What does Kai mean?
According to the Kai Wiki:
- In Hawaiian, Kai means ocean or great water.
- In Latin, Kai is rooted in the word Gaius, which means earth.
- In Welsh and Scottish, Kai means "Keeper of the Keys", after Sir Kay, from King Aurthur's Knights of the Round Table
- In Persian, Kai is an epithet meaning King, i.e., Kai Kavus. So Kai Alexander could be interpretted (although this was the not the intent) as King Alexander.
- In the Maori language, kai means "food", such a fitting term given how much he eats!
We chose the name Kai initially for the Hawaiian translation but then also due to the fact that in both of Kai's cultures, Western and Asian, Kai is pronouncable and has positive meanings.
How do you pronounce Kai?
We pronounce Kai like "Kie", "Kye", "Ki" (think Thailand, or Thai for short).
- In Cantonese Kai would be pronounced more like "Guy" (much like kung fu is pronounced more like gung foo).
- The Welsh and Scottish would pronounce Kai like "Kay".
An alternate spelling for Kai is "Ky" but we didn't want him to be the butt of all the jokes related to the lubricant "KY Jelly"!
Kai's other Names
As with many people, Kai has more than one given name, in this case, Kai has two (well three) given names. His first name is Kai, his second name is Alexander, and his third is his mother's maiden name. The resulting name may be long but there was a reason for this. We couldn't decide on a single name for Kai. We liked Kai and Alexander equally well and loved the meanings for each of the names... so what could we do? Well we decided to give him both names, resulting in Kai Alexander. But now we had a dilemma, how do we keep his Asian heritage without giving him two names, a Chinese name and a Western name? To resolve this we added his mother's maiden name to his list of names (now his third name).
- Kai's initials are KACK, we had to be careful with this combination as we didn't want his initials to result in rude or derogatory words on their own, imagine if we had named him "Donald Ian" or something worse!
- Kai does not officially (yet) have a Chinese name, since Kai also has positive meanings in Chinese (although an official variation of the word's phonetic sounding has not been decided yet -- we'll post it here when it is). Updated: Although not official, Kerr Kai is an option that has been presented, taking the root of his last name but shortening it to a single syllable.
- Kai's family name is the same as his father's family name.
- Kai will be known as Kai, unless his parents are scolding him or trying to get his attention amongst a large group of Kais and then he will be known by his full name, Kai Alexander, or his entire name if there is still confusion or doubt.
- Kai's Nicknames: Kaiser, Bug, Ener-Kai-ser Bunny (because he just keeps going and going), Shau Kai (little master).