncan - made me laugh, made me cry, made me like baseball for awhile. This book was so vivid, so interesting, and so true to life that I've given it multiple times as gifts, and actually found myself reading it aloud to an artist friend in DC (while he was matting pictures).

The reason the book made me laugh was that it's so honest - sometimes in an amused way - sometimes just because what he was writing about was so very close to home:

Here's an excerpt: The father is an athiest who was *this close* to becomming a professional baseball player - but lost a thumb in a work injury. One of his sons, Peter, is becoming something of a mystic:

Papa: "I undestand you're quitting baseball fro a reason. A religious feeling, some important kind of searching. But Nord and Donny, your teammates, their folks, they don't see that at all. To them you look more like some crazy farmer burning down his barn and his big herd of cows, then bragging about how little he owns."

"That THEIR barns are burning!" Peter cried. "That's what I was trying to say! Because when Gautama, before he became Buddha, saw old age and sickness and death, he said the world and everything in it looked like it was going up in flames. And that's what I feel too, Papa! For years I've felt it. So I tried to explain, to say why I didn't want their stupid trophy. I tried to be HONEST, Papa. What more could I do?"

"Less," Papa said.

Peter scowled. "I don't understand."

"You said the trophy's stupid, so you gave it back. But you also say Buddha is compassionate, and that you want to be like him. Doesn't add up, Pete. If the trophy really was stupid and they gave it to Buddha, wouldn't he keep it so nobody else would get saddled with a stupid thing?"

Peter had grown very quiet.

Papa said, "Those coaches in there think YOU'RE stupid too, you know. But they still had the honesty to give their Best Player trinket to their best player. And you insulted that honesty by giving the trinket back."

By now, Peter looked crushed...... They turned away from the ball field and started slowly back toward the parking lot. But the silence was heavy, and as they moved in under the streetlights and glanced at each other, Peter stopped cold, and said, "What's with us, Papa?"

"It's our barn, I think," Papa mummured.

"Huh?" As usual, the preacher hadn't taken in his own sermon.

Jon Hassler books make me cry in the good way - In "A Green Journey," his lead character, Agatha, is a woman who devoted herself to the Catholic Church, and to teaching in a Catholic school. She never married - and in her senior years, read a quote in a Catholic magazine by an Irish national who was campaigning for a return to Catholic roots... She wrote to thank him for his words, and soon, the two became pen pals.

After years of very personal corrospondence, they fell in love with each other - and she flew to Ireland to meet him. What made me cry - was after all the years of being alone, and thinking she'd found her soulmate, James O'Hannon wasn't exactly who she thought he was. (I can't give it away - because I think everyone should read Hassler... Granted, they should start with "Staggorford," but everyone should read Hassler!)

I'll call it the "Sacred Girl Book," which explains how things are, what to do, and the wisdom behind good choices. I once told Trixie that "We're ALL the Sacred Girl Book," but to date, no one's written it down.

I usually don't read these books - or at least never finish them - I will say they include tell-alls, bitter memoirs, and instructional books by basket cases.

I'm reading "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy," because I read "The Hobbit," years ago, and always felt I should read the rest of the story.

"The Name of the Rose" by Umberto Eco - I have it - At one point I even started it -but need to get back to.


Dakota Knight
Katie (because I haven't heard from her in awhile and miss her - no guilt, Katie!)


Friday, August 04, 2006

Smelling the Summer

I had an unexpected "surprise" of sorts the other day... It's been so hot and muggy and unbearable outside, Dave and I have been doing nothing but walking from air conditioned car to air conditioned house to air conditioned office, etc... (Today, however, was so lovely I ate lunch outside!)

This is hardly the time for the fan in Dave's car to die... Poor Dave - We've all been in that position when we just dread having to spend several hundred dollars on something as frivolously necessary as our freaking vehicles... Isn't it bad enough we have to pay them off every month? (sigh)

Anyway. One interesting thing came from this. The other night, Dave was driving a distance. He called me and said, "You know, my air conditioner isn't working, so I drove home with the windows down... and I forgot all the cool smells that come with the summer... grass and the warm air... It reminded me of growing up...

So yesterday, despite the heat, I rolled the windows down and inhaled... Hot pavement reminded me of playing on my grandmother's driveway. Fresh cut grass with the hint of wild onion reminded me of summer camp... Summer does have a scent... and it's warm air, grass, and dirt... That smell of heated asphalt also reminded me of my stupid days in college. I drove home from Michigan in June - and completely forgot my old Toyota Tercel (named 'sheba') even HAD an air conditioner. (I think that may have been the time when I arrived in PA sans any brake fluid... which really angered my father.)...

Last weekend, I was at a party - and the glow of tan skin reminded me of the smells at the beach - sun, surf, with the aroma of coconut oil...

I'm sorry Dave's AC had to break for me to be reminded... but at least one little good thing came (Dave, I'm so sorry for your ridiculous auto bill)

Tonight, since the heat's died down, I'll be outside at a music festival - playing, singing, and smelling the summer.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

My Own Top (Nearly) 40

Here are the number one songs on my birthday for my entire life (thanks to Issa, who found THIS site):

70 – Tears of a Clown (Smokey Robinson and the Miracles)
71 – Family Fair (Sly and the Family Stone)
72 – I am Woman (Helen Reddy)
73 – Top of the World (Carpenters)
74 – Kung Fu Fighting (Carl Douglas)
75 – Fly, Robin Fly (Silver Convention)
76 – Tonight’s the Night (Rod Freakin’ Stewart)
77 – You Light Up My Life (Debby Boone)
78 – Le Freak (Chic)
79 – Babe (Styx)
80 – Lady (Kenny Rogers)
81 – Physical (Olivia Neutron Bomb)
82 – Mickey (Toni Basil)
83 – Say Say Say (Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson)
84 – Out of Touch (Hall & Oates)
85 – Broken Wings (Mr. Mister)
86 – The Way It Is (Bruce Hornsby & The Range)
87 – Faith (George Michael)
88 – Look Away (Chicago)
89 – We Didn’t Start The Fire (Billy Joel)
90 – Because I Love You (The Postman Song) (Stevie B)
91 – Black or White (Michael Jackson)
92 – I Will Always Love You (Whitney Houston)
93 – Again (Janet Jackson)
94 – On Bended Knee (Boyz II Men)
95 – One Sweet Day (Mariah Carey w/ Boyz II Men)
96 – Un-Break My Heart (Toni Braxton)
97 – Candle In The Wind 1997 (Elton John)
98 – I’m Your Angel (R Kelly)
99 – Smooth (Santana)
00 – Independent Woman Part I (Destiny’s Child)
01 – Family Affair (Mary J. Blige)
02 – Lose Yourself (Eminem)
03 – Hey Ya (Outkast)
04 – Drop It Like It’s Hit (Snoop Dog)
05 – Run It (Chris Brown)


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

What's in a Name?

This from Yahoo News:

Malaysia Draws Up List of Unsuitable Names for Children
Sun Jul 30, 3:58 AM ET

Malaysian parents will no longer be allowed to give their children names deemed unsuitable by authorities, a report says.

According to the New Straits Times, the National Registration Department will not allow names with undesirable meanings in the languages used by the country's three main ethnic groups.

Malaysia's population of 26 million is dominated by some 60 percent Malays, 26 percent Chinese and eight percent Indians.

Department spokesperson Jainisah Mohd Noor was quoted by the newspaper as saying the list was compiled following input from various religious and cultural groups.

"We are just helping to disseminate the information we have," Jainisah was quoted as saying in the report.

Among the Malays, names such as Zani -- which means male adulterer, and Woti -- sexual intercourse, were banned, the report said.

For Indians, Karrupan, which means black fellow, is equally as taboo as are names which denote "fair skin," such as Sivappi and Vellayan, it said.

Jainisah said parents could not name their babies after colours, animals, insects, fruits or vegetables.

In the past, some in the Chinese community gave their children inauspicious names believing it would ward off evil spirits and bad luck.

Now, names such as Ah Kow -- dog in the Cantonese dialect, or Ah Gong -- unsound mind, are prohibited. Other Chinese names on the banned list included Chow Tow and Sum Seng which mean smelly head and gangster respectively.

Parents who insisted on bestowing names on the list could appeal to the department, Jainisah said.

"We can only advise them, but if they are insistent even after knowing they are unsuitable, they may be allowed to use them," she said.