Both, Boy Names, Girl Names baby name Kai

What does the name Kai mean?

The different meanings of the name Kai are:
  • Finnish Meaning: Rejoice
  • Hawaiian Meaning: Ocean
  • American meaning: Earth
  • Native American meaning: Navajo:  Willow tree
  • Scottish meaning: Keeper of the keys
  • Scandinavian meaning: Earth
  • Chinese meaning: Mandarin: victory
  • Japanese meaning: shell
The meaning of the name “Kai” is different in several languages, countries and cultures and has more than one possibly same or different meanings available.

Additional information: Kai is a multicultural name that can be used for baby boys and girls, although it is more popular as a masculine name. Because of its roots in many different languages, it has an equally high number of different meanings – in Mandarin Chinese it means ‘victory’, in Hawaiian it means ‘ocean’, in Japanese it can mean ‘shell’, ‘ocean’, ‘restoration’, or ‘recovery’, in Navajo Kai means ‘willow tree’, in Scottish it means ‘fire’, and this is only scratching the surface of the name’s origins and meanings. There are also a lot of foreign variants of the name, including Cai (Welsh, from the Arthurian legends of Sir Kay), Kay (German), and Kaj (Danish). The name is commonly misspelled as ‘Kaia’, ‘Ki’, and ‘Kail’. It can also be a nickname for the feminine "Kaja" in Swedish, or from the masculine "Gaius" in German, Dutch and Finnish.

The name Kai has seen a significant increase in popularity since 1979, where it only just reached the top thousand names at 956th. By 2014, Kai was the 177th most popular name for boys in the USA, and 999th for girls. Kai is more popular in England and Wales, and has been in the top hundred names since 1998, sitting at 64 in 2013. However, the name is rarely used for girls, and hasn’t yet reached the top thousand.

Famous people with the name Kai include Zou Kai (Chinese Olympian), Kai Altair (American musician), and Kai Owen (Welsh actor). Fictional characters called Kai feature in Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen, the animated series The Legend of Korra, and the Harvest Moon video game series.

In the legends of the Knights of the Round Table, Sir Kay was said to be King Arthur’s foster brother, and was one of the first Knights of the Round Table. He could supposedly grow as tall as trees, radiate heat from his hands, and go nine days without breathing or sleeping.