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Origin, Meaning And History Of Karen

The name Karen is believed to have originated from the Scandinavian countries of Denmark and Norway. In these countries, the name Karen is derived from the Old Norse name “Katrín,” which means “pure” or “chaste.” The name became popular in Denmark and Norway during the 19th century, and it remains a common name in these countries today.

Another possible origin of the name Karen is from the Greek word “katharos,” which means “pure.” This is the same root word from which the name Catherine is derived. In this case, Karen is a variation of the name Catherine, and it has the same meaning. In Armenia, the name Karen is derived from the Armenian word “karen,” which means “brave” or “warrior.” This name is more commonly used for boys in Armenia, but it can also be given to girls.

In Japan, the name Karen is sometimes written with the kanji characters for “flower” and “lotus.” The name can also be written with other kanji characters to give it a different meaning. The Karen people are an ethnolinguistic group, speaking the Sino-Tibetan language. They have significant populations in Myanmar and Thailand.

The name Karen became popular in the United States during the mid-20th century, and it was one of the top 10 most popular names for girls in the 1950s and 1960s. The name was likely popularized by the actress Karen Black, who became famous in the 1960s. However, the popularity of the name has declined in recent decades.

Karen has several variations and nicknames in different languages and cultures. Some variations of the name Karen include Karon (Danish), Caren (Welsh), and Karin (Swedish). Other variants of Karen include Caren, Karan, Karyn, Kerin, Kerryn, Karon, and Caryn. In English-speaking countries, common nicknames for Karen include Care, Kar, Kiki, Ren, and Koko.

The name has been widely used in fiction and movies as well. Karen is a character in “Wanderlust,” a 2012 American comedy film. Karen Hayes is a character portrayed by Jayne Atkinson in the TV series “24.”


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Pure; Derived from the elements 'carus' which means dear ; 'katharos' pure
 K..  Ka..  Kah..  Kar.. 

How To Pronounce Karen?


Famous People With The Name Karen

  • Karen CarpenterAmerican singer and drummer of the popular 1970s brother-sister music duo “The Carpenters”
  • Karen GillanScottish actress, known for her role as Nebula in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)
  • Karen ArmstrongBritish author and commentator, best known for her books “A History of God” and “The Battle for God”
  • Karen KainCanadian ballet dancer and artistic director, known for being the principal dancer with the National Ballet of Canada
  • Karen BlackAmerican actress, won two Golden Globe awards and an Academy Award nomination

Karen On The Popularity Chart

Check out the graphs shared here to learn more about Karnen’s popularity and ranking.

Popularity Over Time

The name Karen saw its popularity steadily decrease over a span of four decades, starting with the early 1980s. In 2021, 226 babies per million were named Karen.

Source: Social Security Administration

Rank Over Time

As the popularity of the name Karen diminished, its rank kept falling over the last forty years. Check out the graph below to see how Karen performed in ranking.

Source: Social Security Administration

Names With Similar Sound As Karen

Here are a few other name options for you in case you like the sound of Karen but would also like to take a look at other similar names.

Names With Similar Meaning As Karen

If the meaning of the name Karen has attracted your attention more than anything else, here are a few other names with similar meanings that you can take a look at.

Name Numerology For Karen

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