1

Is there a male equivalent of "Karen"?

I have heard a few (e.g., Frank, Bob, Ken), but they don't seem to have the wide currency that "Karen" does. Perhaps they do and I am not aware of it.

Definition of "Karen" from Wikipedia (emphasis mine):

Karen is a term for a person perceived to be entitled or demanding beyond the scope of what is considered appropriate or necessary. A common stereotype is that of a racist white woman who uses her privilege to get her own way at the expense of others. Depictions also include demanding to "speak to the manager", being anti vaxxer, or having a particular bob cut hairstyle. As of 2020 the pejorative was increasingly being used as a general-purpose term of disapproval for middle-aged upper-middle-class white women.

... a Karen's defining characteristics are "entitlement, selfishness, a desire to complain" ... a Karen "demands the world exist according to her standards with little regard for others, and she is willing to risk or demean others to achieve her ends."

Question:

Is there a male equivalent of "Karen"? If there isn't one, then what word or phrase can be used to reflect most of the qualities mentioned above?

In addition to the qualities, I would also like the word/phrase to have some sense of a distinct appearance (like Karen's bob cut hairstyle) and the racial aspect (but this isn't a must for now).

  • I guess it's Ken. – SovereignSun Jun 14 at 6:15
  • @MichaelHarvey I don't think this is exclusive to the US. It seems applicable to all woman who share those qualities, including the appearance, age, and the racial aspect. – AIQ Jun 14 at 6:42
  • 1
    Mitch McConnell? Sean Hannity? I would guess that if you used Hannity, Donald, Mitch or Donald Junior in the way you would with Karen the majority of American English speakers would get it. Oh by the way, thanks for posting the question. I never knew Karen had become a slur, but be aware it wouldn't work in the UK. I think that is the point @MichaelHarvey was making. – Mari-Lou A Jun 14 at 7:05
  • It seems, from a feature in the UK Metro newspaper (a free one) that maybe it is now current in the UK. – Michael Harvey Jun 14 at 7:09
  • 1
    We already had Sharons (since the 1980s) who are, roughly speaking, a nationwide version of Essex girls. Like 'Karen', it is a pejorative term, a kind of dismissive generalisation, and not terribly helpful. – Michael Harvey Jun 14 at 9:46
2

There are some male names floating around out there as purported synonyms to Karen, but in my opinion none are quite synonymous with or well-known as “Karen”. (See for example Brad; a negative male name but lacking all the nuances that “Karen” has, such as the need to see a manager.) Therefore, I would suggest you look no further than “Karen” itself.

“Karen” by itself is sometimes used gender neutrally. For example:

Lucius Malfoy was a Karen

Other times they’re called “man-Karen” or “male Karen”:

Man-Karen wasn't happy about that so he threatened to sue. —Reddit

The male Karen's have really come out of the woodwork —Twitter

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.