Karen – we seem to hear it more and more, and usually (but not always), it’s meant to be funny. Karen is a mocking slang term for an entitled, obnoxious, middle-aged white woman. Especially as featured in memes, Karen is generally stereotyped as having a blonde bob haircut, asking to speak to retail and restaurant managers to voice complaints or make demands.
Karen joins a trend on the internet in the 2010s of using a first name to make fun of certain kinds of people. A Becky, for example, is a stereotype for a “basic” young, white woman, while a Chad, in other corners of the internet, stands in for a cocky, young “dudebro.”
But, why the name Karen? One suggestion is that it comes from a 2007 bit by Dane Cook called “The Friend Nobody Likes.” (The friend was named Karen.) Another explanation is that it comes from a similar character Karen in the 2004 film Mean Girls.
The character was further developed in December 2017 thanks to a subreddit dedicated to mocking the imagined Karen. Tropes that developed about Karen here were that she is an annoying (and always annoyed) middle-aged, suburban, minivan-driving white, divorced mother of poorly behaved boys (of whom she has custody) who has a so-called “speak to the manager” haircut. (adapted from Dictionary.com)
Check us out at http://www.GreentreeCommunications.ca. We are happy to help with your editing and translation needs. We are NOT Karens!!