Kai (name)

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Pronunciation Ky
Gender Unisex
Word/name various
Meaning various
Other names
Related names Cai, Kaj

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

  • In Ancient Greek, Kai (και) is a conjunction meaning "and"
  • 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)
  • In Burmese, Kai means "strong" or "unbreakable"
  • In Mandarin Chinese, Kai is a common given name with one of several meanings, most often "victory" (凱), another being "open" (開). Kai can also be used to transliterate the Chinese character used in some names meaning "start" (啟) in the Cantonese pronunciation.
  • In Estonian, Kai is a female name meaning "pier"
  • In Finnish, Kai is a common male name, Finnish form of Kaj. The term "kai" also means "probably" in Finnish
  • In Hawaiian, Kai means "ocean" or "ocean water"
  • In Hmong, Kai is a male name that is sometimes spelled Kha
  • In Japanese, Kai has a number of meanings, including "ocean" (海), "shell" (貝), "restoration" and "recovery." [1][2]
  • In Malayalam, Kai means "hand" [3]
  • In Māori, Kai means "food"
  • In Navajo, Kai means willow tree.
  • In North Germanic languages, Kai means "keeper of the keys; earth".[citation needed] In Germanic languages, Kai means "quay" or "safe harbor"
  • In Scottish, Kai means "fire"
  • In Swahilli, Kai means "loveable", and is given to a baby girl.
  • In Tamil, Kai means "hand"
  • In Persian, Kai is short for "Kainat"="کاینات", meaning "universe". It is usually a nickname, though it can be a real name too. Other nicknames for the same name may include Kaiskii, Kaina and Kaiya
  • In Welsh, Kai is a popular given name normally spelt Cai, from the Arthurian legend of Sir Kay
  • In Wolof (Senegalese language) kai means "come"

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 among females as well.[4]

Given name[edit]

Kaj (the Germanic form of Kai)



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "English<>Japanese". Dictionary. Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  2. ^ "Official list of Kanji permissible for name use". 
  3. ^ https://translate.google.co.uk/?hl=en&tab=wT#en/ml/hand
  4. ^ "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. Retrieved 2008-02-14. Kai has risen from rank 156 in 2002 to rank 94 in 2003....