Boy Baby Name


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Quick Facts on Kai

  • Gender:
  • Boy
  • Origin:
  • German, Hawaiian, Nordic
  • Number of syllables:
  • 1
  • Ranking popularity:
  • 199
Simple meaning:
Ocean, the sea

Characteristics of Kai

  • Communicative
  • Creative
  • Optimistic
  • Popular
  • Social
  • Dramatic
  • Happy

Etymology & Historical Origin - 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.

Popularity of the 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.
Popularity of the Boy Name Kai
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Cultural References to the Baby Name - Kai

  • Literary Characters of the baby name Kai

    Literary Characters of the Baby Name Kai

    Kai We cannot find any significant literary characters with the first name Kai.

  • Popular Songs on Kai

    Popular Songs on Kai

    Kai - We cannot find any well-known or significantly popular songs featuring the name Kai.

  • Children's Books on the Baby Name Kai

    Children's Books on the Baby Name Kai

    Kai (Renata Provenzano) - A gift of beauty and inspiration from Hawaii's Ocean. Throughout the Hawaiian Islands, people honor a deep and ancient connection with kai — the ocean. In Hawaii the ocean's gifts of beauty and inspiration are everywhere — from the shorebreak lapping at our feet to coral reefs building new life offshore, from the time-proven tools of native healers to the honu, the green sea turtle, waving aloha with the splash of a flipper. In Kai: Ocean Wisdom from Hawaii author and ocean lover, Renata Provenzano, has gathered saltwater people from across the Islands — artists, healers, surfers, oceanographers, cultural practitioners and many others — each honoring the ocean as the primal source of creation, discovery, art, recreation, ecology and spirituality. Provenzano also contributes her own insights and thought-provoking questions: "What is our human relationship with the sea and what is our duty as human beings? Why do we feel so good after a dip in the ocean and how do our bodies benefit?" In the 120-page Kai, her observations are interwoven with contemporary quotes and traditional Hawaiian proverbs. Recommended for all ages.

    Kai Lung's Golden Hours (Ernest Bramah) - Like Scheherazade of The One Thousand and One Arabian Nights, Kai Lung relies upon his prowess as a storyteller to save his neck when he's accused of treason. His traditional tales — laced with thought-provoking aphorisms — will transport readers to a mandarin's court in ancient China. Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Kai the 'Opihi Gets the Point (Gail Omoto) - Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Kai Zu and the Orphan's Pyramid: A Cartoon Novel (Kamenn LeChiffe) - Kai's a foster child and he's turning eleven. Foster care ends at eleven. Now he must compete for a spot in an exclusive orphan boarding school. Hundreds enter the Orphan's Pyramid. Few reach the top. It's not so bad at first. He's given what every eleven-year-old boy wants: an endless supply of television, video games, and junk food. But the moment he finds a hidden message from the mysterious Barbeque Captain, he realizes there's more at stake than just school admission. As he moves up the Pyramid, the danger increases. A mutant squirrel, a chainsaw-wielding puppet, deadly chalupas, cyborg cockatoos, two man-size rabbits, one plus-size Queen, and several kabuki-masked middle managers are nothing compared to the shocking truth Kai learns in the end. Is this the solution to America's Foster Care Crisis? Recommended for ages young adult.

    Kai's Journey to Gold Mountain: An Angel Island Story (Katrina Saltonstall Currier) - Recommended for ages 9-12.

    Kai, The Honu Who Didn't Know He Was Brave (Mora Ebie) - Kai the Honu is afraid of everything he sees. He can’t even play hide-and-seek with his friends because his overactive imagination causes him to run away and ruin everyone’s fun. He thinks a long seaweed is a giant eel, mistakes a huge coral reef for a sea monster and confuses an old sunken boat for a shark. Just when he decides to stop being afraid, Kai is faced with his most challenging test of bravery. Using a bit of wit, quick thinking and courage, Kai is able to rescue his friends and himself from danger, becoming the bravest honu in the sea. Recommended for ages 4-8.

    Kai: A Mission for Her Village (Dawn C. gill Thomas) - When a famine hits the Yoruba village of Ife, in what is now Nigeria, Kai is selected by the king to go in search of help from the Yoruba in the North and travels great distances throughout her country and learns many things along the way. Recommended for ages 9-12.

  • Famous People Named Kai

    Famous People Named Kai

    Famous People Named Kai - Kai Ryssdal (radio personality); Kai Bird (journalist)

  • Children of Famous People Named Kai

    Children of Famous People Named Kai

    Famous People who Named their Child Kai - Sharon Leal (actress)

  • Historic Figures

    Kai - Boy Baby Name - Historic Figures

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

Personality of the Boy 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.

Variations of the Baby Name - Kai

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