African, Arthurian legends & myths, Battle/War, Chinese, Dutch, Elements, Emotion/Feelings, Estonian, Female, Greek, Hawaiian, Japanese, Joy, K names, Latin, Male, Maori, Native American, Nature, Navajo, Nickname names, Place names, Sound, Surname names, Unisex, Virtues/Attributes, Water, Word names


Kai is a name with various origins and meanings:

  • it’s a Hawaiian unisex name meaning “sea”;
  • it’s also a Japanese name with a variety of meanings depending on the kanji used, such as: (海) “sea, ocean”; (貝) “shellfish”; (快) “cheerful, pleasant, agreeable, comfortable”; (戒) “commandment”, and other various meanings; as well as also being a compound of names like Kaito and Kairi;
  • Kai is also a Japanese surname written with the kanji (甲斐) meaning “armor; carapace, shell; high (voice);  A grade; first class; former; instep + beautiful; patterned);
  • it’s a Dutch and German surname, a topographic name for someone who lived by the quayside; the name derives from Dutch kaai meaning “quay”;
  • it’s a Chinese male name with various meanings depending on the characters used such as: (凯) “victorious, triumphant”; (開) “open, start”; and (啟) “start, begin, open”;
  • it’s also a Frisian short form of names such as Gerhard (the German, Dutch, and Scandinavian form of Gerard meaning “brave/hardy spear”), Nicolaas (the Polish form of Nicholas meaning “victory of the people”), Cornelis, the Dutch form of Cornelius possibly derived from Latin meaning “horn”), or Kajetan (the Polish form of Gaetano, the Italian form of Latin Caietanus meaning “from Caieta”, also spelled Gaeta, the name of a town in Italy; or Kaimbe, an Old Frisian name meaning “warrior”;
  • it may also be a variant spelling of Cai, the Welsh form of Kay, the name of King Arthur’s foster-brother and seneschel in Arthurian legend; it may possibly be a Welsh form of Gaius, a Roman given name of uncertain meaning though it’s been linked to Latin gaudere meaning “to rejoice” though it may also be derived from an older Etruscan source of unknown meaning;
  • Kai is also a word in several languages: it means “and” in Greek; “quay, pier” in Estonian; “food” in Maori; and I’ve also seen it as possibly meaning “willow tree” in Navajo;
  • it also seems to be an African male name although I couldn’t find a specific meaning behind it, though it may be a title or a prefix meaning “king” or “king of kings”;
  • Kai is also the name of several place names.

Origin: Hawaiian, Japanese, Dutch, Chinese, Latin, Greek, Estonian, Maori, Navajo, African



  • Kaj (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Caj (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian)
  • Cai (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian,
  • Kay (Frisian, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English)


Female forms:

  • Kay (English)



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s