Etymology & Historical Origin of the Baby Name Kai

For English-speaking countries, the name Kai originates from one of two places: either Germany/Scandinavia or Hawaii. The Germanic “kai” means ‘safe harbor, wharf’ or ‘earth.’ It was generally used as a pet form for any North Germanic personal name starting with a “G” or a “K” (e.g., Gerhard, Klaus). The name Kai is a character in Hans Christian Andersen’s Danish fairy tale “The Snow Queen” (1845). The story centers on Kai and his little playmate Gerda who struggle between good and evil when Kai is captured by the Snow Queen. The “splinters of the troll-mirror” spell (which froze Kai’s heart and distorted his personality) is broken when Gerda rescues him with her love. Alternately, the word “kai” is Hawaiian for ‘ocean, sea.’ In ancient (and modern) Hawaii all things revolve around the sea. It was a source of plentiful seafood, it provided an avenue for exploration, it supplied endless recreation, it was feared for its mighty tidal authority and it surrounded the islands with its beauty and magnificent power. The kai was everything.

All About the Baby Name – Kai

Personality

OF THE GIRL NAME KAI

The Three energy is powerful and enthusiastic. These personalities are cheerful, full of self-expression, and often quite emotional. They have an artistic flair and "gift-of-gab" that makes them natural entertainers. Their joyfulness bubbles over, and their infectious exuberance draws a crowd. The Three personality is like a child - forever young and full of delight. They are charming, witty, and generally happy people. The Three personality lives in the "now" and has a spontaneous nature. Threes seem to live with a bright and seemingly unbreakable aura that attracts others to them. In turn, they are deeply loyal and loving to their friends and family. Luck also has a tendency to favor number Threes.

Popularity

OF THE GIRL NAME KAI

The popularity of the name Kai in America is almost certainly influenced by Hawaiian culture. Kai only first entered the U.S. popularity charts as a male given name in 1979. Before that, it essentially didn’t exist in the United States outside of Hawaii. As tourism in Hawaii became a mainstream recreation for scores of Americans, more and more people of the United States were exposed to this unique culture. There are certain words that are distinctly Hawaiian and Kai (ocean) is obviously one of them. By the 1990s, the name Kai was on the rise and today it’s reaching its peak popularity. Not quite a Top 200 favorite, we think it’ll make the list any year now. It may never be a Top 100 (perhaps too exotic for the mainland haoles); we’ll have to wait and see. Kai is currently the most popular Hawaiian male name on the charts today. Even though it’s not a Top 200 yet nationwide, Kai was ranked #28th most popular boy’s name in the state of Hawaii (surprise, surprise) and #91 in Alaska (another state that relies on the “kai”). And we just can’t help picturing Kai as a surfer-boy, a swimmer, a rower, a sailor, a fisherman, or an ocean environmentalist. Anything and everything having to do with the sea – otherwise please don’t waste this name on your child if you live in a land-locked state. We understand that Kai has cool and mighty written all over it; but he is a child that should be reared near the sea.

Quick Facts

ON KAI

GENDER:

Girl

ORIGIN:

German

NUMBER OF SYLLABLES:

1

RANKING POPULARITY:

915

PRONUNCIATION:

K'EYE

SIMPLE MEANING:

Ocean, the sea

Characteristics

OF KAI

Communicative

Creative

Optimistic

Popular

Social

Dramatic

Happy

Cultural References to the Baby Name – Kai

Literary Characters

OF THE BABY NAME KAI

We cannot find any significant literary characters by the name of Kai

Popular Songs

ON KAI

We cannot find any popular or well-known songs with the name of Kai


Famous People

NAMED KAI

Kai Ryssdal (radio personality)
Kai Bird (journalist)
Kai Ryssdal (radio personality)
Kai Bird (journalist)

Children of Famous People

NAMED KAI

We cannot find any children of famous people with the first name Kai

Historic Figures

WITH THE NAME KAI

We cannot find any historically significant people with the first name Kai