New virus, new language
May 21, 2020 by Lisa Bywaters
Have you noticed how many new words, acronyms and phrases have entered our vocabulary since rona arrived?
We thought it was timely to have a quick look at some of the more common ones, so you’re up-to-date in iso.
- BCV – before corona virus. This is self-explanatory. Those heady days before we’d even heard of COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2.
- blursday – seriously what day of the week is it today? They really do all blur together in isolation.
- corona moaner – we love rhyming don’t we? We all have our moans and complaints about iso and this strange situation we’re living through, but the corona moaner is the person who never stops complaining. You know who I’m talking about.
- coronials – corona + millennials = a new generation, born about 9 months after isolation began. Lots of time at home together, a few quarantinis and whoops, we have a baby boom.
- covexit – like Brexit – it’s the strategies for getting out of isolation and the economic issues associated with it. Let’s hope it’s smoother and quicker than Brexit!
- coronacation – working or schooling from home. Though I’m a little perplexed by this one because it hasn’t felt like a holiday or vacation at all. It’s feels a bit like hard work, right??
- covidiot – again fairly self-explanatory. Just as we love rhyming, we love joining words together to create new ones. A covidiot is someone who ignores physical distancing, ignores all the restrictions and thinks life can continue as usual, as if it was BCV.
- covid-kilos – refers to the slightly curvier shape some of us have developed after making endless batches of banana bread or trying to make the perfect sourdough loaf or experimenting with quarantini recipes.
- flattening the curve – this phrase entered our vocab very quickly. Basically it means limiting the spread of COVID-19 to reduce the impact on the health system. Sadly it’s not a quick fix to covid-kilos or pandemic padding.
- iso – short for isolation. Der.
- magpieing – this refers to the covidiots who created a toilet paper/hand sanitisier/flour/cake mix shortage for a time by buying up more than they could use in 10 lifetimes.
- my corona – showing my age here, but this one always makes me laugh. It’s just a take on the 1979 song My Sharona by The Knack.
- pandemic padding – see covid-kilos.
- quarantini – a martini/cocktail you consume during quarantine. Going by the recipes and images on socials it now seems to be anything you want it to be. But it’s essentially an alcoholic drink you create using whatever you have on hand. Enjoy!
- rona – our short, ‘affectionate’ name for coronavirus. Shortening it somehow makes it seem a little less scary.
- sanny – short for hand sanitiser. Have you noticed how the world (or every public building you enter) is beginning to smell like sanny?
- social/physical distancing – social distancing is used more often, but we prefer physical distancing. It simply refers to us staying physically distant from others to stop the spread of rona.
- WFH – working from home, with all the joys of tech issues, fighting for space with the family, home schooling, pets and kids interrupting video chats. Yay.
- zoombombing – the intrusion of covidiots you don’t know into your Zoom meeting. This can be for entertainment purposes – can you say bored covidiot? Or it could be for malicious reasons. Make sure you use the waiting room feature of Zoom so you can see who’s wanting to enter before they disrupt your meeting.
That’s it – you’re up-to-date. For the moment. It’s inevitable that new words and phrases will appear as we continue on our iso journey towards covexit.
Until then, go and fix yourself a quarantini, sit back and contemplate your coronacation. And as the sweet smell of sanny wafts through your home on this blursday in iso, take heart that we’re flattening the curve and we’ll soon be looking at ways to covexit.
More to explore
- ‘Iso’, ‘boomer remover’ and ‘quarantini’: how coronavirus is changing our language
The Conversation, 11 May 2020
- How coronavirus restrictions have given us a new spin on language
ABC News, 11 May 2020
- COVID-19 lingo: Why Aussies need slang for everything
CQUniversity Australia, 30 April 2020
- How to prevent Zoombombing in your video chats in 4 easy steps
C|Net, 29 April 2020