Letter C, in Neon (Crazy California)
Image by cobalt123 via Flickr

Any name as popular as Cynthia is bound to have spin-offs.  Here’s one of the more obscure.

Thanks to Aimee for suggesting our Baby Name of the Day: Cindal.

Cynthia peaked at #7 in 1957.  That means there are a lot of grandmas called Cynthia right about now.  Besides the formal Cynthia, plenty of short forms have charted in the US Top 1000 on their own, including:

  • Cindy
  • Cindi
  • Cyndi
  • Cinda

There’s also the lovely – and unrelated – Lucinda, a seventeenth century literary invention based on Lucia, but boosted by Cindy just the same.

Today, Cindy is no more current than Marcia or Jan, and Cynthia continues to fall.

Cindal is the rarest among all of the Cynthia-related names, though like many a rarity, she’s not new.  There were at least two in the 1920 US Census, and other records suggest that there have been plenty more born since.  It isn’t clear when she first came into use, but she may have been influenced by Crystal, Coral, Opal, and a handful of other girls’ names that end in -al.

Pronounced sin DAHL or sin DEL, her sound edges close to cymbal and symbol, kindle, cinder, even sandal.  It seems like an unlikely sound for a daughter’s name.  But could Cindal serve as an update to Cindy, one that embraces our love of surname names?

Surname Kendall has become a staple for girls in recent decades, along with respellings from Kendelle to Kendyl.  With girls called Kennedy and Taylor, Cindal seems more like a tailored twist on a classic girls’ name, suited to keep company with Allison or Brooke.

Nameberry doesn’t list Cindal, but they’ve written about Cindy.  In fact, they put her in the “uncool” column of their Coolator. The Coolator indicated that Sydney was cool; Sidony even cooler.

With apologies to the good people of Australia, I don’t think there’s anything cool about the name Syndey these days.  With seven straight years of declining use, Sydney feels like a name that is past her prime.  (And since Pam and Linda are always ahead of the curve, I suspect this Coolator was written some time ago.)

If Sydney is due for an update, but Cindy is not yet ready for revival, would Cindal make for a cooler version of Cindy?  Nancy tells us that five girls were named Cyndel in 2009.

If you’re looking to reboot Cindy for this generation, Cindal makes for an intriguing option.

About Abby Sandel

Whether you're naming a baby, or just all about names, you've come to the right place! Appellation Mountain is a haven for lovers of obscure gems and enduring classics alike.

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What do you think?


  1. I was delighted to see Cindel/Cindal on here. I have been in love with this name since I was 4 years old and watched Ewoks and the Battle of Endor. Cindel is the adorable main character of the movie. I named my favorite doll CIndel after her. I probably wouldn’t use it for my child as It feels like it could be too trendy sounding.

  2. All the research I’ve ever found on my name actually points to it being a derivative of the cinderella stories not of cynthia. In addition most people with the name Cindal were named after a character in a movie namely ‘Star Wars The Battle for Endor’ in which the main character is actually named Cindal. That’s where my brother came up with the name, and it was afterwards a favorite of my own. If you’re thinking of naming your kid Cindal its a good strong name, but trust me very few teachers in school will ever pronounce it correctly.

    1. Cindal, thanks. There’s rarely one origin for a name, but I really should have looked into Cinderella when I wrote this.

      And the character from the Star Wars movies must have been a big influence, too.

  3. I’m intrigued. So was my mother when I told her. Her name is Cynthia. I love her, but her name? Not so much. But Cindal? A possibility.