(Hebrew: חַיִּים Ḥayyīm
, Classical Hebrew:, Israeli Hebrew: ), also transcribed Haim, Hayim, Chayim, Chaim
(English pronunciations: HYM
) is a name of Hebrew origin; it comes from a word meaning "life". Its first usage can be traced to Middle Ages. It is a popular name among Jewish people. The feminine form for this name is Chaya
(Hebrew: חַיָּה Ḥayyah
, Classical Hebrew:, Israeli Hebrew:; English pronunciations: HAH-yah
). "Chai" is the Hebrew word for "life". According to Kaballah, the name Hayim helps the person to remain healthy, and people were known to add Hayim as their second name to improve their health. (Among Serbians, the name "Vuk", meaning "Wolf", as well as Idir ("he will live") among Kabyles, was for similar reasons given to weak and ill neonates.) In the United States, Chaim is a common spelling; however, since it is not phonetic, Hayim is often used as an alternative spelling. The "ch" spelling comes from translation of the Hebrew letter "chet", which also starts words like Chanukah, Channa, etc.