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Gender: Female Meaning of Karen: "pure" Origin of Karen: Danish variation of Katherine Karen's Popularity in 2017: #556

The name Karen is a girl's name of Danish origin meaning "pure". Karen is ranked #556 on our popularity charts and is often added to lists like Names That Mean Pure and discussed in our forums with posts like "Girls Makeover - Two Middles".

From the experts:

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. 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.

Find other names based on Karen using our baby name generator.

Famous People Named Karen

Karen Anne Carpenter, American singer
Karen Lynne Valentine, American actress
Karen Ruth Bass, U.S. Congresswoman from California
Karen White, American novelist
Karen Blanche Black, American actress
Karen Jane Allen, American actress
Karen Sheila Gillan, Scottish actress
Karen Trust Grassle, American actress
Karen Mok (born Karen Joy Morris), Hong Kong actress
Karen Lucille "Lucy" Hale, American actress
Karen Elson, English model and musician
Karen O, stage name of Karen Lee Orzolek, American lead singer of band Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Karen Russell, American novelist
Karen Robards, American romance novelist
Karen Rose, American romance novelist
Karen Traviss, English science fiction novelist
Karen Young, American actress
Karen Olivo, American actress
Karen Patricia Moe, American Olympic swimmer
Karen McDougal, American model and actress
Karen Taylor, English comedienne
Karen Hassan, Northern Irish actress
Karen Valencia Clark Sheard, American gospel singer
Karen Alexandria Kain, Canadian ballerina
Karen Lancaume, French adult actress
Karen LuJean Nyberg, American astronaut
Karen Strassman, American voice actress
Karen Friedman, wife of American mobster Henry Hill; depicted in film "GoodFellas"
Karen Batten Pence, wife of American politician Mike Pence
Karen Matheson, Scottish folk singer
Karen Louise Bardsley, English football player
Karen Julia Carney, English football player
Karen Christenze von Blixen-Finecke aka Isak Dinesen, Danish memoirist
Karen Muir, South African swimmer

Pop Culture References for the name Karen

Karen Walker, character on TV's "Will & Grace"
Karen Brockman, character on British TV series "Outnumbered"
Karen Smith, character in film "Mean Girls"
Karen Brewer, main character in the "Baby-Sitters Little Sister" series
Karen Jackson, character on TV's "Shameless"
Karen Arnold, character on TV's "The Wonder Years"
Karen Cross, character in film "Silver City"
Karen DeSonne, character in "Generation Dead" by Daniel Waters
Karen Murphy, character in movie "Abduction" played by Lily Collins
Karen Davis, character in film "The Grudge"
Karen Vick, character on TV's "Psych"
Karen, character on TV's "The Walking Dead"
Karen Peck and New River, gospel choir band
Karen Cartwright, character on TV's "Smash"
Karen Beecher-Duncan aka Bumblebee, character in DC Comics
Karen Filippelli, character on TV's "The Office"
Karen Roe, mother of Lucas and Lily Scott on TV's "One Tree Hill"
Karen Page, character in Marvel's "Daredevil"
Karen, little girl character in "Frosty the Snowman"
Rachel Karen Green, character on TV's "Friends"
Karen von Rosewald, character in the manga "Tokyo Ghoul:re"
Karen Rooney, character on TV's "Liv and Maddie"
Karen "Kallen Stadtfeld" Kouzuki, character in "Code Geass"
Karen McCormick, Kenny's younger sister, character on "South Park"
Karen Starr, DC Comics superhero, also called Kara Zor-L, alter ego of Power-Girl, the Earth-Two version of Kara Zor-El aka Supergirl
Karen, a character in the anime/mange Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch
Karen Googlestien, character from the 2004 movie "White Chicks"
Karen "Voyd" from the 2018 Pixar sequel "Incredibles 2"

Karen's International Variations

Kyran, Carin, Karin, Kieron, Karan, Queron, Caren, Karena, Caryn (Scandinavian) Kalena, Kalina (Hawaiian) Karyna, Karina, Karine (Russian) Kaarina (Finnish) Keren, Keryn (Hebrew)


TechnoKitten Says:


I like it but It's both overused and dated,just like Linda :(

burg123 Says:


Sounds like a mom name

paulapuddephatt Says:


This name was so over-used that it's hard to appreciate it now, but I do wonder whether a kid called this now would like it or not. It could go either way. I think it sounds quite cute, for a baby. I think other parents and grandparents would moan and call it old-fashioned, but I don't think the kid would get a hard time at school, and her name would sound familiar but fairly unique. More ready to come back than Sharon or Tracy. Karen is a form of Catherine and variant forms, and those are still in style.

ThistleThorn Says:


I feel like this will be all the rage in about 20 years

hellogoodbye111 Says:


Cute name, but I know a ton of people with this name

unicornluvgirl Says:


My grandma's name. RIP Grandma :(