We’re coming to the midpoint of Week C and we’re taking a trip into the world of Ancient Celtic names.
Cynbel is a new find for me, and rather reminds me of the musical instrument, cymbals – even more so if you consider that I’ve seen this name alternatively spelled Cynbal. He’s a Welsh male name by origins and means warrior chief.
When it comes to popularity, as with many names in this feature, the name has failed to rank at all in England&Wales since 1996. The only Cyn- names to rank are Cynan (#2954) and Cynthia (at the surprisingly low #3160).
Trying to come up with a popular sound-alike brethren proved tricky. Sybil is similar, but ranks at #2313. Cyril ranks even lower at #4685. There is Sydney, which ranks at ##378 for the girls and #233 for the boys (spelled Sidney).
One name I thought of though is Cymbeline, which I became interested in a few years ago. It’s the name of the eponymous character in the Shakespeare play. The name Cymbeline also doesn’t rank, and means hound of Belenus.
What’s interesting is that Cymbeline from the Shakespeare play was male, although most agree that these days that the name would be more suited to the female side of things. With Cynbel, I think it’s a little less clear cut.
It is worth noting that, -bel names are all the rage right now: Annabelle; Isabella; Isabelle; Isabel; Bella; Isobel are all within the Top 100, with Annabel; Arabella; and Mabel not far behind.
If you are considering Cynbel as a female name, the option of a respell as Cynbelle or Cynbella is a possibility – although not one I personally would consider (although that’s simply personal preference).
However, with the Cynbal spelling this issue is almost side-stepped, if you consider it to be one (and are considering this as a male name).
In the end, what you have with Cynbel is a long forgotten male name that could see an interest as a modern female name.