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What does Kai mean?

Kai Pronunciation of Kai as a boys' name (also used less commonly as girls' name Kai) is pronounced kye. It is of Welsh, Scandinavian and Greek origin, and the meaning of Kai is "keeper of the keys; earth". Variant of Kay. Also possibly (South African) "beautiful". Kai is also a Hawaiian name meaning "the sea". Also form of Cai.


ASSOCIATED WITH scandinavian, greek, keeper (defender), earth, beautiful (handsome), sea


VARIANTS Kaj, Keh, Kye



Kai Isaias (K.I.), ..

How popular is Kai?

Kai is a rare first name for males but a very popular last name for both adults and children (#24701 out of 150436, Top 16%). (2000 U.S. DEMOGRAPHICS)

Kai was first listed in 1960-1969 and reached its peak rank of #113 in the U.S. in 2018. (TOP 2000 NAMES, 2018)

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Kai name in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Kai outside U.S.

Which version is better?

Kye (#760 THE PREVIOUS YEAR), Cai and Kay are the popular alternative forms of Kai (#113). These relations of Kai were favored as birth names today (ADOPTION OF 0.21%), except for the form Kay which has fallen out of fashion. Kai and Kye are two of the more fashionable birth names in this list.

Top 2000 baby names ranking of Kai, Cai, Kay, Kye in U.S.

Top 100 baby names ranking of Kai outside U.S.

Similar Names

Kai is alike in pronunciation to Caeo, Caio, Caw, Cayo, Coe, Coy, Kauai, Kawai, Kaye, Key, Keye and Koa. Other recommended sound-alike names are Dai, Hai, Jai, Kail, Kain, Kam, Kari, Kasi, Kaz and Rai. These names tend to be more commonly used than Kai.

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in meaning and etymology.