Fewer and fewer people are called Karen: and this is not a coincidence

Karen is an unpopular name as of 2020. Especially in the US we see a huge decline in the use of Karen. In 2020, the name dropped 171 places to 831 on the popular name rankings. It has not been this low since 1929. How? Well… a meme.

The name is Karen

Karen has always been a very popular name in the United States. You pronounce it as ‘Keren’ there, while in the Netherlands you have more different forms of the name: Karin, Caroon and Keren, for example. However, in the United States the name has acquired a rather negative connotation for the Internet. A Karen is someone you don’t want in your shop. Karen is never satisfied, always whines and always wants to talk to the manager. Often short tempered, with a sour face and an aura that you like to run away from as soon as possible. Karen is also called Gerda in the Netherlands.

Karen as a meme

The popularity of Karen memes is causing Karen’s widespread unpopularity in town halls. In 2020, only 325 newborns were given the name in the United States (the best year for the name Karen was 1965, when there were 33,000 babies given the name). It’s a logical choice in itself: if you get such a strange aftertaste with this name over the Internet, it’s not something you want to do to your child.

ex wife

In a Karen meme it doesn’t matter if the woman in the picture is actually called Karen, there are people who fit the mold perfectly, even if they are named Jessica, Patricia or even Laura. Karen has real Karen origins: The meme started in 2017 when a Reddit user wanted to give his ex-wife Karen a bad name. So literally and figuratively.

angry letter

A Karen thinks she owns everything, is extremely selfish and always feels the urge to complain. Writing angry letters seems to be his favorite pastime and his lips show that he is always ready for a heated discussion. He doesn’t care about how others feel about his behavior. Karen is about the dead body. Karen is also sometimes associated with racism: during the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, Karen was regularly used to depict white women who exercise their white privilege behind black and other people of color.

Nice current

It’s also used in a fun way, at least that’s what Domino’s thinks. The pizza chain has launched a campaign in Australia where ‘nice currens’ will get free pizza. Something the company had to apologize for, because it went a little too far. Some people think the memes are sexist and ageist. On the other hand, anyone can act like a “Karen”, which is why it’s still associated with Karen memes, not children bearing that name.

Laura Janney

When she is not typing, she is exploring the wonderful world of entertainment or some cool place in the real world. Mario is the man of her life,…

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