Why Karen?

Best place I’ve found for researching names is Behind The Name. Here’s Karen’s popularity in the US, for example. You can even compare two names like Karen and Jennifer.

If this about using “Karen” to stand in for a demanding and over-entitled sort of woman, would it be harking too far back to think of “Karen Walker” in “Will and Grace”?

Early Generation Xer here. Speaking just for myself, I’ve known far more women my age named Lisa, Jennifer, Rebecca, Elizabeth, Amy, Melissa, Lynn, Maria, Debra/Deborah, a Chris/Christine/Christina/Kristen/Kirsten/Kiersten derivative, or one of the early generation of popular “black” names (Monique, Keisha, Chantal, etc.) than those named Karen. I grew up in a VERY Catholic city with a reputation as a place that was culturally 5-10 years behind the rest of the country as a whole, and the old-school Catholic names (Mary, Margaret, Beth, Ann, or some combination with two of them) and Italian names (Gina, Angela, Maria, Andrea, etc) seemed more prevalent that Karen. Somewhat dated names like Theresa, Janet, and Linda weren’t that uncommon among kids my age and younger, but Karen … not nonexistent, but getting rare.

I’d lump in Karen with the Class of '80, with Barbara, Judy, Sharon, Sandra, and Diane, than with Michelle, Dawn, and Laura from the Class of '84.

Jennifer instead of Karen? No way. The two- and three- syllable J-names of the era always struck me as belonging to someone who was fun. Jennifer, Jessica, and Julie were cheerleaders. Also, Jennifer belongs to the family of names that can have “happy” diminutive ee/ie/y forms – Jenny, Jessie, Missy, Chrissy, Cindy, Becky, etc. “Karen” starts with a hard-K sound, and it doesn’t have an informal diminutive form.

A similar GD thread.

I was going to say the reason was that there was no St. Karen, but I’m glad I checked first:

But, upon further review, this seems to be a joke, despite the fact that you can buy St Karen medallions at places like The St Jude Shop and Discount Catholic Store.

So if there was not a St Karen, you would be unlikely to find a Karen in a traditional Catholic community.

Every Karen I know is pretty nice or at worst- not bad. I dont know of and have never met a Karen who acts like the meme.

I think the meme is mean and hurtful to actual people named Karen.

Karen = Katherine (one of the hundreds of variations on the name). Well-known Christian saint.

What’s wrong with ‘Kari’? (Works for males, too.)

The meme involves characteristics shared by "“Karens” not people named Karen. A Judy can be a Karen, while a Karen is not necessarily a Karen.

I think Debbie would have worked better than Karen, but nobody asked me.

Anyone know a Felicia? I bet they are so weary of people saying bye to them.

I used to know someone named Felecia Johnson.

Incidentally, not to be confused with the Israeli name “Keren”, which was very popular in my Gen-X age group - the most popular girl’s name here from 1975 to 1978.

The Hebrew name means “ray”.

First person I think of is actress Felicia Day, who I met in person once and was extremely nice and humble (when she really didn’t have to be, she was actually in a hurry to get somewhere but wasn’t at all rude).

The redditors chose this name for middle aged women - the sheeple, consumer, maybe mouth-breather types. It’s like people whose names are not Johnnie, using a Johnnie On The Job.

Do you pronounce the name /ˈkɑːɹən/ or /ˈkæɹən/or /ˈkɛɹən/ (kar-in, rhymes with “star in”; ka-rin, rhymes with “barren”; or keh-rin, sounds like a truncated “caring”)?

I think only the latter two are prevalent in the USA, just wonder which is used for the stereotype.

No, I’m pretty sure the Karen images making their way around the internet are too young to be one of us–at least the ones that I’ve seen.

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To me, barren and carin’ rhyme.

“Car-in” is not a pronunciation I’ve ever heard in the US. Though if I read it as a Japanese word I’d pronounce it “car-ehn”.

very cute girl next door type chick doing stand up.

way funnier than the total views would indicate.

Karen joke at the 4:50 mark. video is only 5:10 long.

6 Jen D’Angelo

I wonder if it’s a pronunciation thing. Many non-English speakers have problems with 'L’s and 'R’s etc but I suspect that few would have too much trouble with Karen. I read once that ‘Kodak’ was a name chosen because a) it wasn’t a rude word in any language, and b) it was easy for most people to say.

How many Karens does it take to change a lightbulb?

“That’s not funny. I want to talk to your manager. Now.”