Peter A Goldsbury
I think you have to be very careful with the idea of parsing a single word, even though it is a compound of several Chinese characters, in the way you would parse a Latin sentence....KOUHI (coffee)? The first character means 'ornamental hairpin' and the second means 'string of pearls'. But the 'real' meaning is the stuff we drink.
You can get into endless difficulties if you try to find the 'real' meaning of a word by means of some kind of theory about the relationships of the characters that make up the word. There is no 'real' meaning of 'kishoudai' apart from 'weather station'.
This noted, some of the many interpretations of "aikido" I recall are:
The Way of Harmony-many
The Way of Love-Osensei punning
The Way of Peace-John Stevens
Breath Unification Method-Tanahashi in Susan Perry's book
The Way to Get People to Do What You Want Them to Do-In Amdur's aikido book