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now I'm thinking of Star Trek, where Uhura's first name had several competing names for decades, none of them canonical. In the 2009 reboot film, Kirk not knowing her first name was a running gag until it was revealed, late in the film, as Nyota (long the most popular of the competing non-canonical names).
At least one of the folks in the article has a similar first name (without re-reading, I think his first name was Phillipe). His last name was the descriptive one, and apparently descriptive names are sometimes passed down to children like a surname and sometimes given individually but used like a surname.
I didn't suggest "Ada" because the OP specified a minimum number of syllables, which "Ada" does not have.
A lot of folks have suggested Amalia, which I agree is a pretty name. I'm going to suggest Amalthea, though -- it's pretty, unusual, has both mythological and more modern uses.
I think nedibes suggestion of "Kai" is a good one. I have also known a few Chinese & Chinese-American folks who go by Lin, which was always part of their name to start with -- it's easily recognizable and pronounceable by English speakers. Since it is already part of your name, perhaps that could be an option?
If you want to stick closer to the sound of Kyaw and Kai doesn't suit, the next name that occurs to me is Casey. This is a reasonably gender-neutral name fairly common, but not TOO common, in the United States. I know people ranging in age from 15-60 with this name, men and women. Its pronunciation is unambiguous. It is derived from an Irish name but has no real meaning and no offputting implications. It is well known from the poem "Casey at the Bat", which many children in the US read in elementary school, about a baseball player. "Casey Ye" (assuming Ye is your family name) is not hard to say and looks pleasing written down, to me anyway!
Like you, I would not assume a gender. I think, as a nickname, it's very neutral.
I personally prefer Max, because then the endings aren't so same-y -- but if that doesn't bother you, they are all fine names.
How similar-sounding? Do you mostly care about the consonants, or about the number of syllables?
as a daughter of a Laura, I am now incredibly annoyed that instead of spending years arguing about which Laura was meant when, my parents didn't just call me Laurita.
The show also made a point about Kimmy's mother's terrible parenting by having Kimmy's half-sister named Kymmi. There is definitely at least one name nerd among the writers on that show.
I was thinking about this article the other day, when I ran across another assumption about data you would THINK would be safe...but isn't. (This was in the context of a hockey player scoring a goal in a game in which he did not play. Yes, this happened.)
Data can be VERY weird and the edge cases even weirder.
I have a number of assocations for that name, and none of them are model/actress/designer (though of course an Anastasia could be those if she wanted).
The two earliest ones I have are Stashie from Understood Betsy by Dorothy Canfield Fisher, and the title character from Anastasia Krupnik by Lois Lowry, both of which I read as children. Then, of course, there's the Russian princess.
I like Flynn on its own fine, but "Flynn Barron" sounds choppy to me. Maybe that's what people are reacting to -- not FLYNN, but thinking of that name with your surname.
One of my favorites that seems to fit your criteria is "Valancy". Valancy Sterling is the protagonist of L.M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle. She grows up in an emotionally abusive home and the book is about how she decides to escape and what happens afterwards.
Another vote for "mostly, that's Cordelia Naismith Vorkosigan". After the good Captain, it goes to Anne for me. Both of those associations could be called the long arm of King Lear, though!
My first reaction was "if you want it like Maya, maybe spell it Zaia?" which I think tells you that B is the pronunciation I'd reach for naturally.
I think you'll get a lot of Lell-uh with Lela, and probably some Lay-la, too.
Same. I would straight-up name a child Leela after Turanga Leela. (I also think a Leela & Nibbler parent-infant costume is HILARIOUS, though, so.)
Waylon made me think of Wayland, which is a name AND a history that I love -- but since it's the name of a fellow from Old Norse sagas & Old English texts, "Wayland" might not be...a 100% positive namesake.
Wayland/Weland/Völundr the Smith shows up in Beowulf and in the Poetic Edda, among other sources. *I* would use his name for a child, but I wouldn't let a child read his parts in his origin story until they were older and we'd be having a talk about some of it. (I'm trying to avoid getting caught by the spam filter or I'd be more clear, but any basic article about Wayland the Smith will hit the highlights.)
awesome job with the skating, Elliott!
also, the rack story is great. One of the things I like about Etsy is that you do get little personal touches a lot of the time, but having Your Thing become the example of how well someone does their work seems really special.