First Name
in the U.S.
since 1880
Last Name
in the U.S.
in 2010
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How to Pronounce Lai

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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Lai mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Lai

User Submitted Meanings

  • A submission from United Kingdom says the name Lai means "To trust" and is of Chinese origin.
  • A user from South Africa says the name Lai is of Unknown origin and means "Future".
Other origins: Vietnamese

Submit the origin and/or meaning of Lai to us below


From Middle English lai, lay, from Old French lai (“song, lyric, poem”), from Old Frankish *laik, *laih (“play, melody, song”), from Proto-Germanic *laikaz, *laikiz (“jump, play, dance, hymn”), from Proto-Indo-European *loig-, *(e)laiǵ- (“to jump, spring, play”). Akin to Old High German leih (“a play, skit, melody, song”), Middle High German leich (“piece of music, epic song played on a harp”), Gothic 𐌻𐌰𐌹𐌺𐍃 (laiks, “a dance”), Old English lācan (“to move quickly, fence, sing”). More at lake.

  1. (historical) A mostly North European form of medieval song, with stanzas that do not repeat.

lai was also found in the following language(s): Aromanian, Estonian, French, Istriot, Latvian, Lojban, Mandarin, Maroon Spirit Language, Old French, Romanian, Romansch, Welsh, and Zhuang

Notable Persons Named Lai

Lai Changxing is a businessman and smuggler. Lai was born on September 15th, 1958 in Jinjiang, Fujian, China.


Lai Lok-yi is an actor. He was most prominent from 2003 to present. Lai was born on June 15th, 1980 in Hong Kong. Lai is also known as Chris Lai.


Lai was born in Singapore.


Lai was given the name Hoang A Nhac in 1901 in Provinces of Vietnam. Lai is also known as Lai Tek, Loi Tak, Lee Soong, Wong Kim Geok, Chang Hung, and Mr. Wright. He left this life in 1947.


Lai Man-Wai is an artist.


Lai Ying Tong is a cantopop songwriter, arrangement, performing arts, and music education. She plays Musical keyboard. She was most prominent from 2008 to present. Lai was born in Hong Kong. Lai is also known as Siu Tung (小彤).


Notable Persons With the Last Name Lai

Leon Lai is a cantopop and mandopop actor. He holds the title Sugar in the Marmalade. He was most prominent from 1985 to present.


Megan Lai is an actor, model (people), and singing. Her ongoing career started in 2000. Megan is also known as Lai Ya-yan.


He was most prominent from 1986 to present. Wayne was born on May 4th, 1964.


Francis Lai is a film score and film score composer. Francis was given the name Francis Albert Lai on April 26th, 1932 in Nice.


Gigi Lai is a cantopop actor. She was most prominent from 1985 to 2008.


Liow Tiong Lai is a Minister of Health, President of Malaysian Chinese Association, Minister of Transport, President ofMalaysian Chinese Association, and Ministry of Transport (Malaysia). He was most prominent from 2014 to 2013. Liow was born on October 13th, 1961 in Merlimau, Melaka,.


Where is the name Lai popular?

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Popularity of Lai as a last name

The map shows the absolute popularity of the name Lai as a last name in each of the states. See other popular names in California, New York, or Hawaii.

Common last names for Lai

  • Wong
  • Lee
  • Chan
  • Nguyen
  • Yee
  • Tran
  • Ng
  • Leung
  • Chin
  • Le
  • Chow
  • Woo
  • Ho

Common first names for Lai

Ethnicity Distribution

Ethnicity Lai U.S.
  White 3.48% 64.26%
  African American 0.31% 11.96%
  Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander 91.72% 4.85%
  American Indian and Alaska Native 0.04% 0.69%
  Two or More Ethnicities 3.24% 1.76%
  Hispanic or Latino 1.22% 16.26%

Of Last Name Lai

People with the last name Lai are most frequently Asian, Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander

Entire United States

Fun Facts about the name Lai

  • How Popular is the name Lai? Lai is the 23,611th most popular name of all time. As a last name Lai was the 1,873rd most popular name in 2010.
  • How many people with the first name Lai have been born in the United States? From 1880 to 2017, the Social Security Administration has recorded 257 babies born with the first name Lai in the United States. That's more than enough people named Lai to occupy the territory of Pitcairn Islands (United Kingdom) with an estimated population of 66 (as of July 1, 2008).
  • What year were 5 or more babies first named Lai? The name was first given to 5 or more babies in the year 1953 when it was given as a first name to 5 new born babies.
  • When was Lai first recorded in the United States? The oldest recorded birth by the Social Security Administration for the first name Lai is Sunday, October 24th, 1875.
  • What year had the most people named Lai born? The highest recorded use of the first name Lai was in 1984 with a total of 17 babies.
  • Random Lai Factoid: According to the 1996 U.S. Social Security Administration data, the first name Lai is not a popular baby girl's name in California. Imagine that, only 5 babies in California have the same name as you in 1996.
  • Weird things about the name Lai: Your name in reverse order is Ial. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Lai. How do you pronounce that?
  • How many people have the last name Lai? In 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau surveyed 19,157 people with the last name Lai.
  • How likely are you to meet someone with the last name of Lai? If you manage to meet 100,000 people in your life, chances are that 6 of them will have Lai as their last name.

What Lais Have Visited This Page?

Name poster for Lai

Name poster for Lai(click to save the high quality version)

Most Popular Names

All Name Lists

  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • U.S. Social Security Administration: Popular Baby Names, Death Master File (public domain).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.
  • Notable persons via Wikipedia: Titles and License. Click each image for the attribution information.