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Pandemic Inspired Vocabulary Posted by on Mar 23, 2021 in For Learners

Pandemic Inspired Vocabulary

I always tell people that language is “living” since it is constantly adapting and growing, and this year was a perfect example.

We have seen our personal vocabulary grow to include words that were no doubt uncommon in our language arsenal before this: social distancing, personal protection equipment (PPE), quarantine, community spread, contact tracing, etc.

There is also a whole spectrum of newly coined words inspired by the pandemic. The dreaded ‘mascne’ for example, or your much needed ‘quarantini’ to get through another ‘blursday.’ The idea of ‘doom-scrolling’ and the ‘new normal’ are nothing out of the ordinary for us. If your 2019-self heard you using any of these terms now, they might look at you cockeyed and confused.

This is certainly not a phenomenon unique to the English language. As widespread as this pandemic has been, it also has had world-wide implications on language. This makes it especially important to be keeping up on your language studies so that you can learn the newest ‘lingo’ and enter the times hence known as A.C. (After Coronavirus).

Out of curiosity, members of our team took to the newest social media-app Clubhouse to explore this topic further and solicit some worldwide examples.

Here are some words shared with us from language learners around the world:

Coronaangst – German, fear of the coronavirus

Maskentrottel  – German, ‘mask idiot’, someone who does not wear their mask properly

Balconsanger – German, ‘balcony singer’, someone who entertains neighbors from their balcony

Covidiota – Spanish, ‘covididiot’, someone who does not take restrictions seriously

Aplanar la curva – Spanish, to flatten the curve

D.A.D. – Italian, pronounced ‘dad’, acronym for at home studies

Leenhonden – Dutch, to loan a dog to someone so that they can go outside for a walk

Coronafußgruß – German, Corona foot greeting

Interestingly enough, there were also a few examples of anglicisms:

Home-office – Czech

Smart-working – Italian

Der lockdown, Il lockdown – German, Italian

Once you start to gather a list of these new words in your own target language, what is the best place to study them? By adding them into your ‘Learned Vocab’ in Transparent Language Online, of course! That way, you will be able to constantly review them until they are solidified in your memory.

Feel free to share any more examples of pandemic inspired vocabulary in the comments below and tell us how you keep up with these rapid linguistic changes!

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About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language.


  1. Hafiz Qadri:

    I like this site. I am English learner.

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