Shai.jpgOrigin: Hebrew שַׁי
Meaning: “gift”
Gender: masculine

The name comes directly from the Hebrew word for “gift,” but is often used as a diminutive form of Isaiah (Hebrew Yeshayah/Yeshaiah). Sometimes the name is transliterated as Shay. In recent years, the name has occasionally been given to females.

Alternately, in Egyptian mythology, Shai was the name of the personification of fate. Shai was a sort of deity who was believed to decide the span of man’s life at birth and is one of the dieties present upon judgment of the deceased’s soul.



Gender: Masculine
Origin: Hebrew
Meaning: “Yahweh is salvation.”
Eng (i-ZAY-ah)

The name is derived from the Hebrew יְשַׁעְיָהוּ (Yesha’yahu), meaning, “Yahweh is Salvation.”

In the Old Testament, it was borne by a prophet, he is considered a major and extremely important prophet among Jews and Christians. Among Jews, his prophecies are mostly interpreted to describe the coming destruction of Jerusalem, while among Christians, his prophecies are believed to foretell the coming of Christ.

The name was always prevalent among Jews and Eastern Orthodox Christians, among Western Christians, the name did not catch on until after the Protestant Reformation.

Currently, Isaiah is the 42nd most popular male name in the United States, (2008) and he is the 84th most popular in Canada, B.C., (2008).

Other forms of the name include:

  • Ash’iyā’ أشعیاء(Arabic)
  • Zaia ܙܝܥܐ (Aramaic/Assyrian/Syriac)
  • Isaiah Ісайя Иса́ия (Belarusian/Russian/Serbian/Ukrainian)
  • Isaïes (Catalan)
  • Izaija (Croatian)
  • Izaiáš/Izajáš (Czech/Slovak)
  • Esajas (Danish)
  • Jesaja (Danish/Dutch/German/Finnish/Latvian/Norwegian/Swedish)
  • Esa (Finnish)
  • Isaïe/Ésaïe (French)
  • Isaie (Fruilian)
  • Esaias Ἠσαΐας (Greek: Biblical)
  • Ikaia (Hawaiian)
  • Yəšaʿyáhu יְשַׁעְיָהוּ (Hebrew: Modern)
  • Ézsaiás/Isaiás (Hungarian)
  • Yesaya (Indonesian)
  • Isaia (Italian/Romanian)
  • Yésaya (Javanese)
  • Isaya (Kiswahili)
  • Izaijas/Ješajas (Lithuanian)
  • Izajasz (Polish)
  • Isaías (Portuguese/Spanish)
  • Isay Исай (Russian)
  • Eseia (Welsh)

In the Orthodox Church, the name-day is May 9.