Gender: Female Meaning of Karen: "pure" Origin of Karen: Danish variation of Katherine Karen's Popularity in 2019: #660

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.

16 names similar to Karen

These 16 names were selected by our users that were looking for other names like Karen. If you didn't find an alternative name that you like better than Karen, try our name generator. It allows you to go beyond the similarities of a name, which can provide a lot of inspiration!

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


Rank in US: #660

- this week

Famous People Named Karen

Pop Culture References for the name Karen

Carynn, Kerron, Karaina, Kaaren, Carina, Karon, Carrin, Carryn, Kerrin, Carynne, Karna, Karenna, Karryn, Kerran, Kari, Koren,

Karen's International Variations

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


Rustyspottedcat Says:


I agree. It's a nice name, but the association with entitled parents means it's probably not going to be popular for quite a while.

lululily Says:



lululily Says:


so sorry for your loss

QueenieGuldbaek Says:


It's an Outnumbered reference.

ivy194 Says:


It's a shame about the meme- I used to like this. It's not usable anymore, unfortunately.

QueenieGuldbaek Says:


Karen, you can't see time.

QueenieGuldbaek Says:


Can I speak to the manager?

QueenieGuldbaek Says:


I think of Outnumbered when I hear this name.

Renee5322 Says:


This name was pretty much destroyed by the Karen meme. A shame, because I always thought it was one of the nicer midcentury names.

snowsbeloved Says:


Except Baby Boomers are now middle aged or even elderly and past their childrearing years. Maybe you’re thinking of Generation X? 🤔

ParanoidAndroid Says:


The recent “Karen” memes emanating around the Internet certainly does little to no justice to this name. The modern day depiction of this name is now this snooty, self-entitled, snobbish Baby Boomer who drives her children, little Olivia and Emma, to soccer practice after berating a McDonald’s manager for messing up their orders. Karen is oft painted is the paragon “Soccer Mom” name nowadays, which is a shame, as Karen is a much more pleasant name than the other archetypal Soccer Mom names I can list off. “Susan” or “Barbara” fits that mold better than a “Karen”.

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 :(