How ‘Karen’ went from a popular baby name to a stand-in for white entitlement

How ‘Karen’ went from a popular baby name to a stand-in for white entitlement

But, as a sociolinguist who studies and writes about language and discrimination, I was also struck by the name given to Cooper in several headlines: “Central Park Karen.” On Twitter, the birder’s sister also referred to her as a “Karen.”

There was no confusion about what this meant: It was a label for a white woman who had used her privilege to threaten and try to intimidate a black man by calling the police. …

The first comes from African American communities, where certain generic first names have long been a shorthand for “a white woman to be wary of because she won’t hesitate to wield privilege at the expense of others.” 

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