Australians Kate Burridge and Howard Manns tell us how coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic is creating new words and phrases. You got the ‘covo’, mate?
In these times of COVID-19, there are the usual suspects: shortenings like “sanny” (hand sanitizer) and “iso” (isolation), abbreviations like BCV (before corona virus) and WFH (working from home), also compounds “corona moaner” (the whingers) and “zoombombing” (the intrusion into a video conference).
Plenty of nouns have been “verbed” too — the toilet paper/pasta/tinned tomatoes have been “magpied”. Even rhyming slang has made a bit of a comeback with Miley Cyrus lending her name to the virus (already end-clipped to “the Miley”). Some combine more than one process — “the isodesk” (or is that “the isobar”) is where many of us are currently spending our days.
Linguist Tony Thorne, has a list of new language, writing beneath the headline: “CORONASPEAK – the language of Covid-19 goes viral”. Here are some from his glossary coined by an excited media:
Coronaverse (Guardian) – the now prevailing socio-economic order
Quarantimes – a hashtag or label for the prevailing circumstances under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic
Viral anxiety (New Statesman) – fear and uncertainty, sometimes excessive, due to the COVID-19 outbreak and its ramifications
The coronopticon (Economist) – the notion of a national or global system of surveillance and control
Contagion chivalry (New York Times) – an act or acts of selflessness during confinement
Coronaphobia (Daily Mail) – fear experienced by the public at the prospect of having to return to work, send children back to school, use public transport, etc.
Corona-shaming (New York Times) – publicly criticising those, particularly celebrities, who have infringed public health regulations
Coronacoma (New York Times)