March 2020 (coronacation)thoughtfull English

1 post published by TT during April 2020. The second part of my Lockdown Lexicon, Covidictionary, Glossary of Coronacoinages. In trying to make sense of our new circumstances, under lockdown, in social isolation or distancing, we must come to terms with an array of new language, some of it unfamiliar and difficult to process, some pre-existing but deployed in new ways. @adessakelley posted on their Instagram profile: “Quarantine and bikinis #coronacation”. March 18, 2020 / Wendy / 1 Comment. Welcome to my crazy coronacation crafting session. Sister joined me and we had a great time. (English) – 153811.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began its lethal spread in December 2019, people all over the world have been adopting new behaviors and new vocabulary. We've learned the distinction between self-isolation (removing yourself from healthy people if you have COVID symptoms) and social/physical distancing (maintaining a distance of 6 feet or 2 meters from another person). We've learned, or re-learned, the history of quarantine (although it derives from the Italian quarantina, meaning 40, COVID-19 quarantine usually lasts only 14 days). We're washing our hands for 20 seconds multiple times a day, sometimes to music. Some places — such as California, where I live — are under directives to shelter in place, a term borrowed from emergency management that has its origins, as Ben Zimmer wrote here in 2013, in 'Cold War scenarios of nuclear fallout.'

The situation is grim for many people, especially healthcare workers and anyone suffering from the disease. But not all of the new language is serious: Some of it is creative, thoughtful, and even playful.

Manual apple mac mini. Here are some of the new terms — call them coronacoinages or coronanovelties, in honor of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 — that I've been tracking over the last few weeks.

CARES Act. On March 27, the US Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known by the acronym CARES Act. The law authorizes the spending of $2 trillion to address the economic fallout of the 2020 coronavirus pandemic in the United States. For more on legislative backronyms like CARES, see my 2017 column.

Caremongering. In Canada and India, new Facebook groups are asking people to 'stop scaremongering and start caremongering,' as the Indian group puts it. The groups “aim to help those in need and particularly support the most vulnerable and those at greatest risk from COVID-19 within their communities, according to a story in Global News. Monger comes from Old English mangere and means 'merchant' or 'trader'; established compounds include warmonger (1580s) and fishmonger (mid-15th century). The earliest use of scaremonger is from 1888.

Corn-teen. A playful misspelling of quarantine, sometimes represented by the emoji compound 🌽 teen. (The emoji spelling wouldn't work in the UK, where that plant is known as maize.)

Coronacation. Classes canceled? Forced to work from home (WFH)? It's not a staycation this time; it's coronacation.

Coronadodge. Crossing the street to avoid violating the six-feet-apart guideline.

Coronageddon, coronapocalypse. The end of the world, brought about either by the pandemic or by related social and economic collapse. Often used facetiously. Previous such portmanteaus have included snowmageddon and carmageddon; the 55-hour shutdown in 2016 of a freeway through the town of Corona, in Southern California, was also dubbed Coronageddon.

Coronaspeck. As noted by Robert Lane Greene, language columnist for The Economist.

Coronials. A name for a hypothetical generation of children conceived during COVID-19 quarantine. (See also: quaranteens.)

COVID-10. Also seen with other numerals. The 10 (or 15, or 19) pounds you gain while in self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic. Modeled on 'Freshman 15,' the 15 pounds many students gain during their first year in university.

Covidiot. A COVID idiot: a person who, in a time of crisis, hoards food and essential supplies and denies them to those in need, or who otherwise flouts the pandemic guidelines. The earliest definition in Urban Dictionary is dated March 14, 2020.

The Miley. Abbreviated from Cockney rhyming slang for 'coronavirus' (Miley Cyrus).

Pandumbic. Coined by 'The Daily Show,' it's the title of a parody disaster movie in which 'a man immune … to information' wreaks havoc on the US.

PanPal. From pandemic (pen) pal. Used by the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization of Oxford County, Ontario (Canada) to describe a project that connects generations during social isolation through letter-writing. Not to be confused with a brand of nonstick cookware. Pen pal was first seen in print in 1931; it replaced the earlier pen friend.

Quaranteens. The Coronial generation in a little over a decade.

Quarantini. Any of a number of recipes for martini-like cocktails to be enjoyed during self-isolation. Related: Coronarita, a margarita-like drink made with Corona, a brand of Mexican beer.

Quaz. Australian slang for quarantine, modeled after other Australian nicknames such as Baz (Barry) and Shaz (Sharon) that replace with Z a syllable beginning with R. Other Australian coronaslang includes iso for isolation (modeled on arvo for afternoon and other truncations) and sanny for sanitizer (compare brekkie, mozzie, barbie, and, well, Aussie). (Hat tip: Sasha Wilmoth.)

Rona. Slang for coronavirus. Also The Rona, Miss Rona (primarily in gay communities), and La Rona (in Latinx communities). Rona had already been a nickname for Corona brand beer; the earliest definition for that usage on Urban Dictionary is from September 2004.

Zoom-bombing. With many people now working from home (WFH) or attending online classes, the use of videoconferencing tools such as Zoom has skyrocketed. So has an unfortunate consequence: 'gate-crashing' by trolls who insert hate speech or pornographic images into the conference. (In many cases, the anonymous intruders discovered the video sessions through publicly posted log-in information.) Although there are multiple videoconferencing services, Zoom — founded in San Jose, California, in 2011 — has become a convenient shorthand. The 'bomb' in Zoom-bombing comes from the jargon of spray-can graffiti; see also photobombing and yarn bombing.

Have you spotted any novel coronacoinages? Share them in a comment and I'll do my best to track their definitions and origins.

Nancy Friedman is the chief wordworker at verbal-branding consultancy Wordworking, and the author of a fine blog on naming, branding and more called Fritinancy. Nancy has named a venture-capital firm, a laser hair-removal device, a mobile-money service, and many other companies and products. A former journalist, she still writes or ghostwrites articles, speeches, white papers, and books.

Click here to read other articles by Nancy Friedman
Rate this article:
Article topics:
Language
Linguistics
Naming
Word Origins

Just when you think the English language has thought of it all, a global pandemic hits and leaves us… speechless. Well, most of us. The copywriters, the journalists, the content creators — they’re still tasked with interpreting the world for all of humanity. From “coronavirus” itself to “PPE” to “social distancing,” new words and phrases have vaulted into our everyday use, becoming part of the mainstream lexicon and a steady ingredient in our fortified daily media diet.

These creative terms and turns of phrase surprise and delight us when we see them because they perfectly describe something we all feel. They also help us create better content because content is communication and finding clear and/or clever ways to do it is at the heart of what brands do. It’s also something for content creators to be concerned with as they meet the moment with cultural sensitivity and compassion in a period of constant, awe-inspiring change.

Having just passed the six-month mark since our lives were turned upside down, I thought now would be a good time to round up some of new contributions to our everyday language that might define the era when we look back years from now. Terms born from germs that went viral as writers and amateurs did their best to define new phenomena, surreal situations and things previously not of this world.

These words have helped people and brands make sense of a time that is hard to make sense of. They’ve become everything from hashtags to memes to flashpoints for connecting people at a time when advertising is concerned with safety, much like the population that is consuming it — a steady, constant reminder that we’re all in this together.

So, in the spirit of togetherness…

10 new words born during the coronavirus pandemic

March 2020 (coronacation)thoughtfull english subtitles

[Please note: These definitions are my own and do not represent anyone or anything outside my brain.]

1. Quarantimes (noun)

The period of time beginning March 2020, which encompasses everything from quarantine to stay-at-home orders, where the conventional definition of time has taken on something akin to a Salvador Dali clock.

Usage in a sentence:

March 2020 (coronacation)thoughtfull English Premier League

When you wake up on Monday and think it’s a Friday… that’s a sign of the quarantimes.

2. Quarantini (noun)

Literally any drink that gets you through the lockdown by mixing one-part alcohol and two parts anything else, often consumed during “locktail hour.”

Usage in a sentence:

To tee up their night of quarantine and chill, his bae whipped up a set of quarantinis to properly set the mood.

3. Zoombombing (verb)

The act of crashing a Zoom session you were not invited to by doing something rude or potentially unwelcome by the video-conference attendees.

Usage in a sentence:

She was about to give her presentation when someone Zoombombed the meeting eating Doritos unmuted in a crunchy orange square filled with Cheeto-dust.

4. Anti-buddies (noun)

Two people who feel safer hanging out together because they’ve both tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies, which may or may not mean anything depending on the news you subscribe to.

Usage in a sentence:

The antibuddies decided to start dating because they figured they had less chance of contracting the coronavirus.

5. Maskne (noun)

A rare, unfortunate acne breakout that can occur underneath a tight-fitting mask (or often multiple masks) causing itchy discomfort. A red badge of courage of sorts for front-line workers.

Usage in a sentence:

In the interest of saving lives, the health-care worker wore their N95 mask all day over a 3-ply and hence, developed a mild case of maskne.

6. Quaranteams (noun)

Not to be confused with quarantimes, quaranteams are created when COVID-free neighbors or family members team up to create “pods” with others in hopes of creating responsible companionship.

Usage in a sentence:

March 2020 (coronacation)thoughtfull English

Every Sunday evening, the Katz crew hosted an outdoor movie night with their quaranteam.

7. Coronacation (noun)

March 2020 (coronacation)thoughtfull English Dub

Having large, unwanted pockets of time at home due to stay-at-home orders or by being paid not to come into work. A forced staycation, if you will.

Usage in a sentence:

He had a greater understanding of house arrest after his lengthy coronacation.

8. Elbow-bump (noun or verb)

March 2020 (coronacation)thoughtfull English

Known as the new high-five, bumping elbows is now an acceptable form of greeting when you see a friend or family member in lieu of hugs, handshakes or traditional palm-slapping.

Usage in a sentence:

They gave each other a quick elbow-bump before sitting down for a socially distanced coffee in the courtyard.

9. Virtual happy hour (noun)

The process of having drinks with co-workers over Zoom in lieu of an in-person happy hour, otherwise known as drinking alone(ish).

Usage in a sentence:

When the team met up for a Zoom virtual happy hour, Taylor got virtually sloshed and started typing random things in the chat feature.

10. Super-spreader (noun or adjective)

When a symptomatic or asymptomatic person knowingly or unknowingly puts people at risk for contracting coronavirus by engaging in close proximity with large groups at a time.

Usage in a sentence:

It seemed tone-deaf for the campaign to host a potential super-spreader event in light of all the COVID-related deaths.

What other new words will be born during the final leg of 2020? Which mash-ups will catch on with content creators… and which will we deign not to say out loud?

We’ll just have to grab a quarantini and see.

#Quarantini. #Coronacation. #Antibuddies. Here are 10 new terms born from germs, that went viral as we all try to define new cultural phenomena, surreal situations and things previously not of this world. #creativecontent Click To Tweet