Kai Origin and Meaning

The name Kai is a boy's name of Hawaiian origin meaning "sea".

Kai is an internationally flexible name with many possible origins and meanings, growing in popularity in the US and a diverse range of European countries.

In the US, the name Kai is most commonly referred to as being of Hawaiian derivation, meaning "sea." In Europe, Kai is largely considered to have Frisian origin as a diminutive of the name Kaimbe, meaning "warrior", or as a short form of Gerard "brave spear".

Kai is also found as an independent name in African, Chinese, Turkish and Native American cultures. Kai is a strong, evocative multi-cultural name that packs a lot of power in its single syllable.

Famous as the name of the boy enchanted by the fairy-tale Snow Queen, Kai was chosen for her son by actress Jennifer Connelly and as a middle name for son Samuel by Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber.

Kai is popular with Berries as both a first and middle name choice. Perhaps because of its international familiarity, Kai is popular in video games. Its most prominent namesake is Danish-born jazz trombonist Kai Winding.

Kai ranks in the US Top 1000 for girls, but is used more than 90 percent of the time for boys. Donald Trump, Jr. has a daughter named Kai Madison and Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik named their daughter Khai in 2020.

# 61 in the US

Kai Rank in US Top 1000

# 21 on Nameberry

Kai Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Kai Popularity

Famous People Named Kai

  • Kai RyssdalAmerican radio journalist
  • Kai LennoxAmerican actor
  • Kaistage name of Kim Jongin; dancer, singer, and rapper of South Korean boy band EXO
  • Kai Kamal Hueningbirth name of Hueningkai; rapper, dancer, and singer of South Korean boy group TXT
  • Kai WindingAmerican jazz musician
  • Kai ForbathAmerican football player
  • Kai OwenWelsh actor
  • Kai AlexanderAmerican actor
  • Kai CasterAmerican actor
  • Kai HaaskiviFinnish footballer
  • Kai BirdAmerican Pulitzer Prize winning author
  • Kai KazmirekGerman Olympic decathlon athlete
  • Kai ReusDutch professional cyclist
  • Kai HavertzGerman footballer
  • Kai SiegbahnSwedish Nobel prize winning physicist
  • Kai WelchAmerican musician
  • Kai Wachimusician and producer
  • Kai Herdlingprofessional soccer player MLS
  • Kai Hillebrandactor, model, and professional skateboarder
  • Kai NacuaNFL player
  • Kai ChapmanAmerican actor
  • Kai PflaumGerman TV personality and game show host
  • Kai HeeringsGerman professional footballer
  • Kai MathesdorfGerman DJ and musician
  • Kai OswaldGerman footballer who played in the Bundesliga for several clubs including Stuttgart
  • Kai KarraFrance , New Zealand born MMA fighter
  • Kai AsakuraJapanese MMA fighter
  • Kai Harvey (b. 1996)son of actress Danniella Westbrook and Brian Harvey
  • Kai Dugan (b. 1997)son of actress Jennifer Connolly and David Dugan
  • Kai Bowers (b. 1997)son of singer Dane Bowers of Another Level
  • Kai Rochester (b. 2000)son of Australian TV personality Ajay Rochester
  • Kai Miles Land (b. 2001)son of actors Sharon Leal and Bev Land
  • Kai Harper Steines (b. 2003)son of TV personality Mark Steines and Miss America Leanza Cornett
  • Kai Silver (b. 2005)son of actress Kerri Kenney,Silver
  • Kai David Singh Stenson (b. 2009)son of actress Parminder Nagra and James Stenson
  • Kai Wayne Rooney (b. 2009)son of footballer Wayne Rooney
  • Kai Robbenson of Footballer Arjen Robben
  • Kai Kaplan (b. 2009)son of TV personality Derek Kaplan of "Million Dollar Listing"
  • Kai Rei Goldin (b. 2010)son of actor Ricky Paull Goldin
  • Kai Allen (b. 2012)son of basketball player Lavoy Allen
  • Kai Turok (b. 2012)son of ice dancer Shae,Lynn Bourne and Bohadan Turok
  • Kai Kompany (b. 2013)son of footballer Vincent Kompany
  • Kai Horowitz (b. 2014)son of actress Brittany Ishibashi and Jeff Horowitz
  • Kai Yunda (b. 2016)son of TV personality Melody Mitchell and Lalo Yunda of "Black Ink Crew"
  • Samuel Kai Schreiber (b. 2008)son of actors Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts
  • Kai Lopes (b. 2018)son of Portuguese football player Eder Lopes and Belgium model Sanna Lopes (Ladera)

Kai in Pop Culture

  • Kai or Kaybrother of King Arthur
  • Kai or Kaycharacter in "The Snow Queen," by Hans Christian Andersen
  • Kai Ashecharacter on TV's NCIS: Red
  • KaiRed Ninja from "Ninjago"
  • Kai Fisher (Kairan)Chronicles of Syntax
  • Kaicharacter in the video game Ape Escape 3
  • Prince Kai (Kaito)character in the Lunar Chronicles book series
  • Kaicharacter in animated series The Legend of Korra
  • Malachai "Kai" Parkercharacter on TV's "The Vampire Diaries"
  • King Kaicharacter in Dragon Ball Z
  • Kai Mirokutailor and the person who started the Great Fire of Enbizaka in the Evillious Chronicles.
  • Kaia character in the manga 'Afterschool Charisma'
  • Kaicaptain of the Bladebreakers in the Japanese manga, "Beyblade"
  • Kai Proctorcharacter on TV show Banshee
  • Kai Andersoncharacter on TV show American Horror Story
  • Prince Kai von Grannzreichcharacter in anime/manga "The Royal Tutor"
  • Kaicharacter in Aphmau's YouTube series
  • Kaicharacter in the anime "Blood+"
  • Kaicharacter in the video game franchise "Harvest Moon"
  • Kairosfrom the Greek word meaning "the defining moment" or "the opportune moment"
  • Kaia Basque word meaning "pier of a harbor";
  • Means "strong" in Burmese; "triumph" in Chinese; "pier" in Estonian; "probably" in Finnish; "ocean" or "ocean water" in Hawaiian; "ocean" or "shell" or "recovery" or "restoration" in Japanese; "food" in Maori; "willow tree" in Navajo; "keeper of the keys" in Nordic languages; "loveable" in Swahili; "universe" in Urdushort for Kainat
  • Kai IslandsIndonesia

Kai in Nameberry Blog Posts