In the ever-changing vernacular of America in this day and age, there are new and bizarre bits of slang popping up all over the place.
2020’s most ubiquitous addition has been the use of the name “Karen” to denote a woman, often white, who bickers in such a way that it becomes a personality trait. The most common action attributed to “Karens” is asking for “the manager” – which is often a figurative term for anyone with authority.
So, in short, you might have someone complaining about the strength of their drink at Applebee’s labeled a “Karen”, as well as someone who calls the police on someone for something inoffensive, like bird-watching.
The term has hit the mainstream in a big way this week.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany a “Karen” on Twitter Thursday, after reportedly being called a “derelict mayor” during a press briefing.
White House correspondent for Time Magazine Brian Bennett originally mentioned the slight on his Twitter account, before the message was picked up by Lightfoot.
“White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany just called Lori Lightfoot ‘the derelict mayor of Chicago’ and said she should request federal help to secure the city,” he wrote.
“Hey, Karen. Watch your mouth,” the mayor wrote.
As of this writing, the White House has yet to respond to the kerfuffle.
Become an insider!
Sign up for our free email newsletter, and we'll make sure to keep you in the loop.