[ 1 syll. kai, ka-i ] The baby boy name Kai is sometimes used as a girl name. Its pronunciation is KAY (German) †.
1: Kai is a Dutch, Finnish, Frisian, German, Scandinavian, and Welsh name of Latin origin. It is derived from the element 'gaudere' which means to rejoice. Caius (Latin) and Gaius (Latin) are old forms of Kai. The name is of multiple origins; its oldest derivation is as a Welsh form of the Roman Caius. As a German name, it could also be from Caius, or it could be of Old Norse origin, or else it could have developed as a Frisian short form of Gerhard. The name was first introduced to English speakers during the Roman occupation, and it soon became known as the name of Sir Kay or Kai, one of the first Knights of the Round Table in Arthurian legend. The knight's boorish character made the name unpopular among early English speakers. In literature, it later appeared in Hans Christian Andersen's story The Snow Queen (1845), as the name of the little boy Kay who struggled between good and evil. The name is rather common in Denmark. The name Kaja (Polish, English, German, and Scandinavian) is the female version of Kai.
Kai has 17 variants that are used in English and other languages. Variants used in English include Kae, Kaie, Kaii, Keh, and Kye.
Foreign variants of Kai include Cai (Scandinavian and Welsh), Caj (Scandinavian), Caw (Welsh), Cay (German), Kaj (German and Scandinavian), Kay (German and Welsh), Kája (Czech), and Kájin (Czech). Specific foreign variants include the diminutive forms Kajícek (Czech), Kajík (Czech), and Kajínek (Czech).
2: Kai is of Old Norse origin. It is derived from the element 'katha' meaning hen, chicken.
3: Kai is an English and Hawaiian name of Hawaiian origin. Meaning: sea. The popularity of the name in the late 20th century is probably attributed to this derivation.
4: Kai's origin is Chinese. Meaning: victorious; open; beginning. The meaning of the name differs depending on the Chinese character being used.
In addition, Kai is a diminutive form (Frisian) of the name Gerhard (English, German, and Scandinavian) as well as a variant (Frisian) of the name Gerard (English, French, and Dutch).
See also the related form, Gaudenz (German).
Kai is popular as a baby name for boys, and it is also considered trendy. The name's popularity has been rising since the 1980s. At the modest peak of its usage in 2015, 0.139% of baby boys were given the name Kai. It ranked at #145 then. Out of all boy names in its group, Kai was the most popular in 2015. 14 times more boys were named Kai than the subsequent ranked name, Kye, in that year.
Baby names that sound like Kai include Kaie, Kaj, Ky, Kye, Chai, Kace, Kae, Kaehe, Kaese, Kage, Kasch, Kase, Kash, Kass, Kay, Kayhe, Kayjee, Kaz, Kája, and Kea.
† Pronunciation for Kai: K as in "key (K.IY)" ; AY as in "side (S.AY.D)"