More Bad News For Women Named Karen


A new survey suggests that the popular "Karen" memes have left most people with negative thoughts about the name, associating it with traits like entitlement, obnoxiousness, privilege, and being demanding. During the coronavirus pandemic, the Karen meme has evolved to describe people disagreeing with self-isolation, refusing to wear masks or not agreeing with social distancing. The survey found that 69% of adults aged 40 to 54 would not name their child Karen due to the associated connotations, and would be concerned when having to talk to someone with the name. A further 6% would not want to be matched with someone called Karen on dating apps, and 18% would feel uneasy if their mother-in-law had the name.​​​​​​ Despite holding these beliefs, only 45% of people said they knew someone with the name. So how did the name Karen go from a popular baby name in the 1950s to a demeaning term today? It all started in 2005, when comedian Dane Cook performed a comedy sketch in which Karen is defined as “that friend nobody likes.” From there, the term became the standard for indicating a white woman of privilege being overly demanding. Karen has now replaced the 2016 derogatory term made popular by singer BeyoncĂ©, “Becky with the good hair.”