Kai (name)

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Other names
Related namesCai, Kaj

The name Kai /ˈk/ has various origins and meanings in different cultures:

  • In Basque, kai is a common word meaning "pier of a harbour" and a variant of the first name Kaio (from the old Latin name Caius, meaning "happy").
  • In Chinese, Kai is a very common given name with one of several meanings, most commonly "victory" (凯/凱), "start" or "open" (开/開). Kai is often used in names meaning "start" (啟) in Cantonese Chinese.
  • In Estonian, Kai is a female name meaning "pier".
  • In Finnish, Kai is a common male name, Finnish form of Kaj.
  • In Frisian, Kai is a short form of Frisian "Kaimbe", meaning "warrior."
  • In Hawaiian, Kai is an unisex name which means "sea".
  • In Japanese, kai has a number of meanings, including "ocean" (海), "shell" (貝), "restoration" and "recovery".[1][2] As a surname, it means "Worth" (甲斐).
  • In Kono and Kissi, Kai is a male name; it is also a Paramount Chief title or prefix that means king of kings[citation needed]
  • In Maori (the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand), kai means "food".
  • In Swahili, Kai is a female name meaning "lovable".[citation needed]
  • In Swedish, Kai is a male name meaning "Rejoice".
  • In Tamil, kai means vegetables or cooked vegetables
  • In Thai, kai means "chicken" and is used as a nickname.
  • In Welsh, Kai is a popular given name normally spelt "Cai". It is the diminutive of Cajus, meaning "Rejoicer", and is frequently used as an independent name in Wales due to its use in the Arthurian legend of Sir Kay. Another variation is Cae, meaning "pitch" or "field".

In Northern Ireland, data indicated that Kai experienced a significant rise in popularity as a male given name from 2002 to 2003. It has become popular in the UK, with many children born in the mid to late 1990s given the name. While it is typically a male given name, in recent years it has become popular for girls as well.[3]

People with the given name[edit]

People with the surname[edit]

People using the mononym[edit]

Fictional characters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "English<>Japanese". Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-01-13.
  2. ^ "Official list of Kanji permissible for name use".
  3. ^ "Jack and Emma were the most popular first names in Northern Ireland in 2003" (PDF) (Press release). Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency. 2004-01-02. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2006-09-29. Retrieved 2008-02-14. Kai has risen from rank 156 in 2002 to rank 94 in 2003....