In my grandmother's family history in Galicia, I have seen a Yiddish name being used by quite a few women - Malya. My question is what is the Jewish origin of the use of this name and what does it mean? This is related to Judaism as my grandmothers Shem Kodesh was Malya as well and I want to know the origin of such a use of the name.
Alexander Harkavy writes in his Yiddish-English-Hebrew Dictionary (1928 edition) that מאַלע /male/ (which with a "weak lamed" is /malye/) is a backformation from מלכּה /malke/ (which means queen), since מלכּה sounds like a diminutive (the suffix /-ke/ often denotes diminutives).
However, Max Weinreich cites Dov Sadan as suggesting that מאַליע /malye/ = מאַכליע /makhlye/, which both come from the Biblical מחלה /makhla/, and that the derivation from מלכּה is a drash (see here, note 10).
The context of Sadan's suggestion is Weinreich's article on the dialectical pronunciation in some Hebrew/Yiddish speaking communities in Europe, whereby the letter ח /kh/ gets pronounced like a ה /h/ (when starting a syllable) or not at all (when syllable-final) -- see the article for more details. Sadan suggests that the name pronounced Malye comes from Ma(kh)lye, where the /kh/ sound got dropped. In a similar vein, he suggests that the second component in the name אָשר־לעמל /osher-leml/ (which ostensibly means Asher Little-Lamb) comes from לחמו /lakhmo/, from Jacob's blessing to Asher.