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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – October 1, 2020

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – October 1, 2020

Karen – Name Calling on a Whole New Level 

By Jodie Montgomery

Last week, at lunch, I received an education on the name Karen. I have since researched “Karen” and discovered that:

  • According to the dictionary, Karen is a member of an indigenous people of eastern Burma and western Thailand
  • Karen is a short form of the word Katherine since medieval times
  • And the top definition for Karen, from the Urban Dictionary, is “the stereotypical name associated with rude, obnoxious and insufferable middle aged white women”, “a mutated subspecies that descends from the Soccer Mom”, traits include a short temper, a crown bowl haircut, an unnecessarily large SUV, and a menace to retail workers

I just want to say I am shocked by this reworking of the meaning of Karen. I grieve for my friends named Karen. I know a lot of really dear Karens. The name means “pure”. Think of all the parents who named their children Karen and now are feeling like maybe they burdened their children. Ugh. It’s a lot of pressure to name a child. This could be overwhelming.

I want to encourage the Karens I know that you are not, well you better not be, the Urban Dictionary definition and I am offended that a name can be so changed by a generation. I’m making a stand for you in this blog. Names matter and  I’m jealous for your name. Please feel affirmed. If you did not know, as I was ignorant, of the added meaning to Karen then I apologize for bringing this to anyone’s attention. I hope people know to lovingly say your name without snickers or stumbling. The Karen that told me about the redefining of Karen is warm, loving, patient, kind, smart, and longsuffering. She has a great sense of humor about her name being MISUSED. I hope the next generation will take back Karen, righting the slight done to this moniker.

All that to say, a person may be named, but they define themselves. The character of the Karens I know endears the name Karen to me. The culture, the trends, the stereotypes do not define you or me. We are responsible for putting meaning behind our names. God knows our names and what we are in Him.

A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor is better than silver and gold.

Proverbs 22:1