Here is our dilemma. When we had our daughter three years ago, we didn't know if she was going to be a boy or a girl. We had our list of boy names and our list of girl names. I abandoned names left and right because of their popularity- including Isabella which was once top of our list but was nearly number 1 that year. We were named her a few minutes after her birth. Somehow, we have never regretted this momentary decision and feel her name fits her. Her name is Aura Rose (Rose was fixed from the beginning because of my husband's love of roses, maybe not my first choice since everyone's middle name is Rose, but he really does have a deep love of roses). I like that few people have ever heard the name Aura and everywhere we go, people comment how lovely her name is. We also like that it means "wind," "breath," or "goddess of wind." We think that fits her too.
So, we are expecting again and need a new girl name and boy name. We had loved "Luca" for a boy in my pregnancy with her and have long held it as a possible name for her future sibling. We even thought- we could make that name work for a boy or a girl! However, a friend recently named her son that and I just don't want to anymore. She is a very course person and the name (for them) is all about the strong Italian sound, which I never even noted before (I'm part Italian but we're not really about being traditional or having our kid sound manly). I'm turned off mostly because I learned (somehow for the first time?) that it means "man from Lucania." Our name doesn't have to mean anything particularly profound, but it would be nice if it meant something.
We would really love something that is short and succinct to match "Aura." We liked Luca because it was the same length and had the "a" sound at the end. Are there any similar names? I can't really search for "4 letters with an a sound at the end" on most of the baby name engines I have found. We aren't totally stuck on the names matching to that degree but it would be nice if they had some fluidity together.
If you use this, please refer to our last name as "Kenny."
In the United States, most names that end in an A-sound are girl names. The main exception to this rule is biblical names, and now that most biblical names have gone mainstream (that is, they can still be used as expressions of religious affiliation, but they're no longer assumed to do so), that's the direction I'd steer you to start. Some four-letters-with-an-A-sound-at-the-end possibilities:
Joah would be the least common of those: according to the Social Security Administration, in 2010 the name Noah was #7, the name Ezra was #243, and the name Joah was not in the top 1000 at all (nor was the name Aura). I think you might run into more trouble with Joah than with Aura, however, since aura is a familiar word even though it's an uncommon name, while most people won't have heard of Joah in any context. It meets my preference for an unusual name, however, which is that it has a quick and easy help for both spelling and pronouncing: "It's like Noah, but with a J instead of an N."
Or if we expand the search beyond four letters and an A-ending, Jonah and Judah and Elijah and Micah would be more familiar than Joah, and Eli and Elias and Milo and Silas and Jonas and Levi and Asher and Leo and Abel have a gentle sound without ending in an a/ah.
Since Aura is a noun and supernatural/deity name, another possible route would be to find another noun or supernatural/deity name for this child. Those are harder to find for boys, but some possibilities are:
Ares (probably too similar to Aura)
Arrow (probably too similar to Aura)
Heath (which I think carries some of the romantic sound of Aura)
A name from my friend Mairzy's list is Sterling. I think that might work very well: Sterling Kenny; Aura and Sterling. It was #754 in 2010, and according to my dictionary it means thoroughly excellent, noble, worthy, honorable. Furthermore, I think it works well for a boy or for a girl: for a boy I think it sounds gentlemanly and courteous and British; for a girl I think it has a fresh modern sound that might go very nicely with Aura.
Or Nico is similar to Luca.
I think it's unsurprising for a family to have a different naming style for boys than for girls, but in general I'm in favor of coordinating sister names, or brother names, to avoid implying different expectations for each child: sisters named Aura and Margaret, for example, might feel as if one is expected to be a free spirit and the other is expected to be sensible and traditional. Some possible sister names for Aura:
Freya (another goddess name)
Or if you want four letters ending in an A-sound, there are lots of options but many of them don't seem like good style fits (Anna, for example, or Sara, or Nina), or might be too similar (Aria or Nora). Some that might fit better:
I'm not sure about the names ending in -ra. They might be too similar to Aura. I left them in, though, because I couldn't decide.
I haven't spent much time on name meanings: it's a long list to look up, especially since I like to look at several sources to see if there's consensus. But if you narrow it down first to the ones you'd consider using if the meanings were okay, that will cut down the task considerably.
I also suggest looking up the goddess names (I probably missed a few on the list, too) to make sure they're goddesses whose stories are acceptable to you; some of those deities got up to quite a bit of trouble.