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Research finds many called Karen have considered name change

Karen in EastEnders wouldn't consider being called anything else


Research finds many called Karen have considered name change

Slapped with a reputation of being a difficult and argumentative woman, nearly half (45%) of Karens in the UK have been forced into considering a name change, according to a new study.

Nearly a third (31%) of Karens around the country are embarrassed by their name and the reputation it now carries, with three in 10 Karens feeling both self-conscious and misunderstood. And it doesn’t stop there, with a further 24% feeling attacked and 21% feeling humiliated by the association.

It turns out the popular meme could be playing a role in making the name Karen extinct, with only one baby registered with the name Karen in 2022. Karens around the country aren’t planning to change that anytime soon as a staggering 79% of women named Karen would never consider giving their baby the same name.

The research, conducted by Paddy Power Games, asked British women what it’s like to live with this moniker of ‘being a Karen’, and some of the respondents were so upset that they might just complain to the manager. A quarter of Karens have expressed hurt that people have turned their name into a joke (which does sound like something a ‘Karen’ would say!), with over half (52%) of Karens confirming they would never use the term ‘Karen’ to describe someone.

The research also showed that those aged 35 to 44 are most likely to feel embarrassed by the implications of their name, whereas 38% of millennials (25-34 year-olds) feel the most self-conscious about giving their name. On the flip side, only 11% of Karens surveyed feel proud of their name, with just one in 10 feeling confident when offering their name to someone for the first time.

It’s clear that Karens are (rightly or wrongly) feeling misrepresented by their name, with nearly four in 10 (39%) thinking it’s unfair to judge someone based on their name and nearly a third (30%) admitting they feel pre-judged when they tell people their name and that the definition of ‘being a Karen’ has spiralled out of control.

A Paddy Power Games spokesperson:

“In recent years the name Karen has become a widespread meme referencing a certain type of person. She demands to speak to the manager and nearly always has a short blond asymmetric bob with thick highlights. Whether that’s true, we couldn’t possibly comment, but it’s interesting to see from our research that the name is dying out and those called Karen are suffering the consequences.”

How Karens feel about the perception of the name Karen
Rank Reason All
1 I think it’s unfair to judge someone based on their name 39%
=2 I feel pre-judged when I tell people my name 30%
=2 The definition of ‘a Karen’ has spiraled out of control 30%
4 The definition of ‘a Karen’ is totally wrong 27%
=5 I’m embarrassed to tell people my name in case they laugh at me 26%
=5 I feel hurt that people have turned my name into a joke 26%
6 I feel the term is sexist and there wouldn’t be a similar term made for a man 15%

The topic of naming a baby Karen features in the new ‘Life with More Chances’  TV ad by Paddy Power Games. Star of the ad, model Abbey Clancy said: “My mum’s called Karen! She’s got so many incredible qualities, but that there is a couple of those stereotypical ‘Karen’ qualities in there.”

 A Paddy Power Games spokesperson:

“Our recent TV advert is all about ‘life with more chances’ and if this research proves anything, it’s that if given another chance, almost half of Karen’s would consider changing their name.”

The research was conducted by Censuswide with 101 women in the UK with the name Karen (16+) 25.10.23 to 30.10.23. Censuswide abide by and employ members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles and are members of The British Polling Council. BabyCentre reported only one baby Karen in 2022.

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