Origin of Names

Nameography, or the study of names, is a field that can provide several moments of fun to the uninitiated. The yawns you’ll stifle while pursuing this vacuous hobby will reinvigorate your sense of ennui, and can eventually lead to actual physical abnormalities in your neural paths. Despite this, there remain six of us who continue our efforts on behalf of the disinterested masses.

As I found through careless study, the name Cynthia comes from the Norse name Fergluggenstrasse, which literally translates to “unsuitable for leadership.” However, some nameographists feel that the origin of the name Cynthia has much earlier roots and can be traced back to the prehistoric Cythiastodon, which was a large Paleozoic era herbivore noted for its ravenous appetite for garlic and its horrible breath. No matter which side of the argument you come down on, there is plenty of literature to suggest that the word “Cynthia” was often used in a derogatory context throughout the Middle Ages, continuing well into the 18th century. Early texts of the day contain many quotes to support this suggestion. In his classis work of literature, “Controlled Flatulence”, 18th century novelist Fennimore Wigglestaff peppered the vocabulary of the story’s protagonist with the use of the term. As an example, in Chapter 12, Jonathan Pepper is caught touching himself inappropriately, and screams at his maid, “Damn Cynthia, have you ever heard of knocking?!” Later, in the final chapter, the same hapless maid is on the receiving end of another derisive scolding when Pepper sneeringly tells her, “You are supposed to wear your knickers on the inside Cynthia.” There are far too many examples of the derogatory use of the name Cynthia to cite in this brief dissertation, however the rigorous student will uncover them aplenty.

Historically, there were many notable people with the first name of Cynthia. Of course, the first one that jumps into the minds of many, would be the renowned Cynthia Smith, inventor of the semi-colon, but there are countless others. Cynthia Hitler, Adolph’s first wife. There was Cynthia Moore, the first transgender lumberjack in the US Northeast. The mid 20th century brought us Cynthia Hawking, who, as we know, arrived at the theory of relativity mere light seconds after Albert Einstein did. As a final example, the largely unsung and underappreciated artist Cynthia Pringle, whose impressionist canvases of nude midgets grace many an upscale bathroom, deserves honorable mention. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />

In summary, the name Cynthia, checkered past and all, is not just one that has been featured on many a public toilet stall, but also has a hallowed place in the annals of Nameography. (yawn) Good night.