Karen

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See also: karen and kåren

English[edit]

English Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia

Etymology 1[edit]

From Danish Karen, a vernacular form of Catherine that arose in medieval Denmark. The sense "middle-aged woman" comes from the popularity of the name among baby boomers and Gen-Xers. The derogatory usage was popularized via African-American Vernacular English.[1]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Karen

  1. A female given name from Ancient Greek.
    • 1878 Celia Thaxter, Drift-Weed, Houghton, Osgood,1878, page 28 ("Karen"):
      Left you a lover in that far land, / O Karen sad, that you pine so long! / Would I could unravel and understand / That sorrowful, sweet Norwegian song!
    • 1918 Cecily Ullman Sidgwick, Karen, W.Collins, 1918, page 12:
      I was not called Karen after Hans Andersen's dancing girl, but after a Danish friend of my mother's who married an Englishman and was my godmother. So much for our family affairs.
Usage notes[edit]
  • First taken up as a given name in the US, and popular in the English-speaking world from the 1950s to the 1970s.
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

Karen (plural Karens)

  1. (slang, originally African-American Vernacular, derogatory) A middle-aged white woman exhibiting a sense of entitlement or white privilege.
    • 2020 May 26, Sarah Maslin Nir, quoting Christian Cooper, “White Woman Is Fired After Calling Police on Black Man in Central Park”, in The New York Times[2]:
      “I pull out the dog treats I carry for just for such intransigence,” he wrote. “That’s when I started video recording with my iPhone, and when her inner Karen fully emerged and took a dark turn,” he said, using the name that has become slang for an entitled white woman.
    • 2020 December 27, Julia Carrie Wong, “The year of Karen: how a meme changed the way Americans talked about racism”, in The Guardian[3]:
      It was through that performance that Amy Cooper took on the mantle of an American archetype: the white woman who weaponizes her vulnerability to exact violence upon a Black man. [] In 2020, she is simply Karen.
    • 2024 February 2, Alaina Demopoulos, quoting Jeremy, “‘I’m annoying, to some degree’: New York’s dog owners debate Chloë Sevigny’s anti-pup take”, in The Guardian[4], →ISSN:
      “If I lived Chloe’s life, where she was walking around with other wealthy people basically being upper-class Karens having a fit when their dogs aren’t allowed at yoga, then I might understand,” he said.
  2. (by extension, derogatory) Any person, especially female, exhibiting an exaggerated sense of entitlement.
    This Karen threatened to get me fired if I didn't give her a free meal.
    • 2021 Adam Korson as Phil Orley in "Ft. Ghost Child", episode five of SurrealEstate
      The organization wasn't meeting my needs, so I became a total Karen and asked to see the manager. He wasn't available so I took my business elsewhere.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nagesh, Ashitha (2020-07-31), “What exactly is a 'Karen' and where did the meme come from?”, in BBC News[1] (in en-GB), BBC, retrieved 2020-07-30: “Although its exact origins are uncertain, the meme became popular a few years ago as a way for people of colour, particularly black Americans, to satirise the class-based and racially charged hostility they often face.”

Etymology 2[edit]

From Parthian𐭊𐭓𐭍𐭉(krny /⁠Kārēn⁠/), from Old Iranian. The Armenian name is from Armenian Կարեն (Karen), from the same Parthian name.

Alternative forms[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Karen

  1. (historical) One of the seven great Parthian feudal families.
  2. A transliteration of the Armenian male given name Կարեն (Karen).
Synonyms[edit]
Translations[edit]

References[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

From Burmese ကရင် (ka.rang), of disputed origin.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

Karen (plural Karens or Karen)

  1. A member of a diverse ethnic group originating in Myanmar and Thailand.
    Synonym: Kayin
    • 2011, Terry Miller, Sean Williams, The Garland Handbook of Southeast Asian Music, page 303:
      There are more than a hundred such groups, including the Karen of Thailand and Burma; the Kachin in Burma; the Akha, the Lahu, and the Lisu in Thailand; the Hmong, the Kmhmu, and the Yao in Laos; and the Nùng and the Lati in Vietnam.
Translations[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Karen

  1. A group of Sino-Tibetan languages spoken by people of the Karen ethnic group, also called Karenic.
  2. Former name of Kayin (state (administrative division) of Myanmar).
Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

References[edit]

Anagrams[edit]

Cebuano[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From English Karen, from Danish.

Proper noun[edit]

Karen

  1. a female given name from English [in turn from Danish, in turn from Ancient Greek]

Quotations[edit]

For quotations using this term, see Citations:Karen.

Danish[edit]

Etymology[edit]

A medieval variant of Katharina (Catherine).

Proper noun[edit]

Karen

  1. a female given name

Descendants[edit]

  • English: Karen
  • German: Karen
  • Icelandic: Karen
  • Norwegian: Karen

References[edit]

  • [5] Danskernes Navne, based on CPR data: 83 320 females with the given name Karen have been registered in Denmark between about 1890 (=the population alive in 1967) and January 2005, with the frequency peak in the 1910s. Accessed on 19 May 2011.

Finnish[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Karen

  1. genitive singular of Kare (the given name)

Anagrams[edit]

German[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Danish Karen.

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Karen

  1. a female given name, a much less popular variant of Karin

Related terms[edit]

Icelandic[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Karen f

  1. a female given name

Declension[edit]

Sometimes also Karen in accusative and dative.

Luxembourgish[edit]

Noun[edit]

Karen

  1. plural of Kar (cart)

Norwegian[edit]

Proper noun[edit]

Karen

  1. a female given name of Danish origin