• Alysa Salzberg

Discovering coronavirus slang around the world

The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives in many ways, including language.

A new article explores COVID-19-related slang that’s sprung up in countries like the US, China, Germany, and the Netherlands.


From hamsteren (hoarding (from the word “hamster”)) to coronaspeck (weight gained while stuck at home), it’s interesting to read what terms countries have come with for different phenomena related to our response to the virus and the social changes it’s brought about.


However, like any list of slang, this one may need to be taken with a grain of salt. Personally, I don’t hear many of my American friends and relatives calling people “covidiots”. And here in France, the term quatorzaine isn’t totally ubiquitous when talking about the typical coronavirus isolation/quarantine period.


Still, the fact that these terms do exist and have been used at least occasionally shows one of the ways humans are coping with the strange new reality we’ve found ourselves in: by putting our experiences into often funny words, creating clear communication and much-needed humor in a scary time.


Read on to learn some coronavirus slang from around the world.





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