What do you think of the name Shai? — The Bump
Baby Names

What do you think of the name Shai?

Just wondering what you think of the name Shai.  It is pronounced like the word "shy."  It is a Hebrew name and it means "gift," which I think is a lovely meaning for a name.  DH and I are Jewish and would like to choose a Hebrew name, and we both love this name.  It is unusual but easily pronounceable and I think it has kind of a cool sound to it.  I know that some people will hate it because it sounds like the English word shy, but I was wondering if any of you like it anyway.  I welcome all opinions, positive or negative. 

 Also - if you don't like it as a first name, do you like it as a middle name?  Thanks ladies.

ETA:  I forgot to say that this name is for a boy.

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Re: What do you think of the name Shai?

  • I know someone in her 30s named Shailyn.  Pronounced Shy-leen.

    But everyone calls her Shai. 

    No one has ever really said anything weird to her about her name that I know up.  Worst mispronunciation has been shy-lynn.  and she didn't care about that.  

  • I always assume people with Hebrew names are Israeli.  I think most people do.  My dad has a Hebrew name and people are always asking him if he's Israeli, which he's not.  So as long as you don't think that would annoy your ds, I think it is a nice name.

    FWIW I went to HS with a kid name "Ishai" (he was Israeli) and he went by Jess, which I guess is an Anglicization of the name? So he didn't like the Hebrew version of his name.

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  • imagejuniper19:

    I always assume people with Hebrew names are Israeli.  I think most people do.  My dad has a Hebrew name and people are always asking him if he's Israeli, which he's not.  So as long as you don't think that would annoy your ds, I think it is a nice name.

    FWIW I went to HS with a kid name "Ishai" (he was Israeli) and he went by Jess, which I guess is an Anglicization of the name? So he didn't like the Hebrew version of his name.

     Hmm, the Israeli thing is something to consider, although with our last name it's unlikely that anyone would think we're Israeli, once they knew the last name at least.  I generally like Hebrew names that are not quite as unusual in the U.S., like Shira, Talia, Lev, Asher, etc.

    And you're right, Jesse is the English version of the name Yishai.  If you look in the Bible any time the name Jesse shows up in the English translation, it is Yishai in the Hebrew.  

    Married to DH since 6/30/2007
    Me: 32  DH: 32
    BFP #1: 4/1/2010 DS born: 12/3/10
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    BFP #3: 10/21/14 EDD: 7/6/15  11/24/14:  Saw heartbeat! 
    Missed Miscarriage discovered 12/22/14 at 12w0d D&C 12/23/14 Pathology: Partial Molar Pregnancy/Triploidy
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  • JDOJDO member
    The only dislike I have about it is that it sounds feminine to me, but that is only because I know a teenage girl named Shai'Anne (pronounced like Cheyenne) who sometimes goes by just Shai. It's not a common name though, so I'm sure most wouldn't associate the name with being feminine like I do.

  • I like the name Shai, makes me think of the actor Shia LeBouef (sp?)

     

  • Sorry, I don't care for it. Especially for a boy.

    I was going to suggest Shea, if you like that, but for a girl.

    If you like the meaning, I think Nathaniel also means "gift" but do look that up in case I am wrong. 

     

  • I think Shai could work for a girl; for one thing I pronounced it right, and I usually suck at that (2 in a row, I'm on a roll!), but when I saw that it was for a boy, I don't think it would be a good idea. It's soft and feminine sounding which I think would cause problems. Unless your boy would be able to see how wonderful his name is without going through being teased for being 'Shy', then I would middle name it.

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  • I actually like the name itself, and I like that it has meaning for you. It does strike me as pretty feminine, though. I have a friend named Shyla who goes by Shy.
  • I like the name Shai. I know so many guys my age named Shai and they are all Israeli. One of them goes by Sean sometimes, but most people call him Shai. I would also, like pp said, assume you were Israeli. I love Hebrew names, but I'm not Israeli and it would seem strange to name my child a Hebrew name. That being said, if LO is a boy we are going with Ethan and I will probably call him Eitan a lot.  I like to have options ;)
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  • I think it sounds way to girly for a boy...if you like the meaning I would research a little more and maybe you will find another name with the same meaning that isnt so feminine...but at the end of the day it is your descision.
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  • image*justducky*:
    imagejuniper19:

    I always assume people with Hebrew names are Israeli.  I think most people do.  My dad has a Hebrew name and people are always asking him if he's Israeli, which he's not.  So as long as you don't think that would annoy your ds, I think it is a nice name.

    FWIW I went to HS with a kid name "Ishai" (he was Israeli) and he went by Jess, which I guess is an Anglicization of the name? So he didn't like the Hebrew version of his name.

     Hmm, the Israeli thing is something to consider, although with our last name it's unlikely that anyone would think we're Israeli, once they knew the last name at least.  I generally like Hebrew names that are not quite as unusual in the U.S., like Shira, Talia, Lev, Asher, etc.

    And you're right, Jesse is the English version of the name Yishai.  If you look in the Bible any time the name Jesse shows up in the English translation, it is Yishai in the Hebrew.  

    I wonder if the Israeli association is regional? Juniper19 is in NYC, which has a large Israeli community and is known for being multicultural. Here, where we have a small Jewish and even smaller Israeli population, and also in Chicago, where there are fairly large numbers of both, I doubt the same perception would apply. If I hear a Hebrew name, I automatically assume that the family is Jewish, but I wouldn't immediately assume they were Israeli, especially with an Anglicized surname.

    I also have to add that most Americans wouldn't know a Hebrew name from a hole in the ground, honestly. Like the "Acelyn" post below yours--I would bet money that they mother of that child has absolutely no idea there is a legitimate Irish name Aislinn that she could have used without making her and her child appear ignorant. So if the average American hears the name Shai, he/she isn't going to think, 'I wonder if he's from Israel,' he's going to think, 'hmm, that's an interesting name.'

    As to the original question, I like Shai. When I saw the post title, I thought you were trying to misspell Shae, but I'm very glad to see you're not. I think its a very nice name, easy to pronounce and spell, and I really see no reason why you shouldn't use it.

    As

  • I think it's nice, although i agree it is kind of feminine sounding.  However, I love the meaning and the fact that you're looking for a Hebrew name.  I would go for it as a first or middle name. 
  • imagestrangebird:

    I also have to add that most Americans wouldn't know a Hebrew name from a hole in the ground, honestly.

    Hahahaha....this! (myself included)

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