Meaning of a Name

Cindy Bahl
4 min readJun 5, 2020
Photo by Cindy Bahl

Your name defines you throughout your life. It tells a story. It has meaning and consequences. Understanding your name is understanding the core of you.

I am the baby of seven children. My mother married and had six children. Divorced, then years later, married my father at age 29 and had me when she was thirty years old. My dad was forty years old. I was and remained his only child. I am 7.5 years younger than the second to the youngest in our family, my sister, Mary, from the first marriage. She has never forgiven me for taking her place as the baby of the family. As if I could control these things.

My mother knew how excited my father was by my birth and gave him an impressive deal of control over naming me.

My first and middle names are Cindy Leigh. My middle name is after my dad’s favorite sister, Leigh. My dad is the baby of six children. He and Lorene were twins. Funny enough, it was his older sister, Leigh, that was his favorite.

My first name, from what I understand, was born more out of what name he liked. He wanted to call me Wendy. More thought led to the concern if I ended up being talkative in school. His concern was with teasing. Kids are so original. “Wendy, Pendy…” etc. You get it? Windy, as in talkative? My parents ended up being psychic.

They settled on Cindy. Not Cynthia, but Cindy. I resented that for a long time. I thought Cynthia was a more beautiful and dignified name. Everyone insisted I was not telling them my actual name when I would deny it was Cynthia. I felt my parents made my life harder by going with Cindy. Later in life, gratefulness overtook resentfulness as I grew to like my name. I saw Cynthia as pretentious. It was not me.

The name only came into existence when it debuted on the American charts for the first time in 1938. The name climbed in popularity and stayed in the top 100 most popular female names from 1953 to 1973. It no longer is stylish to use today. I am thankful it is no longer popular. I enjoy being unique.

Today the name is “cutesy”. I find I am taken seriously. Sometimes. Maybe? I have noticed many other Cindy’s I have met fall into the “cutesy” personality. I thank my parents for not letting that happen to me.

Cindy Bahl

Published Poet | Astronomer | Writer | Artist | Seasoned Programmer ~ Pen on chronic pain, mental health, & poetry. Writing projects: memoir & sci-fi novel.