Karma is a bitch

What is the meaning of the phrase ‘Karma is a bitch’?

Negative actions have negative consequences for those who don’t mean well.

What is the origin of the phrase ‘Karma is a bitch’?

You could be forgiven for thinking that the phrase ‘Karma is a bitch’ is a derogatory term that is used to describe Hindu and Buddhist beliefs about karma. However this is incorrect in its most common use in popular culture, but the explanation does require some distilling from these religions.

In both Hinduism and Buddhism, believers are taught that a person’s actions in this life will determine their fate in future lives or afterlife. This concept has been taken on board more widely to mean that if a person is mostly good, they will have mostly good luck, but if they are bad, they will mostly have bad luck.

In the phrase ‘Karma is a bitch’, karma is personified, and is described as a bitch in the context of ‘someone’ ensuring that a person who has done wrong will eventually receive the treatment that they deserve from their karma.

Similar phrases include ‘Karma is a boomerang’, meaning that it comes back, and ‘What goes around comes around’ which also means that bad deeds will have negative consequences for those who commit them.

You may also come across ‘Karma is a mirror’, ‘Payback’s a bitch’, ‘Ain’t karma a bitch’ and ‘Karma’s a bitch’.

What are some notable uses of the phrase ‘Karma is a bitch’?

The phrase ‘Karma is a bitch’ has garnered much popularity over the years, and is frequently heard in TV shows such as ‘Gossip Girl’, ‘The Sopranos’, ‘Suits’, ‘Breaking Bad’ and ‘Sons of Anarchy’.

The phrase also appears in the song “Give Me Your Love” from the album “Black Reign” by Queen Latifah released in 1993. 

Today you will often find the phrase in internet memes across all social media platforms.

Trend of karma is a bitch in printed material over time

Cari Mayhew - Author at Phrase Finder

Cari Mayhew

Lifelong learner, phrase fanatic, and lover of literature across multiple genres. Cari Mayhew has a passion for expression, and a keen curiosity for how phrases begin and how their use transforms over time. She is often found looking for the ideal idiom to convey her thoughts and musings.