COVID19: Expanding our vocabularies in 2020

This English Language Day (23 April), let’s revisit the new words we’ve learnt while self-isolating.

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Expanding our vocabularies in 2020

Ever since social distancing measures were announced in March, we have all been self-isolating and working from home. We’ve also learnt a slew of new vocabularies inspired by the pandemic.


A person who ignores all warnings about public health or safety.

Example: She went to Bondi last weekend for a swim and had to be sent home by authorities, what a covidiot!


That much-appreciated drink at the end of a long day of working from home.

Example: It’s 6 PM and I’m officially off the clock – time to whip up my vodka quarantini.


The people with whom you are riding out the lockdown, both in-person or online.

Example: I really look forward to my nightly video chats with my quaranteam.

The Rona

An abbreviation of the word ‘coronavirus’, this word is sometimes personified as a person.

Example: He doesn’t look too well today – do you think he’s been visited by the Rona?


A group of people who don’t believe that the coronavirus is real and proceed to continue their daily routine now have a new vocabulary.

Example: Were you invited to that party this weekend? I can’t believe it’s happening, what a pandumbic!


Babies conceived during the COVID-19 lockdown. They’re expected to be called ‘quaranteens’ upon hitting puberty.

Example: She’s expecting a baby in September – that little guy’s got to be a coronnial.


High-profile individuals or celebrities who are humbly bragging about self-isolation in their mansions, yachts, or private jets.

Example: Did you see his Instagram post comparing life in his mansion to jail? What a coronavillain!


An abbreviation of the word ‘sanitizer’ which has become a very popular item to purchase in the few months.

Example: I went to my local Woolies and they were out of sanny… again.


The phenomenon of snacking and exercising poorly during the lockdown, resulting in everyone resembling panda bears.

Example: I thought that I was watching my diet, turns out that I gave into the pandamic.

READ ALSO: Life after the coronavirus

Rhea L Nath
Rhea L Nath
Rhea L Nath is a writer and editor based in Sydney. In 2022, she was named Young Journalist of the Year at the NSW Premier's Multicultural Communications Awards.

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