Cynthia is an attractive name -- in classical mythology an epithet for Artemis or Diana -- that was so overexposed in the middle of the twentieth century, along with its nickname Cindy, that it fell into a period of benign neglect, but now is ripe for reconsideration in its full form.
A favorite of Elizabethan poets, Cynthia was first used in the English-speaking world during the Classical period, from the late sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Some English writers used the name to denote Queen Elizabeth I as a virgin moon goddess; Ben Jonson's allegorical comedy Cynthia's Revels features her as the main character.
One of Elizabeth Taylor's first grownup roles was as the young lead of the 1947 film Cynthia, and Cynthias have popped up in a number of movies since, including Magnolia, Secrets & Lies, and First Wives Club --and there is a mortal named Cynthia in the Twilight series.
Notable namesakes include ballerina Cynthia Gregory, writer Cynthia Ozick, actress Cynthia Nixon, and designer Cynthia Rowley. Both Cyndi Lauper and Cindy Crawford were born Cynthia.
A more modern, Cindy-avoiding nickname is Thea, and an attractive Italian form is Cizia (CHIN-zia).