How popular is the baby name Karen in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Karen.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Karen


Posts that Mention the Name Karen

Name Quotes 90: Charli, Ottilie, Diego Armando

Time for another batch of name quotes!

From a 2004 interview with Bob Dylan, as recorded in the 2018 book Dylan on Dylan by Jeff Burger (found via Abby’s Instagram post – thanks!):

Bradley: So you didn’t see yourself as Robert Zimmerman?

Dylan: No, for some reason I never did.

Bradley: Even before you started performing?

Dylan: Nah, even then. Some people get born with the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens.

Bradley: Tell me how you decided on Bob Dylan?

Dylan: You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.

From an article about the Dunkin’ Donuts drink named after Charli D’Amelio:

“The Charli,” which debuted Sept. 2, is a new Dunkin’ drink based on the go-to order of 16-year-old Charli D’Amelio, who is currently the most followed person on TikTok with 84.8 million followers. D’Amelio, a Connecticut native, has regularly expressed her love both for Dunkin’ and her signature dance moves.

From an article about a mom who changed her baby’s name from Ottilie to Margot:

As for [mom Carri] Kessler, when all was said and done, she went back to the original Ottilie who had inspired the choice and asked what the name had been like for her.

“She was like, ‘Yeah my name has been really character-building,'” Kessler says. “And I was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me that before?!’ I feel like life is character-building. She doesn’t need a character-building name as well.”

[One of Carri’s friends now calls her daughter Nottilie, short for “Not Ottilie.”]

From Chrissy Teigen’s Instagram post about the loss of her third baby:

We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever.

From an article about how the name Karen has become a handicap in dating, according to the dating app Wingman:

Women named Karen say their love lives have taken a hit since the name became synonymous with pushy, entitled middle-aged women — and more recently, racist ones who target people of color.

[…]

According to the app’s data, women named Karen have received 31 per cent fewer matches this year compared to last, and messages sent by women named Karen got 1/3 fewer responses than last year.

Overall, Karens have seen a 45 per cent drop in engagement.

Women with other spellings of the name — Karin, Carin, Caren — have seen a smaller drop, 22 per cent, but a drop all the same.

From an article in The Economist about the unusual names of Tabasco, Mexico (found via A Mitchell’s tweet – thanks!):

[The unusual names] impressed Amado Nervo, a Mexican poet. In every family “there is a Homer, a Cornelia, a Brutus, a Shalmanasar and a Hera,” he wrote in “The Elysian Fields of Tabasco”, which was published in 1896. Rather than scour the calendar for saints’ names, he wrote, parents of newborns “search for them in ‘The Iliad’, ‘The Aeneid’, the Bible and in the history books”. Andrés Iduarte, a Tabascan essayist of the 20th century, concurred. Tabasco is a place “of Greek names and African soul”, he wrote, endorsing the cliche that the state has similarities with Africa.

From a newspaper article about soccer player Diego Maradona’s influence on baby names in Naples in July of 1984, soon after he’d joined S.S.C. Napoli:

Maternity hospitals reported another 30 new-born babies named Diego Armando, raising the count to 140 so far.

[Maradona died in late November. Last Friday, the Naples city council unanimously voted to change the name of the city’s stadium from “Stadio San Paolo” to “Stadio Diego Armando Maradona.” (CBS Sports)]

The Arrival of Laryssa

laryssa, tv, the doctors, karen werner, baby name
Laryssa Lauret as Dr. Karen Werner

The name Laryssa debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1968, when it was suddenly given to nearly 70 baby girls:

  • 1971: 12 baby girls named Laryssa
  • 1970: 7 baby girls named Laryssa
  • 1969: 22 baby girls named Laryssa
  • 1968: 67 baby girls named Laryssa [debut]
  • 1967: unlisted
  • 1966: unlisted

It was the name that debuted most impressively that year, and it went on to rank as one of the biggest girl-name debuts of all time.

The less-common variant Lyrissa debuted the same year, and the more-common variants Larissa and Larisa both saw higher around the same time. (Larissa jumped into the top 1,000 for the first time in 1967, in fact.)

What’s the reason?

An actress featured on the popular TV soap opera The Doctors (1963-1982). Laryssa Lauret played character Dr. Karen Werner, who was introduced in 1967 and had a heavy German accent. One writer later described the character as “the resident Teutonic trouble-maker.”

Laryssa Lauret, an American actress of Ukrainian descent, was born Larysa Kukrycka in Warsaw in 1939. She was raised in Austria for a time, then finished her schooling in New York. She shares her name with a martyr, a nymph and various ancient Greek cities. According to this Greek-English Lexicon, the meaning of the name is “citadel.”

The Doctors also influenced the usage of at least two other baby names:

  • Carolee saw a jump in usage in 1968, the year after actress Carolee Campbell originated the role of like-named character Carolee Simpson, R.N.
  • Sindee re-entered the data in 1963, the year actress Sindee Ann Richards appeared on the show for 5 sequential episodes as “Jennie.”

But getting back to Laryssa…do you like the name? How do you prefer to spell it?

Source: “Ukrainian Actress to Appear in TV Show.” Ukrainian Weekly 15 Jan. 1978: 4.

P.S. Sindee was put on the onomastic map in the 1950s by a baby-related news story.

Name Quotes 85: Karen, Blane, Friedemann

pretty in pink, duckie, blane, movie, 1980s, quote,

From the 1986 movie Pretty in Pink, Duckie’s reaction to learning that Andie is dating a guy named Blane:

Blane? His name is Blane? That’s a major appliance, that’s not a name!

From sociolinguist Robin Queen, an explanation of how ‘Karen’ went from a popular baby name to a stand-in for white entitlement:

By tracing the origins of Karen up until the Central Park incident, you can see how two separate threads of meaning converged to make Karen the label for an officious, entitled, white woman.

The first comes from African American communities, where certain generic first names have long been a shorthand for “a white woman to be wary of because she won’t hesitate to wield privilege at the expense of others.” Around 2018, people started posting pictures of white women calling the police on the mundane activities of black people. These individuals got labeled with hashtags like #bbqbecky, #permitpatti, #golfcartgail and #cornerstonecaroline.

[…]

The second thread emerges from stand-up comedy and Reddit. In 2005, Dane Cook performed a sketch comedy piece in which Karen is “that friend nobody likes.” In the sketch, she’s described as “always a douche.” This portrayal of a “Karen” is less about her racism and contains more gender-based critiques, which might be why some continue to call the Karen meme sexist.

New Jersey police officer Brian Porter — who delivered two babies during the first half of 2002 — regarding his success so far in having a baby named after him:

0-2.

(In the case of the second baby, the baby’s father and brother were both already named Bryan.)

From the “pejorative names” section of a 2019 academic article called From Enslavement to Emancipation: Naming Practices in the Danish West Indies:

“[I]njurious” names [were] intended to mark slaves out by drawing upon naming forms not used by the dominant class. For instance, some are not personal names, but refer instead to places (London, Madrid, Dublin), animals (Zebra, Fox), or qualities (Amor). Another popular category includes names of classical figures (Cicero, Ancilla, Cupido). Such names functioned as cruel jokes: for instance, Scipio, a common male slave name, referred to the Roman general Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, whose agnomen, Africanus, meant “the African,” in praise of his triumphs in battle in North Africa. Names of Greek and Roman heroes, philosophers, and orators were popular choices for male slaves, underlining their degradation and emasculation via their juxtaposition with these great men. Meanwhile, as Saidiya Hartman has noted, names like “Venus” for female slaves reflected and licensed the lasciviousness of European slave-owners toward African women, making such behaviors “sound agreeable.”

From the funny April Fools’ Day video Pronouncing Friedemann Findeisen like a Bad-Ass German by songwriter Friedemann Findeisen [FREE-day-mahn FIND-ei-zen]:

Welcome to this German tutorial on how to pronounce my name, Friedemann Findeisen. In the past, many of you have wondered why I have such an unusual name, and why it sounds so German. Well, I am German. You just can’t tell because my lederhosen aren’t in the shot.

From the National Geographic article “Who’s the First Person in history whose name we know?“:

[T]o my great surprise—the first name in recorded history isn’t a king. Nor a warrior. Or a poet. He was, it turns out…an accountant. In his new book Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari goes back 33 centuries before Christ to a 5,000-year-old clay tablet found in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).

[…]

It’s a receipt for multiple shipments of barley. The tablet says, very simply:

29,086 measures barley 37 months Kushim

(But we don’t know for sure that Kushim was a human name; it may have been a job title.)

A second theory, from the same article:

Dated to around 3100 B.C.—about a generation or two after Kushim—the tablet’s heading is, “Two slaves held by Gal-Sal.” Gal-Sal is the owner. Next come the slaves, “En-pap X and Sukkalgir.” So now we’ve got four names: an accountant, a slave owner, and two slaves.

(Some scholars are Team Kushim, other scholars are Team Gal-Sal.)

Name Quotes 79: Consuela, Gisele, Jeff

Phoebe Buffay becomes Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock in this month's collection of name-related quotes at Nancy's Baby Names.

From the 2004 Friends episode in which Phoebe changes her name to Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock:

Mike: So what’s new?

Phoebe: Well, I’m no longer Phoebe Buffay.

Mike: That’s great, you changed your name?

Phoebe: Yes I did! Meet Princess Consuela Banana-Hammock.

Lyrics from the song “Dear Winter” (2019) by indie band AJR:

Dear Winter,
I hope you like your name.
I hope they don’t make fun of you
When you grow up and go to school, ok?
‘Cause Winter is a badass name.

(The baby name Winter is already on the rise, but do you think this song could give it an extra boost?)

From an article that asks how it feels when one’s name becomes a meme:

Over the last few years, it has become increasingly popular to end online jokes with a name. The set-up usually goes like this: a person jokes about an annoying behaviour as though they were directly talking to the person annoying them, then they end the joke-angry outburst with a name. That name then slowly becomes cultural shorthand for a type of behaviour. Other names become internet jokes because they were part of movies that were clipped into gifs – such as “Sure, Jan” to denote disbelief, “My name is Jeff” for anyone whose name is, yes, Jeff, or “Bye, Felicia” for anyone irritating.

(Other names used in memes: Karen, Sharon, Janet, Chad, Becky…)

From an article about advocate Shanti Bhushnan, who was named after advocate Shanti Bhushnan (b. 1925):

I was born on March 16, 1977. By then, Senior Advocate Shanti Bhushan was a very big name in India because he had appeared for Raj Narain against then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and won the case.

So my uncle KN Puttegowda, who was an advocate and later served as President of the Bangalore Advocates Association, suggested that I should be named after the legendary lawyer.

[…]

I had not met him until now. I consider it my good luck to be named after such a big man. Many people ask me about this name because it is an unusual name in the South.

From a video about the unhurried baby naming practices of the Borana people of Ethiopia and Kenya:

When a child is a toddler, if you have the means, you call on people to gather and name the child. If you don’t have enough, you can ask your relatives to help you prepare the ceremony. That’s how we name a child. Until you name them, you just call them by random names of your choice.

From an article about Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen:

…Gisele has become a brand in itself. That monicker is fortunate – it’s easy to equate “Gisele” with “gazelle”, which is exactly what comes to mind when you see her strutting down the catwalk…

How rapper Post Malone (born Austin Richard Post) came up with his stage name:

I was like 14, and I had started getting into producing and rapping and singing over my own stuff. And I needed a name, you know, for my s—- mixtape,” he told Jimmy Fallon. “So I ran [my real name] through a random rap name generator… now I’m stuck with it.”

How rapper Childish Gambino (born Donald Glover) came up with his stage name:

“We were all hanging out, chilling and drinking and then we were like, ‘Oh, Wu-Tang name generator, let’s put our name in,'” he revealed on The Tonight Show back in 2011. “And we’re putting them all in, and they’re all funny and stuff, and then mine came up and I was like, ‘you guys, it’s not funny anymore. This is something big.’ I just really liked it.”

How spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle (born Ulrich Tölle) came up with his new name:

Some time after this “inner transformation”, Tolle changed his first name from Ulrich to Eckhart following a dream in which he saw books lying around. On the cover of one was the name Eckhart and he knew he had written it. By coincidence, he bumped into an acquaintance, a psychic, a few days later who, for no apparent reason, called him Eckhart! Having become a completely different person he was ready to relinquish the name Ulrich and the unhappy energy the name held for him.

(Other sources say Tolle chose “Eckhart” in deference to 13th-century German theologian/mystic Meister Eckhart.)

For more name-related quotes, check out the name quotes category.

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 4

baby names that add up to 4, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “4.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “4” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “4,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

4 via 13

The following baby names add up to 13, which reduces to four (1+3=4).

  • “13” girl names: Cai, Eh, Ece, Gea
  • “13” boy names: Cade, Cai, Al, Eh, Cj, Jc, Dace, La

4 via 22

The following baby names add up to 22, which reduces to four (2+2=4).

  • “22” girl names: Lia, Kaia, Ila, Giada, Ali, Hala, Aicha, Bibi, Lee, Adel
  • “22” boy names: Ali, Lee, Dale, Hadi, Bane, Mace, Akai, Adel, Boe, Agam

4 via 31

The following baby names add up to 31, which reduces to four (3+1=4).

  • “31” girl names: Blake, Demi, Kara, Macie, Miah, Aliah, Janae, Delia, Haddie, Gina
  • “31” boy names: Jacob, Blake, Kaleb, Cash, Kane, Ahmed, Koda, Taj, Gian, Cedar

4 via 40

The following baby names add up to 40, which reduces to four (4+0=4).

  • “40” girl names: Maya, Lola, Angela, Kiara, Megan, Alaya, Linda, Maleah, Kenia, Hailee
  • “40” boy names: David, Diego, Camden, Jude, Zaid, Neil, Lucca, Allan, Boden, Abner

4 via 49

The following baby names add up to 49, which reduces to four (4+9=13; 1+3=4).

  • “49” girl names: Emilia, Athena, Jayla, Logan, Kyla, Harlee, Karen, Dallas, Aliza, Milan
  • “49” boy names: Logan, Luke, Aaron, Jose, Ayden, Milo, Adriel, Dallas, Milan, Bruce

4 via 58

The following baby names add up to 58, which reduces to four (5+8=13; 1+3=4).

  • “58” girl names: Lily, Arianna, Liliana, Natalia, Daisy, Josie, Nicole, Ariella, Aniyah, Ryan
  • “58” boy names: Ryan, Nathan, Miles, Jesse, Holden, Hayes, Pedro, Albert, Kieran, Isaias

4 via 67

The following baby names add up to 67, which reduces to four (6+7=13; 1+3=4).

  • “67” girl names: Gabriella, Michelle, Ruth, Lyric, Paislee, Kaliyah, Aurelia, Jessie, Brylee, Jillian
  • “67” boy names: Julian, Dominic, Miguel, Bradley, Jensen, Jaylen, Brycen, Julio, Cullen, Marcelo

4 via 76

The following baby names add up to 76, which reduces to four (7+6=13; 1+3=4).

  • “76” girl names: Kinley, Emory, Lorelei, Rory, Hayley, Addisyn, Emmeline, Ansley, Kathleen, Kataleya
  • “76” boy names: Thomas, Emmett, Dawson, Jeremy, Louis, Rory, Dexter, Nixon, Jerry, Sylas

4 via 85

The following baby names add up to 85, which reduces to four (8+5=13; 1+3=4).

  • “85” girl names: Anastasia, Gracelyn, Brinley, Ainsley, Madisyn, Aubrielle, Tinley, Paityn, Sevyn, Finnley
  • “85” boy names: Steven, Donovan, Kayson, Franklin, Finnley, Boston, Ulises, Korbyn, Zackary, Jovanni

4 via 94

The following baby names add up to 94, which reduces to four (9+4=13; 1+3=4).

  • “94” girl names: Willow, Genevieve, Harmony, Evangeline, Alessandra, Antonella, Bernadette, Kinsleigh, Emberlyn, Aislynn
  • “94” boy names: Braxton, Jaxtyn, Brayson, Everest, Reynaldo, Trevon, Jiovanni, Sebastien, Alexandro, Gregorio

4 via 103

The following baby names add up to 103, which reduces to four (1+0+3=13).

  • “103” girl names: Princess, Scarlette, Roslyn, Merritt, Nicolette, Rosemarie, Justyce, Valkyrie, Violett, Xitlaly
  • “103” boy names: Greyson, Solomon, Yisroel, Zeppelin, Marquise, Merritt, Perseus, Tiberius, Jaxston, Tyrus

4 via 112

The following baby names add up to 112, which reduces to four (1+1+2=4).

  • “112” girl names: Brooklyn, Emmersyn, Victory, Weslynn, Divinity, Odyssey, Reighlynn, Zeplynn, Kopelynn, Houston
  • “112” boy names: Stetson, Valentino, Guillermo, Houston, Zayvion, Brooklyn, Augustin, Hawthorne, Ollivander, Trayson

4 via 121

The following baby names add up to 121, which reduces to four (1+2+1=4).

  • “121” girl names: Persephone, Courtney, Tiaraoluwa, Kierstyn, Zonnique, Amarachukwu, Morrison, Cortlynn, Estrellita, Ivylynn
  • “121” boy names: Courtney, Morrison, Kristofer, Christofer, Quintus, Aloysius, Trysten, Christophe, Trustin, Zymarion

4 via 130

The following baby names add up to 130, which reduces to four (1+3+0=4).

  • “130” girl names: Oluwatoni, Mariaguadalupe, Monzerrat, Viktoriya, Christionna, Constantina
  • “130” boy names: Wynston, Prynceton, Xzayvier, Souleymane, Washington, Oluwaseyi, Oluwatoni, Juventino, Ugochukwu, Oluwakorede

4 via 139

The following baby names add up to 139, which reduces to four (1+3+9=13; 1+3=4).

  • “139” girl names: Gwyndolyn, Oluwadamilola, Anuoluwapo, Christopher, Quetzally, Mariavictoria, Kymberlynn
  • “139” boy names: Christopher, Kristopher, Martavious, Fitzpatrick, Oluwadamilola

4 via 148

The following baby names add up to 148, which reduces to four (1+4+8=13; 1+3=4).

  • “148” girl names: Oluwateniola, Marykatherine, Moyinoluwa, Oluwatobiloba
  • “148” boy names: Oluwatobiloba, Michaelanthony

4 via 157

The boy name Marquavious adds up to 157, which reduces to four (1+5+7=13; 1+3=4).

4 via 166

The boy name Muhammadyusuf adds up to 166, which reduces to four (1+6+6=13; 1+3=4).

4 via 175

The unisex names Kosisochukwu adds up to 175, which reduces to four (1+7+5=13; 1+3=4).

What Does “4” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “4” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “4” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“4” (the tetrad) according to the Pythagoreans:

  • “Anatolius reports that it is called ‘justice,’ since the square (i.e., the area) […] is equal to the perimeter”
  • “It is the prerequisite of the general orderliness of the universe, so they everywhere called it a ‘custodian of Nature.'”
  • “Everything in the universe turns out to be completed in the natural progression up to the tetrad”
  • “The tetrad is the first to display the nature of solidity: the sequence is point, line, plane, solid (i.e. body).”
  • Examples of things that are divided into four parts:
    • “four traditional seasons of the year — spring, summer, autumn and winter.”
    • “four elements (fire, air, water and earth)”
    • “four cardinal points”
    • “four distinguishing points – ascendant, descendant, mid-heaven and nadir”
    • “Some say that all things are organized by four aspects – substance, shape, form and principle.”

“4” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “In four, it makes for the greater weaknesses in the divisions…four being more of a division and weakness” (reading 261-15).
  • “In four, we find that of a division – and while a beauty in strength, in the divisions also makes for the greater weakness” (reading 5751-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “4” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 22, 49, 76, 103) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe your favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 4, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).