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User-Submitted Photos of Kai
Popularity Over Time: How Many Boys Have Been Named Kai
This chart illustrates how many Boys were named Kai in the U.S. since 1880.
A few facts about the boy's name Kai:
Records indicate that 21,371 boys in the United States have been named Kai since 1880.
The greatest number of people were given this name in 2012, when 1,925 people in the U.S. were given the name Kai. Those people are now 6 years old.
So ... how do we know this stuff? Baby Names Hub identifies trends by analyzing vast amounts of data made available by the U.S. government and other public sources. This data, including social security statistics, provides detailed information on baby name popularity and trends in the United States.
Comments about the name Kai
Based on the comments submitted below
259 Positive Comments
"My 11 year old son?s name is Kai Dayne. I absolutely love it and could not picture him with a different name. It suits him perfectly and I have had nothing but positive reactions. He does get the Kay/Kia thing, but hat just reflects poorly on the people saying it (and not knowing how to read lol)." Aug. 2, 2018:
"My 10 year old son is named Carson Kai. When he was born my husband was not comfortable giving him Kai as his first name. He felt it was too unusual. We called our son Carson for the first 6 years of his life until one summer he decided Carson was too common of a name. It took a while to make the change but now everyone knows him as Kai. The funny thing was that he started wrestling at a new club and the coach told him he would have to be called "Little Kai" because they already had a Kai at the club!! We live in Illinois where traditional names are the norm. Now we have a friend who is adopting their second son from China and will be naming him Kai too. Our Kai truly embodies all of the meanings attributed to his name. It is nice that he was able to choose it and that it fits him so well." May. 25, 2014:
"I love the name Kai also. My boy is due in september. I've been calling him kai for months now. I get different reactions from people. Mostly positive. I've gone through baby name books by the dozen and it's by far the best name! I love it!" Aug. 6, 2012:
"Named my one and only Child, a Boy KAI!
Fell in love with the name years before I ever thought I would have a child. So when I became pregnant, and found out I was having a Boy..it was my Only choice. My son is now 3 1/2 and Fits him perfectly! He loves his name and everyone says it fits him! We call him KAI KAI (prior referred to him as BABYKAI) easy to spell and also chosen for the Hawaiian name meaning OCEAN....We sing to him and so many words to Rhyme Kai WITH ;)" Nov. 16, 2011:
"It's my grandson's name, and often authorities spell it wrongly - Kia is the fave misspelling - but that's orange squash!" Oct. 5, 2011:
"My second son's name is Jakai, but he often is called Kai by family and friends. I love the name, always have. It fits him well being that I recently discovered that Jakai means "He who troubleth" in Hebrew. He sure is a handful :) I thought that adding the "Ja" on Kai made it unique and able to use the name Kai at will being that I love it so much!" Sep. 20, 2011:
"I love the name and my husband and I are considering naming our first son Kai!" Sep. 8, 2011:
"Ok ..so I spelled my baby's name a little different, Khi...I can't find it anywhere, no meaning, nothing, but it is still pronounced Kai, I just thought that spelling reminded me to much of the girl cartoon Kai Lan...which by the way my friend named her little girl that before my son was born, so it didnt help ..I love the name either way!" Jun. 12, 2011:
"My son is called Kai and it is perfect. Big blue eyes, pisces. Love the name." Jun. 8, 2011:
"My husband comes from Scottish descent and we wanted to give our son a Celtic name, and Kai was just so right. I love how it means fire in Celtic and ocean in Hawaiian. I call him my little Ocean Fire" May. 25, 2011:
"My 15 month old Son's name is Kai and I will never regret naming him so! It took a long time for the name to grow on me, but my husband kept pushing it and now I absolutely love it! We have neighbors who no matter how many times have been corrected still believe his name is Kyle, which drives me nuts being such a cooler name than Kyle! I really love how strong of a name Kai is, and know that he'll be able to take it into adulthood with confidence!" May. 17, 2011:
"our 6 month old baby is called 'Kai' and we love it! When he was born we had wittled our list of names down to Tyler and Kai. My partner and eldest son Isaac chose Kai and I love it. Its a beautiful name and I love the fact no-one shortens it." Mar. 3, 2011:
"I named my week old baby Kai and picked the name while on our honeymoon in Hawaii where we conceived. We thought it would be neat to have a Hawaiian name. We were also pleased that there are Kai's in Finland (Scandinavia) also as my husband and I have Scandinavian background. It's a perfect name for our son and we've had many compliments on it." Feb. 17, 2011:
"i have friends that name their kids kai because they think it's neat." Jan. 8, 2011:
"My youngest son is named Kai and we love it. It suits him perfectly, reflects his dual heritage (American/Indian) and is contemporary, yet classic. He has been able to spell it for at least a year. Some people do misspell or mispronounce it as "Kia or Kay" but people do that to my name and it is Jennifer!" Nov. 8, 2010:
"My wife and I had been searching for boy names and couldn't agree on anything. I had been considering the name for a few weeks before I told my wife. She instantly fell in love with it. We have a daughter named Kirra and will soon have a son name Kai. Kirra and Kai..." Sep. 24, 2010:
"I named my son Kai and I think it suits him. I do run into people pronouncing it Kay or Kia but I attribute that to perhaps an individuals inability to read properly. When I first saw the name I knew how to read/say it so I dont get the confusion. People either hate it or love it but it suits my little one and I think it is unique!" Sep. 18, 2010:
"I love the name so we named our first son "KAI". It's a strong name and he won't be confused with the flavor of the day name.
'" Sep. 9, 2010:
"My middle name is Kai, but I've gotten used to using it everyday. In Mandarin Chinese, it means "Triumph" or "Success". The "arc de triumph" in Paris is called "Kai Shuen Chiao" or "Bridge of Triumph"" Sep. 7, 2010:
"My son's name is Kai, middle name James. I'd never seen teh German meaning before, but read it was Scottish for "fire" Hawaiian for "ocean" and Japanese for "seashell" (I think I got that right, but it might be switched for the Hawaiian and Japanese meanings)" Jul. 29, 2010:
"I am 5 months pregnant with my third child. I totally love the name Kai for a girl but i think i am going to put a super twist on it and name her Kai-Lee Lu Gessler i know sum people will confuse it as kylie when they hear it but i dont mind explaining it.I have to do something cool for her name since my other girl's name is Shilynn Aiyahna Gessler!!" Jul. 26, 2010:
"The Chinese meaning of Kai is triumphant or victorious. A great name that I hope my soon to be born son likes." Jul. 19, 2010:
"My sons name is Kai Oliver. I named him that because I love the ocean, turns out he is a pisces. Everyone spells it Kia and that's a cheap car! I hate that! He is everything the name means and suits him perfectly! I named him when I was 6 months pregnant and it stuck. Otherwise it would've been tater tot...." Jul. 4, 2010:
"My name is kai [which is cool] but it is anoying because everyone in the world spells it wrong [kia, ki, ky, aks how to spell it]." May. 29, 2010:
"My son is called Kai and he is 9. He has beautiful big blue eyes just like the haiwaiian meaning for his name ' ocean '. Myself and my family call him ' kai - bi ' ." May. 23, 2010:
"we love the name, my boy is 11 loves water and his names suits him to a tee, he is awesome and so his name. he was named after a swimmer and ironman in australia called kye hurst , but his spelling is kai." Apr. 23, 2010:
"my four year old daughter is also named KAI I think it is definitly unisex name because there are so many meanings I liked that it meant Ocean or Sea in hawaain since I had already determined Soleil which is french for sun would be her middle name. whenever we have a doctor or dentist appt she is almost always called KIA and I hate that but I expect it either that or they just call out her last name" Apr. 15, 2010:
"i hav a puupy staffy called kai.. luv the name and i think it suites him" Apr. 4, 2010:
"I love the name Kai. If i ever have a boy i will definitely use it." Mar. 30, 2010:
"I have a 2yr old son and his name is Kai. I love his name. My daughter's name is Kyla and I love her name also. I tried to give my kids names that wouldn't be hard for people to pronounce and that didn't work. He is often called Kia and she's often called Kayla. I think it's just the laziness of people to not even try to sound out the letters. I always liked the name Kai before having my son but I was not sure about using it for a boy. I knew it was to be his name through prayer and confirmation. We call him King Kai because he is in charge. We love our Kai........." Feb. 7, 2010:
"I called my son Kai, he is 11 now, its a great name and sounds very powerful when called out in a list of names - it means peaceful ocean in hawaiian, it means powerful leader in german, it means keeper of the keys;earth in welsh, it means chicken in Thai, it means food in new zealand, beautiful in south african, to change ones behavor to be more effective in japanese (as well as ocean) and my favourite is that it means willow tree in navajo indian... my son is great and it is a great name!!" Feb. 4, 2010:
"Its a unisex name. I love it. Well maybe thats just me cause my names Kai, & I'm a girl :)
But i've met another girl w/ the name Kai before.
never a boy, but its meant for both genders." Jan. 29, 2010:
"My little boy's name is Kai Edward (if you were to ask him what his name is he would say, "Kai Kai"),he's 3 now and at the time when we named him I had never heard the name, I liked its originality. I do however hear it more often infact my boyfriends cousin just named her little boy Kai Edward...I know its a little wierd but hey its just a name lol...but usually when I her someone use the name its short for something like malachi, kyle, or cairo...either way it's still an awesome name ;)" Jan. 8, 2010:
"My son's name is Kai(he's 3) and we ever often lengthen his name to include his middle name Noah as well. We were very 'sea' themed at the time. The only problem I have with the name Kai is that some people assume it is short for Kyle." Jan. 1, 2010:
"My son's name is Kai Patrick. He is a year and a half now. I LOVE his name and its the only name my husband and I would agree on. (Patrick after my husbands first name). My husband is Filipino and I am Italian and Irish so he is a beautiful mix of nationalities. I wanted a name that was fitting for his Filipino side but not too different and weird. I found it on coolnames.com. It said it was Hawaiian and meant the Ocean or Sea... We get mixed reactions. Most love it but some people give us weird looks...oh well. Everyone definitely says it wrong...people always spell it Kia and pronounce it like the car brand. I prefer uncommon names and I never heard this name when I named my son. My daughter is Mackenzie which we call Kenzie and it was also an uncommon name back in 2001 when I named her. Its a little more common now." Dec. 22, 2009:
"My name is Kai Hannah and i am a 18 year old female from Australia i love my name my mum named me Kai after the youngest daughter in the 1st version of 'The king and I' alot of people when they 1st read my name think its 'Kia' or 'Kay' i also get the 'hi Kai' 'bye Kai' jokes i also get alot of people telling me it means food in New Zealand i just tell them it means alot of things in alot of languages, i have never met another girl named Kai but i have met a few guys with the name" Nov. 27, 2009:
"I think that the name Kai is a very cool name because it is my little 7 year old brothers name. Although he is a little brat and does not get in trouble for everything he is still my little brother and Ilove him as he is (A BRAT)." Nov. 2, 2009:
"It is a cool name that someone can be proud of at any age. If our baby turns out to be a boy that will be his name. It is the one name my husband and I agreed on!" Oct. 25, 2009:
"Great name! Has many different meanings in a number of languages" Sep. 2, 2009:
"We are Chinese and we named our younger son Kai. The reason we gave him this name was because his Chinese name is "Kai-Ming". We absolutely love the name because it sounds cool and is different. It means "Happiness" in Chinese. We were actually surprised that there were other people (Caucasians)named "Kai" in our area, and it seems to be getting more popular, which my wife doesn't like." Aug. 25, 2009:
"I named my son Kai Alexander as well and I get nothing but compliments on the name. It's funny, most people who are introduced to Kai the first time happen to know another Kai. It didn't seem very popular when my husband and I chose it, but it seems many people know at least 1 Kai from somewhere." Aug. 5, 2009:
"This is my sons name, and i still love it just as much now! despite callin it out a million times a day lol...never get bored of it...we have some people spellin it wrong in cards or callin him Kay or Kyle, but i always correct them! If he had of been a girl he would have been Kaiya." Aug. 1, 2009:
"I love the name Kai.. I think that it is different, and I haven't met anyone with this name... I am 8 months pregnant, and am thinking of name my son Rowan Kai.
What do you all think of this name?
Just curious." Jul. 22, 2009:
"my name is Kai Daniel my mom tells me that my dad saw it titling a jewlery store in nyc so he made it my first and middle name" Jul. 20, 2009:
"Kai's a unisex name, so it suits either boy or girl. There is a specifically male spelling- Kye.. i do think it's rather cute too" Jul. 9, 2009:
"I like this name for a guy. I'm a girl but my parents were gonna name me Kai if I was a boy. It's really cute :)" Jun. 26, 2009:
"Kai seems like such a powerful name. Almost like a king's name. When I first heard that name, I imagined someone who's tall, muscular, highly intelligent, & extremely good looking! A real manly man. LOL! I'm surpised that so many girls have that name. Still, when I have my son, I will name him Kai William (William after my dad's name)." Jun. 6, 2009:
"My name is Kai and I'm 10 years old. It is awesome and I've only met one person with my name and it was a boy. Only his name was spelled Kye. Sometimes people call me Kia...I hate that." May. 25, 2009:
"I really like the name Kai. Honestly, I think it's a unisex name because I like it for a girl too. I have a friend and her name is Kai." Apr. 16, 2009:
"I love this name, but, unfortunately, it translates to "fall" in Spanish. My family is Cuban. It's a shame." Mar. 19, 2009:
"My name is Kai Edmund Mayne, born 1950. Mom said there was a band leader that traveled the midwest in the late 40's. Probably Kai Winding. Saw him on the old Mike Douglas talk show in the mid to late 60's. I have loved the name and passed it on to my son, Kai Juston Mayne. In my many years, I have only met two Kai's. One a Canadian man of European birth and a Canadian woman of Aisian decent who pronounced it Kay. I have read about a couple others and know people who know people etc. Hope my Son has a boy and continues the name. Talked to a guy who named his Son, Kai and said there was a Scandanavian community in Wisconsin he was from that had many Kai's living there." Feb. 24, 2009:
"i love the name Kai but my older sons name is Jai! lol so my son to bes middle name will be kai. i love the name! his first name will be saber which means sword, so he will either be an ocean sword or a fire sword, depending which meaning you use :)" Feb. 24, 2009:
"Kai is my sons name. His Middle name is Xavier. I love this name, it is unique and interesting. It will also be easy for him to spell when he learns to write his name. My husband and I couldn't have picked a better name." Feb. 13, 2009:
"Our 3yo son is Kai Johann, after a German relative and another German friend. We love the name and so far, we've heard only compliments on it. The only confusion has been from one person who thought it might be short for Kyle." Jan. 6, 2009:
"My son is Kai and i love it! It means Ocean which i think is cool and his middle name is nixon brandon, nixon cos his dad is nick and hes his son (nickson)and brandon afta his older brother who sadly couldnt stay. :(" Jan. 6, 2009:
"From very early on in my pregnancy I knew my son (or daughter) would be named Kai. He has an older brother named Aidan Raine (Aidan meaning 'little fiery one' and Raine for water obviously... Kai means the ocean or the sea in Hawaiian and I have heard it also means 'fire' in Welsh I believe... friends and family have either loved it or really disliked it but he's already a Kai to me... his middle name is Hendrik (after my mother who passed from Holland named Hendrikje)" Jan. 2, 2009:
"Our 2 year old son's name is Kai.
It means 'Ocean' in Japanese as well as in Hawaiian which is appropriate for my son since he is half Japanese and my husband and I were married in Hawaii. I also like the fact that it's simple and easy for people to remember." Dec. 14, 2008:
"My son's name is Kai Harlen Richard...middle names after his grandpa's. He is almost 5 and everyone I know loves the name. His baby sister's name is Kenzi. I personally think the name "Kai" is very masculine and bold. People rarely miss pronounce his name. If Kai had been a girl..I was going to name him/her Kylee." Dec. 7, 2008:
"i gave my son the name kai alexander,he is seven months old now and i have very differnt reactions to the name. people sometimes mispronounce it but i live in tn so i expect them to lol i had never heard the name b4 i gave it 2 my son and since then i have heard it a few times. i hope it doesn't become too popular because it's uniquness is what i love." Nov. 15, 2008:
"I found the name Kai in a baby book when I was 2 months pregnant. We settled on that and never even entertained the idea of a different name. Our daughter is named Kai-Lynn Ranae and people just adore the name Kai. Although we have only came across boys with the name so far." Nov. 2, 2008:
"This is an amazing name. We decided to name our boy Kai - he is due to be born this November. We found out that the name Kai means:ıoceanı in Hawaiian, ıwillow treeı in Navajo Indian, ıkeeper of the keysı in Scotland and Wales, ıvictoriousı ıtriumphantı or ıhappyı in Chinese, ırejoiceı - Scandinavian, ılovableı in Ghana, ıbeautifulı in South Africa, ıfireı in Ireland, ıfoodı - New Zealand Maori, ıleaderı and ıoceanı in Japanese, ıyoungı in Latin and ıwarriorı in German! We decided after hearing it and finding out it meant ocean first of all - the other meanings are a nice surprise!" Oct. 13, 2008:
"My 7 year old son's name is Kai and he is such a "Kai". People really respond to the name and we get tons of positive comments. It fits him so well, strong, straight forward...but unique!" Oct. 1, 2008:
"My 7 month old son is Kai William. I have a cousin named Ky too. We prefered the original spelling of the name. Everyone we know loves the name. However, I didn't realize when I named him Kai that so many girls had the name too." Sep. 11, 2008:
"My 7 month old son is Kai William. I have a cousin named Ky too. We prefered the original spelling of the name. Everyone we know loves the name. However, I didn't realize when I named him Kai that so many girls had the name too." Sep. 11, 2008:
"My son's name is Kairos Haisten and he is called Kai. Most people think it is a wonderful name. Alot of older,conventional type people don't seem to get it, they call him "ty" or "kyle". Kairos means "God's special moment" which he is." Aug. 30, 2008:
"We are naming our son Kai when he is born in 3 weeks. I was wondering if anyone has trouble with their son getting called Kay or anything else that can be confusing for people. We really like this name and don't want it to be a burden for him because people just can't get it right." Aug. 26, 2008:
"I want to name my baby boy Kai...i found it on a native american name site.. It said it was a female name meaning willow tree. But i still want to use it for my little boy. I love it and no other name feels right." Aug. 25, 2008:
"This name came to me. I have been calling my future son Kai since probably the third month of pregnancy. I had planned to name my daughter the same, if my budding baby was a girl. I have had difficulty arriving at a middle name and have focused upon a middle name beginning with a "J." I like all the multiple meanings and origins of the name. My other choices were Khalil and Caleb. I am a teacher and am exposed to a variety of student names." Aug. 15, 2008:
"My son Kai is 1.... my wife and I love this name. Some people can get hung up on it only being an Asian name but they simply don't get it. The name goes back a long way. Look Up The Pharaoh Kufu's high priest.... you guessed it. His name was Kai. Regardless it is becoming wildly popular is Ireland and gaining steam in the US." Aug. 6, 2008:
"My name is Kai and I thing it's a rough and straight name. It's very unique so it fits perfect to my individual style ;-)" Jul. 31, 2008:
"I've given birth to a beautiful baby boy who is 2 weeks old now and we've given him the name Kai hich I came across in a magazine so far everyone loves it and we don't no anyone with this name,it dosen't seem to be common in Ireland I hope my son will love it too as much as we love him." Jul. 30, 2008:
"My new baby newphew just named Kai Miller Jones he is gorgeous and so is the name" Jul. 27, 2008:
"We are about to call our little boy Kai. He is due in 6 weeks and as soon as I heard it early in the pregnancy we knew it was perfect. We're from Australia and there aren't many little dudes called Kai here. Its a strong and unique name and we are looking forward to meeting him!" Jul. 16, 2008:
"My son's name :-) It is so lovely! A strong and beautifully sounding name! It is short, clear, easy to pronounce in any language. It has so many and only positive meanings. The name Kai is also historical. Caius, from where Kai originates, was a very common name in the Roman Empire. Famous bearers were Caius Julius Caesar, Pope Caius (283-296), etc.
The name Kai could sound historic but also very modern, charming and masculine. What a smart and original name! Kai is the name of the boy in the "Snow Queen" fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.
Some celebrities have kids or grandkids named Kai - Jennifer Connely, Cindy Crawford, Donald Trump, etc." Jul. 15, 2008:
"whats the meaning of it in japanese im getting a yorkie hopefully if its a male i m going to name him kai or if its a girl the name will be saya!!!" Jul. 1, 2008:
"Everyone things my sons name is Kia like the car not Kai. I love the name and wouldn't change it for the world." Jun. 23, 2008:
"My new little grandson is called Kai Christopher and i just love the name Kai and the meaning, beautiful name!" Jun. 20, 2008:
"I love the name Kai! We named our third son Kai and we get one of two things. Blank stares. Those are usually the folks that I would never take advice from to begin with ;) and then there are surprised looks and many compliments at what a strong nice name it is. I think it is a creative name that carries with it so many positive attributes, especially as a male name, especially strength." Jun. 5, 2008:
"i just name my son born 3/3008 kai b4 i named him this i had never heard the name since then i am hearing it..maybe i just pay more attention now.. but i still love the name unique w/out being out there" May. 23, 2008:
"my name is kai russell, and people always get my name wrong, but my name is a reflection of who i am, so people can call me what they wish, i know who i am." May. 12, 2008:
"I named my son Kai after meeting someone in college (casual aquaintance) who had that name. I just loved the name and meaning behind it so when I knew I was having a boy, there was no question I would name him that! It's been mispronounced a few times, but I know my son won't mind. His personality matches his name. Ever since he was born 2 years ago, we call him Kai Kai." May. 7, 2008:
"I was born in 1976 in Germany and I am very happy that my parents gave me the name Kai (k-eye). It is a fairly common name in Germany. I love it and always had a very positive response regarding it. I was told that it's origin is Northern Europe but since I live in Canada I realized that it is also common in Hawaii as well as China. The last name of a friend of mine is Kai and he is Chinese. People that say it does not sound like a real name need to know that this name goes back as far as the time of the Viking Age (700 to 1100)."