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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

see lay (n.).


n. (context historical English) A mostly North European form of medieval song, with stanzas that do not repeat.


Laï is a city in Chad. It lies on the Logone River and is the capital of the region of Tandjilé. The town is served by Laï Airport.

Lai (Chinese surname)

Lai ( Traditional Chinese: 賴; Simplified Chinese: 赖; Pinyin: Lài) is a common Chinese surname that is pronounced similarly in both Hakka and Mandarin. It is also a Taiwanese/Minnan surname that is romanized as Luā.

The Lais' ancestry is from the state of Lai in the Spring and Autumn Period. Many Lais dispersed to the south during their defeat by the Chu state; many even changed their surname to escape persecution.

The brother of Zhou Wu Wang (周武王), Shu Ying, was awarded as Duke of Lai (northeast of Shi in Henan). In 583 B.C the Lai kingdom was destroyed by Chu Ling Wang. Some of its people fled to neighboring kingdoms of Luo (羅) and Fu (傅), others migrated north and settled in Da Yan (Yanling in Henan). They adopted the name Lai to commemorate their old kingdom.

Today, the largest Lai clans are in Taiwan, Xingning, Meixian and Melbourne. A 2006 census shows that Lai is the 90th most common surname in China.

Lai (disambiguation)

Lai may refer to:

  • Lai or Lay, song form especially cultivated in medieval France
  • Lai (surname)
    • Lai (Chinese surname) 賴; Simplified 赖 (Lài)
    • Lí (surname) 黎 (in Cantonese Lai)
  • Lai fruit, several Chinese pear varieties
Lai (state)

Lai , also known as Laiyi , was an ancient Dongyi state located in what is now eastern Shandong Province, recorded in the Book of Xia. Tang Shanchun believes lai means "mountain" in the old Yue language, while the Yue Jue Shu says lai means "wilderness".

Lai (surname)

Lai is a surname. It may refer to:

  • Lai (Chinese surname)
  • Lai (Hong Kong surname)
  • Lai surname, an Italian (from Sardinia) surname
    • Valentino Lai, Italian footballer
  • Francis Lai, French composer