Danish variation of Katherine

Karen Origin and Meaning

The name Karen is a girl's name of Danish origin meaning "pure".

Karen is a Danish diminutive of Katherine, an English name derived from the Greek Aikaterine. The etymology of Aikaterine is contested, but generally considered to have arisen from the Greek root katharos, meaning "pure." Kaja is a related name, as it is another Danish variation of Katherine.

Karen, a sweet good-girl Danish import, was so popular during the baby boom (Karen was Number 3 in 1960) that it's locked firmly into fashion limbo today. Recently, the name Karen has been turned into a meme, representing a hostile white woman—one who usually wants to speak with the manager.

Parents who want to honor a Karen or choose an updated version of the name might want to consider the Irish Kieran, the Cornish Kerensa or Kerenza, or variations from Karina to Kyra.

# 831 in the US

Karen Rank in US Top 1000

# 900 on Nameberry

Karen Rank in Nameberry Top 1000

Karen Popularity

Famous People Named Karen

  • Karen Anne CarpenterAmerican singer
  • Karen Lynne ValentineAmerican actress
  • Karen Ruth BassU.S. Congresswoman from California
  • Karen WhiteAmerican novelist
  • Karen Blanche BlackAmerican actress
  • Karen Jane AllenAmerican actress
  • Karen Sheila GillanScottish actress
  • Karen Trust GrassleAmerican actress
  • Karen Mok (born Karen Joy Morris)Hong Kong actress
  • Karen Lucille "Lucy" HaleAmerican actress
  • Karen ElsonEnglish model and musician
  • Karen Ostage name of Karen Lee Orzolek, American lead singer of band Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Karen RussellAmerican novelist
  • Karen RobardsAmerican romance novelist
  • Karen RoseAmerican romance novelist
  • Karen TravissEnglish science fiction novelist
  • Karen YoungAmerican actress
  • Karen OlivoAmerican actress
  • Karen Patricia MoeAmerican Olympic swimmer
  • Karen McDougalAmerican model and actress
  • Karen TaylorEnglish comedienne
  • Karen HassanNorthern Irish actress
  • Karen Valencia Clark SheardAmerican gospel singer
  • Karen Alexandria KainCanadian ballerina
  • Karen LancaumeFrench adult actress
  • Karen LuJean NybergAmerican astronaut
  • Karen StrassmanAmerican voice actress
  • Karen Friedmanwife of American mobster Henry Hill; depicted in film "GoodFellas"
  • Karen Batten Pencewife of American politician Mike Pence
  • Karen MathesonScottish folk singer
  • Karen Louise BardsleyEnglish football player
  • Karen Julia CarneyEnglish football player
  • Karen Christenze von BlixenFinecke aka Isak Dinesen, Danish memoirist
  • Karen MuirSouth African swimmer
  • Karen KhachanovRussian tennis player
  • Karen MulderDutch Supermodel & Singer

Karen in Pop Culture

  • Karen Pagecharacter in Marvel's "Daredevil"
  • Karen Walkercharacter on TV's "Will & Grace"
  • Karen Brockmancharacter on British TV series "Outnumbered"
  • Karen Smithcharacter in film "Mean Girls"
  • Karen Brewermain character in the "Baby,Sitters Little Sister" series
  • Karen Jacksoncharacter on TV's "Shameless"
  • Karen Arnoldcharacter on TV's "The Wonder Years"
  • Karen Crosscharacter in film "Silver City"
  • Karen DeSonnecharacter in "Generation Dead" by Daniel Waters
  • Karen Murphycharacter in movie "Abduction" played by Lily Collins
  • Karen Davischaracter in film "The Grudge"
  • Karen Vickcharacter on TV's "Psych"
  • Karencharacter on TV's "The Walking Dead"
  • Karen Peck and New Rivergospel choir band
  • Karen Cartwrightcharacter on TV's "Smash"
  • Karen BeecherDuncan aka Bumblebee, character in DC Comics
  • Karen Filippellicharacter on TV's "The Office"
  • Karen Roemother of Lucas and Lily Scott on TV's "One Tree Hill"
  • Karenlittle girl character in "Frosty the Snowman"
  • Rachel Karen Greencharacter on TV's "Friends"
  • Karen von Rosewaldcharacter in the manga "Tokyo Ghoul:re"
  • Karen Rooneycharacter on TV's "Liv and Maddie"
  • Karen "Kallen Stadtfeld" Kouzukicharacter in "Code Geass"
  • Karen McCormickKenny's younger sister, character on "South Park"
  • Karen StarrDC Comics superhero, also called Kara Zor,L, alter ego of Power,Girl, the Earth,Two version of Kara Zor,El aka Supergirl
  • Karena character in the anime/mange Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
  • Karen Googlestiencharacter from the 2004 movie "White Chicks"
  • Karen "Voyd" from the 2018 Pixar sequel "Incredibles 2"
  • Karena background character in Cartoon Network's "The Amazing World of Gumball"
  • "Karen” an internet term for a particularly self,entitled white woman
  • Karen Siscomain character played by Jennifer Lopez in the 1998 film "Out of Sight"
  • Karen Fostercharacter on the ABC TGIF sitcom "Step by Step"
  • Karencomputer wife of Sheldon Plankton from animated series Spongebob Squarepants