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11 Baby Names That Are Banned In Other Countries

What harm did 'Catherine' ever do to anyone?
PHOTO: istockphoto

The name Charlotte might be fit for a princess, but the lovely sounding moniker isn't welcome everywhere. In fact, Portugal specifically bans parents from using it, along with other popular picks like Emily, William, and Michael.

The republic's not alone. Denmark, Iceland, Hungary, and Saudi Arabia also enforce specific naming conventions where certain ones might not make the cut. Check out some of the most interesting offenders below:

  1. Catherine


    While Caterina gets the thumbs up, the Anglicised version is another no-go in Portugal. To keep all of the strict laws straight, the government maintains an 83-page list of approved and unapproved options.
  2. Peter


    Denmark is another country that maintains a specific register. Both countries prefer monikers that fit their native languages and cultures, so expats might be out of luck if they're hoping to give their children family names.
  3. Sarah


    Not to be outdone, a special naming committee determines the "introduction of new given names into the culture of Iceland." While Sarah's not on the official list, parents can fill out a special form and request it get added to the register.
  4. Linda


    In 2014, Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry released a list of 51 banned names reportedly not in line with "social traditions." While most selections appear to have religious connotations, foreign-sounding options like Linda also got prohibited.

  5. George


    Sorry, Prince George. Both of the royal children actually go against Portuguese naming laws, along with their dad William.
  6. Harriet


    There are currently no Icelandic babies with the English name meaning "home ruler"—at least not yet.
  7. John


    It's the most popular boy's name of the last 500 years in the States, but Denmark omits it from its official list.
  8. Stephen


    Hungary also maintains a registry of approved names that adhere to its native language. So while Stefán gets approved, the predominant English spelling won't work.
  9. Thomas


    Tom, Thomas, and Thomás all get denied under Portuguese law.
  10. Maya


    Saudi parents need to steer clear of this trending girl's name as well.
  11. Lucifer


    It's unclear if it's officially banned, but a couple in Germany wanted to name their son Lucifer and a judge quickly put a stop to that. The name is also forbidden in New Zealand.

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This article originally appeared on Goodhousekeeping.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.