German Language Blog

10 German Words That Describe Pandemic Life Posted by on Feb 2, 2022 in Culture, Language, Slang, Vocabulary

Guten Tag! As we know, the German language is full of words that are unique, creative, intelligent and fun! Due to its ability to connect several nouns to create one, new compound noun, new words are always popping up in the German language. Today, we’re going to take a look at just some of the many words that’ve emerged to describe life during the Coronavirus pandemic. Let’s get started!

10 German Words That Describe Pandemic Life


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‘Corona idiot’.
Also used in English, a Covidiot is a mixture of the words Covid-19 and der Idiot (idiot). It was used in Germany during the pandemic to refer to people who weren’t following the rules and regulations put in place to keep everybody safe.

‘Mask arsehole’ or ‘Mask jerk’.
Maskenarschloch is a mixture of the words die Maske (mask) and der Arschloch (arsehole), whilst der Trottel is a jerk, idiot, or fool. These words were used in Germany to refer to people who either didn’t wear masks when they were supposed to, or wore them incorrectly (ie. underneath their nose).


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‘Ghost game day’.
This word is a mixture of the words der Geist (ghost/spirit), das Spiel (game) and der Tag (day). Remember when football games had to take place in empty stadiums, and all the cheering sounds you heard on TV were fake? That’s what this word is about!

‘Corona haircut’.
This word is a mixture of the words Coronavirus and die Frisur (haircut). Who else had their partner, housemate, or family member cut their hair in the bathroom whilst the hair salon (der Friseursalon) was closed? Yeah…


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‘Overzoomed’ refers to being completely and utterly fed up with using Zoom! Here are a few things that took place on Zoom during the pandemic: Arbeitsmeetings (work meetings); Fitnesskurse (fitness classes); und Geburtstagspartys (birthday parties)! Were you ‘overzoomed’ during the pandemic?

‘Balcony singer’.
This word is a mixture of the words der Balkon (balcony) and der Sänger (singer). Remember right at the start of the pandemic, when the Italians, already in lockdown, sang songs on their balconies to keep one another’s spirits up? Well, the Germans followed suit, holding regular Balkonkonzerte (‘balcony concerts’) on theirs!
Sadly, balconies aren’t as common in England as they are in Germany, but we did do some doorstep clapping for the NHS (!).


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‘Small kiss of death’.
This is a mixture of the words der Tod (death) and das Küsschen (little kiss: a diminutive of der Kuss- kiss). How unusual it is to think that a friendly kiss on the cheek has become such an anxiety-provoking experience as a result of the pandemic!

‘Vaccine envy’.
This is a mixture of the words impfen (to vaccinate) and der Neid (envy). Getting vaccinated meant more freedom for people in Germany. Seeing other people get their vaccinations before they themselves were able to, be it in Germany or in other countries, led many to feel a new feeling they now call Impfneid!


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‘Distanced beer/party/wedding’
This is a mixture of the words der Abstand (distance) and das Bier (beer)- but you could add any other event onto the end of it, such as die Party (party) or die Hochzeit (wedding). Absolutely everything was done ‘mit Abstand’ (at a distance) during the pandemic, and just to make sure everybody knew we were following the rules when we had parties, went for drinks, or attended a wedding, we gave these social occasions a name that made that clear!

‘Shopping traffic light’
This is a mixture of the words der Einkauf (purchase/shopping) and die Ampel (traffic light). Did you have this in shops where you live, too? During the pandemic, the Germans installed a traffic light system in their shops to ensure a distance of 1.5-2m could be maintained between shoppers. This was known as die Einkaufsampel.


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These are just some of the many words that have emerged as a result of the pandemic. Have you heard of any more that you particularly like? Feel free to leave them in the COMMENT BOX below!

If you liked this post, check out this one:
How was a German lockdown announced AND revoked within one day?

Bis bald! (See you soon!)

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About the Author: Constanze

Servus! I'm Constanze and I live in the UK. I'm half English and half German, and have been writing about German language and culture on this blog since 2014. I am also a fitness instructor & personal trainer.


  1. Sebastian:

    Hey Constanze,

    love your blog, just one small correction:

    It’s “Coronafrisur” not “Coronafriseur” because:

    Die Frisur – the haircut
    Der Friseur – the hairdresser

    • Constanze:

      @Sebastian D’oh! Thank you for catching that error! It’s been updated.