Recorded as Kay and Kaye, this interesting surname is "British". It has at least five possible origins. Firstly, it may be occupational for either a key maker or a key-bearer, one who held such a civic or similar post in a royal or noble household. This is from the Olde English pre 7th century word "caeg" meaning key. Secondly, it may be of French origin, and a topographical name for someone who lived by a wharf or was employed on one. The derivation being from Old French word "kaye" meaning quay. Thirdly, it may be of Celtic origin, from the Welsh given name "Cai", or the Cornish "Key", a name borne by the boastful brother of the famous King Arthur. Fourthly, it may be of Old Norse origin from the word "ka" meaning a jackdaw, and hence used to describe someone who bore a fancied resemblance to the bird! Finally, it may be a nickname for a left-handed man, from the Danish term "kei" meaning left, which was borrowed in the 13th century into the dialects of Lancashire and Cheshire, and survived in this area until the 19th century. The surname recordings include Geoffrey Cai or Kai in the pipe rolls of Norfolk in the year 1197, whilst church records include the marriage of Robertus Kay to Lucia Barber on the February 4th 1557. A coat of arms granted to the Kay family has the balazon of a silver shield charged with two black bendlets. The crest is a goldfinch proper. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kay — ist: eine Variante des Vornamens Kai, siehe Kai (Vorname) ein US amerikanischer Gitarrenhersteller, siehe Kay Guitars eine andere Form des Namens für Cei fab Cynyr oder Keie, ein Ritter der Tafelrunde eine Kurzform von okay Kay ist der Name… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • kay — kay·an; kay·en·ta; mc·kay; twan·kay; kay; kay·ak; to·kay; kay·ak·er; …   English syllables

  • Kay — /kay/, n. 1. Sir, Arthurian Romance. the rude, boastful foster brother and seneschal of Arthur. 2. Ulysses Simpson /simp seuhn/, born 1917, U.S. composer. 3. a female or male given name: from a Greek word meaning rejoice. * * * (as used in… …   Universalium

  • Kay — Kay,   Alan, US amerik. Informatiker, *Springfield (Massachusetts, USA) 1940, nach Studium der Mathematik, Molekularbiologie und Elektrotechnik arbeitete Kay bei verschiedenen Forschungszentren und war 1972 1983 am Xerox PARC tätig. Nach einem… …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Kay — f, m English: 1 (f.) Pet form of any of the various female names beginning with the letter K (cf. DEE (SEE Dee) and JAY (SEE Jay)), most notably KATHERINE (SEE Katherine) and its variants. 2 (m.) Comp …   First names dictionary

  • Kay [1] — Kay, s. Kai …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Kay [2] — Kay, Dorf im Kreise Züllichau Schwiebus des Regierungsbezirks Frankfurt der preußischen Provinz Brandenburg, 400 Ew.; hier am 23. Juli 1759 Sieg der Russen unter Soltikow über die Preußen unter Wedell, s. Siebenjähriger Krieg …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Kay — Kay, Dorf bei Züllichau in der Mark Brandenburg, mit 660 Einw.; hier wurden 23. Juli 1759 die Preußen unter General v. Wedell mit einem Verluste von 8000 Mann durch die Russen unter Soltikow geschlagen. Vgl. Leeder, Die Schlacht von K. (Grünberg… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kay — Kay, Dorf im preuß. Reg. Bez. Frankfurt, (1900) 490 E.; hier 23. Juli 1759 Niederlage der Preußen unter Wedel durch die Russen unter Soltikow …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kay — fem. proper name, often a shortening of KATHERINE (Cf. Katherine). As a given name for girls, from 1890s in the U.S.; in the top 100 for girls born there 1936 1945 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Kay — vgl. 2Kai …   Die deutsche Rechtschreibung

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