Karen, Felicia and the death of a popular baby name


(KXAN) — In the 1960s, there were only three girl names more popular than Karen. At its peak in 1965, one in every 56 girls in the United States was born a Karen. But today, pop culture and internet slang have effectively killed off the name.

In 2018, the last year of records, Karen was just the 635th most popular name in America. By the time 2020 data is in, Karen likely won’t register in the top 1,000. Raise your hand if you’d like to see the manager.

Karen was already losing popularity before the internet hastened the baby name’s death. And the dispute over an off-leash dog in Central Park on Monday sparked just the latest attacks on Karen’s good — or not-so-good — name. No matter even that this Karen was an Amy.

Looking at baby name trends, you see just how quickly Karen’s fall came.

It’s not isolated just to Karen. Other names like Felicia, Chad, Becky and Stacy have suffered a similar fate. In 1994, Felicia was the 181st most popular girl’s name. In 1995, Ice Cube said, “Bye Felicia,” and the name dropped 100 positions a year until it no longer registered in the top 1,000.

And if you’re curious, here are the drops in popularity for Chad, Becky and Stacy:

You can see how your own name has changed over time through the Social Security Administration or view the Top 10 Baby Names of 2018.

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