Gender: Male Pronunciation: kye Meaning of Kai: "sea" Origin of Kai: Hawaiian Kai's Popularity in 2018: #113

Kai Origin and Meaning

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

Kai has many origins, but in the US is most commonly referred to as being of Japanese and Hawaiian derivation, meaning “sea.” In Europe, Kai is largely considered to have Frisian origin as a diminutive of the name Kaimbe, meaning “warrior.” Kai is also found as an independent name in African, Chinese, Maori, Turkish, Native American cultures.

Kai is a strong, evocative, exotic multi-cultural name—meaning "sea" in Hawaiian, "forgiveness" in Japanese, "willow tree" in Navajo, and "food" in Maori—that packs a lot of power in its single syllable.

Famous as 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. Its most prominent namesake is Danish-born jazz trombonist Kai Winding, and it is popular in computer games.

Kai is occasionally given to girls; Donald Trump, Jr. has a daughter named Kai Madison.

16 names similar to Kai

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Kai. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Kai, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

Find other names based on Kai using our baby name generator.


Rank in US: #113

- this week

Famous People Named Kai

Pop Culture References for the name Kai

Kye, Kaj

Kai's International Variations

Kája, Kájin, Kája, Kájin (Czech)


fearlessfirefly Says:


I love the combo Lucian Kai.

sannahub Says:


Kai is a Scandinavian name, it means “to rejoice”

Gojii Says:


I love how this site loves to have Japanese meanings. It doesn't work like that with Japanese. It all depends on the kanji being used. You can have twenty people named Yuki, but every single Yuki will mean something different depending on the kanji combination.

TechnoKitten Says:


Short and cute!

autumnreverie Says:


Cai is not the "more feminine version." Cai is a masculine name. I do agree that Kai is better than Cai, though.

Wilhelmina578 Says:


Kai is such a strong and handsome name! I love it!

heathergrey Says:


'Kai' has always rung feminine to me, and it would be really weird to meet a grown man named this. It kind of sounds like a nickname anyway, more like something you'd name a dog than a person.

Soruru Says:


Kai can mean "sea" in Japanese, too. It depends on the kanji...

Teresa Stidham Says:


We love(d) this name. This is my 11 yr old son's middle name and his Dad occasionally calls him by his middle name.

Sharon Says:


I am in love with this name!

Zelliew Says:


Kai is a great name

rainierloner Says:


Kai is one of my favorite names for a boy. To me, it would be a perfect middle name as I see it being to short for a first name. Cai is the more feminine version, but Kai overall is the best.