Dad Asks If He’s Wrong For Refusing To Name Daughter “Karen” After MIL

When naming a baby, there are definitely things you want to consider. The baby should not be named after anyone on either partner’s list of garbage humans. You want to make sure the name is just unique enough so that you don’t end up going to school, like me, with at least fourteen Stephanies. And you don’t want to name the baby something that will cause it stress later in life.

Well, what if that name is “Karen.” Yes, it’s a meme now, but will it always be like that? And should memes dictate what you should or should not name your child, anyway? One couple on Reddit is struggling with that choice. 

“My wife and I recently found out we’re having a daughter. We hadn’t really talked about names before but we both agreed that each of us will retain veto power. When we did start discussing names, both of us wanted to name her after our late mothers. Her mom’s name was Karen and my mom’s name wasn’t a meme.”

“I told her the baby can take my mom’s name as her first name and her mom’s name as a middle name, or have an entirely different name, but I can’t okay ‘Karen’ as a first name in any case. She got offended because she just wants to honor her mother and thinks I have a problem with that. I just don’t want to set our daughter up to be bullied throughout her life. I told her I’d be fine with whatever first name she picks as long as it doesn’t lead to the baby being picked on later in life, but she’s pretty insistent on Karen.” 

It’s tough. There are obviously a lot of people named Karen in the world who aren’t entitled jerks who want to see the manager about everything. What should this couple do? 

“It was a normal name, now it’s a joke. Imagine ‘baby Karen.’ People are gonna make jokes all her life,” said Acceptable-Message59

“It’s a joke with our generation. It’s doubtful it will be a joke in hers. But regardless, parents get full veto power on names they don’t like (unless they abuse that power),” noted SnowStorm1123

“I personally feel like the ‘Karen’ thing will die off one day, and our childrens’ generation will likely not know anything about it. However, I can see where you would still be adamant about not wanting to name her that. There is a bit of a stigma around that name TODAY. I think you guys should take a different route in name picking and just steer clear of tribute naming. Good luck,” said brittypop87.

“Give her 2 middle names and pick a completely new first name? Or if there is a way to combine your mom’s name and her mom’s name to create a new name, that might be cool. Orrrrr, maybe you could suggest something like Corinne (could be spelled different ways like Korrine or Karyn – this is my middle name and it’s spelled Caryn) or Carley (Karlie, Karley) or Ren? Then it’s kinda still got some of her mom’s name in it to honor her, but also gives your daugther her OWN name, too,” suggested TaterrrTot3.

“Just like Dick, Gaylord, and Nimrod all used to be perfectly fine names, and now are pretty unusable in today’s society. I think it’s fair to think long-term here in the sense of your child. You could gamble and hope that it dies out, or you could be pragmatic and accept that you don’t realistically know if the negative connotations will leave. And I mean, honestly, with the fact the internet exist, when she goes to search her name ‘Karen’ we all know the horrible videos she’s going to find (and not just a few dozen, but literally thousands by the time she is old enough to use the internet). And any kid on the planet would be upset to have their name associated with that,” said no_rxn.

“I have come around to really hating the name memes. I have used “Karen” as an insult a few times, but I regret it now. It sucks because real people have that name and it’s really not fair to them. It’s not like there’s anything inherently bad about the name Karen. It’s actually a pretty name beyond that context. All that to say, I understand where your wife is coming from and I do think the meme thing is likely to die off by the time your daughter is of an age to be bullied by it. Plus, there are a ton of people named Karen who go about living their lives with this name and no problems. However, I also understand where you’re coming from. You don’t want to put an unnecessary burden on your daughter. I also think the fact that your chosen name now gets priority might have something to do with your wife’s resentment. Why don’t you sit down together and come up with a mutually agreed upon alternative. Maybe even a variation of the name like ‘Kara’?” asked sandwichOtter.

What do you think? Would you name your child Karen? 

The OP eventually provided an update on the situation:

“While exchanging ideas, we realized that both our mothers very coincidentally had the exact same middle name, Elizabeth (well mine had two middle names, and Elizabeth was one of them, but still). It seemed completely perfect to both of us so we’re going with it. Thanks for all your input.”

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