The name Karen was one of the top 10 names for girls born in the United States during the 1950s and 1960s, peaking as the third most popular girl’s name in 1965.
As of today, there are 1,106,995 people in the U.S. with the first name Karen. Statistically, Karen is the 36th most popular first name.
Unfortunately for those million plus women named Karen, including this reporter and the Second Lady of the United States, the name Karen has become a pejorative term used in the US for a woman perceived to be “entitled or demanding” beyond the scope of what is considered appropriate or necessary.
A common stereotype is that of a “racist white woman” who uses her privilege to demand her own way at the expense of others.
Depictions also include demanding to “speak to the manager”, being an anti-vaxxer, or having a particular bob cut hairstyle. As of 2020, the term was increasingly being used as a general-purpose term of disapproval for middle-aged white women.
The name Karen had negative connotations predating the Internet meme, the notable uses being Lorraine Bracco’s depiction of Karen Friedman Hill in the 1990 film Goodfellas, and Amanda Seyfried’s ditzy schoolgirl character in the 2004 film Mean Girls.
As of today, another so-called “Karen” is making the rounds on the internet, this time in Hollywood. In the video, she calls a black woman a “homeless freak,” accuses her of having a gun and makes a fake 911 call. When an Asian man tries to intervene, she coughs on him and says “I got COVID.” The man says his coronavirus test came back negative after the ordeal and the woman targeted says telling the cops she had a weapon could have gotten her killed.
There are 1,106,995 people in the U.S. with the first name Karen.
Statistically the 36th most popular first name.