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Etymology 1[edit]

(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


Proper noun[edit]


  1. A female given name from Chinese.
  2. A branch of the Tai-Kadai language family, including Thai, Lao, Shan, and Zhuang.


Tai (plural Tais or Tai)

  1. A descendant of speakers of a common proto-Tai language, including subpopulations which no longer speak a Tai language.
    • 1901, Census of India:
      The Tais first appeared in history in Yunnan, and from thence they migrated into Upper Burma. The earliest swarms appear to have entered that tract about two thousand years ago, and were small in number.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Mandarin (Dài) Wade–Giles romanization: Tai⁴.

Proper noun[edit]


  1. Alternative form of Dai
    • 1979, Meishi Tsai, Contemporary Chinese Novels and Short Stories, 1949-1974: An Annotated Bibliography[1], Harvard University Press, →ISBN, →LCCN, →OCLC, page 142:
      Five short stories concern land reform, elections in the border region, and anti-Japanese activities:[...]
      e) “Feng-pao Tai-hsien-chʻeng” 風暴代縣城 (Storms in Tai County). A twenty-year-old anti-Japanese hero does not surrender even when he is captured and executed.
    • 1994 [145-86 B.C.], Ssu-ma Chʻien, William Nienhauser, editor, The Grand Scribe's Records[2], Indiana University Press, →ISBN, →OCLC, page 114:
      Kuang-wu 廣武 lay in the southwestern part of today's Tai County 代縣, Shansi; Wu and Lu, 93.3392n.
    • 2002, Ancient China and Its Enemies: The Rise of Nomadic Power in East Asian History[3], →OCLC, page 190:
      Kou-chu Mountains: today called Yen-men Mountains, a mountain range located to the southeast of Ma-yi, near present-day Tai county, in Shansi (Chung-kuo li-shih ti-t'u chi, 2:17-18, 3-10).

Etymology 3[edit]

From Mandarin (Dài) Wade–Giles romanization: Tai⁴, Cantonese: daai3.

Proper noun[edit]


  1. A surname.


  • According to the 2010 United States Census, Tai is the 7553rd most common surname in the United States, belonging to 4401 individuals. Tai is most common among Asian/Pacific Islander (86.18%) individuals.



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Proper noun[edit]


  1. Thailand