The name Karen has been all the rage over the past year—and by that we mean physical, angry rage. Though the name itself, which is Scandinavian in origin, has been an American standard for the better part of a century, it has been making headlines in recent months for all the wrong reasons. Specifically, it has become a kind of shorthand for what Nameberry describes as “a hostile white woman—one who usually wants to speak with the manager.” And apparently, fewer parents than ever want their kid to grow up to be that. Which is sort of good news?
As HuffPost reports:
“In 2020, Karen fell 171 spots on the popularity list to No. 831 (down from No. 660 in 2019). That decline makes Karen the name with the 14th-biggest decrease on the girls list in 2020 and marks its lowest ranking on the annual SSA list since the year 1927.”
Karen hasn’t been particularly fashionable for a while; its heyday was during the Baby Boom of the 1960s, where in 1965 alone nearly 33,000 bouncing baby Karens entered the world, ready to one day become fierce anti-vaxxers who would refuse to wear face masks during a future pandemic. By 2019, that number had dropped to a mere 439; in 2020, there were even fewer Karens—325 total, marking a decrease in popularity of more than 25 percent. Which is bad news for Karens, but great news for the manager of your local big box store.