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The first name 

Karen is a female first name. In very rare cases it is also used for boys.

Karen – popular and common in the US!

The name Karen isn’t among the current fashionable names in our top 10 stats, but nonetheless, it’s still very popular and common. In our SmartGenius ranking of all girls names, Karen ranks 476. Recently, out of every 10,000 newborn girls, approximately 4 were named Karen. In total, there are currently 985,854 people – children, adults and seniors – named Karen living in the United States, which is approximately 0.29 % of the entire population.

You won't believe all there is 
to discover about the name

What does the name 
Karen mean?

The name Karen has three different, unrelated origins. It is a Danish short form of Katherine probably meaning ‘pure’, it is a Japanese name meaning ‘lotus flower’, and a variant of the Armenian name Gargin of unknown meaning.

Karen became ... common in the English-speaking world after the 1930s.

Karen -
a top 10 name in Hawaii, at home in the entire USA

Regardless of where you live in the US, chances are you know someone called Karen. Because: There are women and girls named Karen in every state in the USA. If this does not sound particularly spectacular to you, you should know that of the more than 50,000 different female first names that occur in the USA, just 537 are recorded in each individual state, so the name Karen is definitely something very special. In some regions it even makes it into the top 10 of the most popular female first names, for example in Hawaii, where Karen ranks on place 6, making it one of the most common female first names in the entire state. The greatest chance of meeting Karen, however, is in Washington, D.C., where one in 86 girls and women bears this beautiful name – that is far above average – in the entire USA it is only one in 156, women and girls and in Mississippi, where the name is least represented in relation to the population, you even have to ask an average of 339 women and girls for their name before you once get Karen as an answer.

Karen has 5 letters 
and begins with a K

Well, you might say, you probably figured that out yourself! But what you might not know is: The letter K is a real popular first letter for girls' names. That’s because 7.5% of all common girls’ names in the US begin with this letter. Only the first letters A, S and M are more common for girls' names.

With five letters, the name Karen is comparatively short. In fact, 17.0% of all common first names in the US consist of exactly five letters. Only 7% of all first names are even shorter, while 75% have more than five letters. On average, first names in the US (not counting hyphenated names) are 6.5 letters long. There are no significant differences between boys' and girls' names.

That means that if 7.5% of all girls' names start with a K, this initial letter occurs more than twice as often as all 26 letters on average. Interesting detail: of all the girls' names that begin with a K, Karen is the most common.

Other names with 
K, a, r, e and n

If you take all the letters in the name Karen – K, a, r, e and n – and put them together again, you can form other names, such as Erkan or others.

With hands, flags and sounds 
How to say Karen

If your name is Karen and someone asks after your name, you can of course just tell them what it is. But sometimes that isn't so easy - what if it's too loud, and you don't understand them well? Or what if the other person is so far away that you can see them but not hear them? In these situations, you can communicate your name in so many other ways: you call spell it, sign it, or even use a flag to wave it...

This is how you spell the name Karen

So that everyone really understands you when you have to spell the name Karen, you can simply say:






This is how the name Karen is spelled in the NATO phonetic alphabet

The NATO alphabet often helps people spell words on the phone or radio when there are communication problems.

How do you write Karen in Braille?

Braille is made up of dots, which the blind and visually impaired can feel to read words.



You want to tell a deaf person that your name is Karen

Just use American Sign Language!

The name Karen is particularly colorful in the Semaphore flag signaling system!

These flags are used for maritime communication - each flag represents a letter.


Have you ever waved the name Karen

In the navy, sailors of two ships might wave flags to each other to send messages. A sailor holds two flags in specific positions to represent different letters.


Beeping like crazy...

In Morse code, letters and other characters are represented only by a series of short and long tones. For example, a short tone followed by a long tone stands for the letter A. Karen sounds like this: