Baby Name Kai

The name Kai has quite a few translations in various cultures. Hawaiian culture views this name as meaning “sea,” while its Japanese translation views it as meaning “shell.” With names like Kaimbe, Kayser and Kaemper, it is not hard to imagine that the Frisian people have ties with those who choose to call their own boy this name; they perceive the name Kai as being derived from the word Kaimbe, meaning “warrior.” It is also said that Kai has Welsh roots, with a Welsh meaning of “keeper of the keys; earth.”

The name Kai means “keeper of the keys; earth.” It’s also perceived to have Welsh and Scandinavian roots, with other cultures perceiving it as having Greek roots. What a broad range of meanings! Kai is also referred to as “sea,” and in African, Chinese, Korean and Native American cultures, it is called “warrior.”1 View  more interesting names that mean “love” here .

The name Kai is a boy’s name of Hawaiian origin meaning “sea”. Kai is ranked

Kai is a name of Norse, Japanese and Welsh origins. It’s meaning is warrior, guardian, keeper of the Earth.

Kai (pronounced “Key”) is a popular baby name – especially in the South and Midwest, where it’s at its most common. Despite its cultural history, it has a contemporary feel, too — perfect for parents looking for something fresh but still classic.

Kai is a cute boy or masculine name for any family. It is an easy-to-spell, appealing name that starts with the letter K, which makes it perfect for anyone who cares about names being unique and exceedingly popular.

Meaning:keeper of the keys; earthKai as a boy’s name (also used as girl’s name Kai), is pronounced kye. It is of Welsh, Scandinavian and Greek origin, and the meaning of Kai is “keeper of the keys; earth”.

How Popular Is the Name Kai?

In 1979, the name Kai first appeared in the top 1000 boys names in the U.S. where it sat at 958th place.  Over the years, it has remained within the top 1000. The name has become increasingly popular. With a fairly steady incline over the past decade, Kai made it into the top 100 baby names for 2019, when it sat at No. 100. In 2020, it placed 93rd. For girls, it placed 794 in 2020.2

Name Variations

For those considering the name Kai, you might also like some of the following variations:

  • Cai
  • Caius
  • Chi 
  • Kaleb
  • Kian
  • Kyler
  • Ky
  • Kylo

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Similar Names

If you like the name Kai, you might appreciate some of these other short, strong names:

  • Ash (Old English)
  • Beck (German; Hebrew)
  • Bay (Latin)
  • Jude (Hebrew)
  • Kaz (Japanese)
  • Kylo (American)
  • Luca (Italian)
  • Seb (Egyptian)
  • Teo (Greek)
  • Theo (Greek)
  • Ty (American)
  • Zale (Greek)

Other boy names starting with K:

  • Kace 
  • Kain 
  • Kaleb
  • Karter
  • Kash
  • Kaylen
  • Kian
  • Kingston
  • Kendall
  • Kent
  • Kylan

Other Hawaiian boy names:

  • Akamu (of the earth)
  • Bane (long-awaited child)
  • Kainalu (surf)
  • Kaimana (beach)
  • Kainoa (place)
  • Kaleo (the sound)
  • Keanu (the breeze)
  • Koi (urge; implore)
  • Kana (God has judged)
  • Makani (wind)
  • Iulio (youthful)

Suggested Sibling Names

Looking for some names that go well with Kai? Perhaps you’ll like some of these:

  • Aria (Hebrew) 
  • Arlo (Old English)
  • Freya (Scandinavian) 
  • Lily (Greek)
  • Kamilah (Arabic) 
  • Katie (Greek)
  • Koa (Hawaiian)
  • Leilani ( Hawaiin) 
  • Mei (Chinese)
  • Micah (Hebrew)
  • Milana (Russian)
  • Milo (Latin) 
  • Nani (Hawaiin)
  • Noah (Hebrew)
  • River (Latin)
  • Sienna (Italian)

Famous People Named Kai

Actress Jennifer Connelly named her son Kai in 1997. And, in 2008, Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts gave their son Samuel the middle name Kai. There are some other notable people with the name Kai, including:

  • Kai Alexander, British actor
  • Kai Altair, American singer-songwriter
  • Kai Althoff, German multimedia artist
  • Kai Bird, American journalist
  • Kai Budde, German gamer
  • Kai Diekmann, German journalist
  • Kai Greene, American bodybuilder
  • Kai Wen Tan, American gymnast

What Is The Name Kai Short For?

Kai is a strong name used most frequently for boys. The name appears to have roots in a great variety of cultures. In Hawaiian culture, it means “sea.” In Japanese culture, “shell.” In Europe, Kai is perceived as having Frisian roots, a short form of the name Kaimbe, meaning “warrior.”1 Kai is also considered to have Welsh, Scandinavian, and Greek roots; its meaning is “keeper of the keys; earth.” African, Chinese, Korean, Native American, and Turkish cultures all use the name Kai. 

  • Origin: Kai derives from a multitude of origins. In the U.S., it is often connected to its Hawaiian roots, meaning “sea.”
  • Gender: Kai is most commonly a boy’s name but it’s occasionally given to girls.
  • Pronunciation: Kye

Although many baby names are separated by gender, Verywell Family believes that sex does not need to play a role in your name selection process. It’s important to select a name that you feel suits your new baby the best.

Famous People Named Kai

Wondering who else shares this name? Check out these well known people who made this baby name famous.

  • Kai GreeneBodybuilder
  • Kai HansenGuitarist
  • Kai LennySurfer
  • Kai OwenTV Actor


Popularity Trend Chart

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Source: Social Security Administration

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