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Thinking of naming yourself after a popular wizard? Think again.
Chinese state media have urged citizens to think carefully when choosing an English name, so that they don't pick one with an unfortunate meaning, it appears.
People are being warned against picking a name that could cause offence, or simply make no sense at all, in advice from the CCTV News website. Many Chinese people prefer to use an English name, particularly if they conduct business with the West. But CCTV says people should avoid fictional characters, names with the potential for sexual innuendo, or random words like Dragon, Fish or Lawyer, which could come back and haunt you "if you want a call back from that serious law firm in America".
An English name should "come with a 'feeling' or idea about what sort of person you are, and where you come from", so names such as Satan or Dumbledore are out, the website says. Women are told to think carefully about "food" names such as Candy, Lolly or Sugar, which might be seen as "stripper names". There's also a lengthy warning about names with sexual connotations, especially when used in conjunction with Dong or Wang, which "are used as slang for male genitalia... so avoid anything like 'Bunny Wang' at all times," the website says.
Instead, a "traditional" name like Elizabeth, Catherine, William or George is considered a good choice. "Pick one of these if you're looking for a 'safe' English name, often with implications of wealth," the website advises.