language of covid

Language of COVID | 10 Words Added to the Dictionary

Yay! It’s finally the holidays! Time for a vacation!!! Or is it… coronacation?

I’m Ms Azmeera, a teacher at Lil’ but Mighty. As we approach the end of 2021, the coronavirus continues to shape both our lives and language. I’m not sure if you’ve noticed but we’ve been experiencing an outbreak of new words, definitions and slang emerging from the pandemic. Some of these terms emphasise the seriousness of the situation we are currently in, while others are more humorous in nature, meant to make us laugh.

All of them, however, share a common purpose – in coining new words and phrases, we are better able to make sense of and reflect on the world we live in. The bottom line is, the pandemic has played a major role in influencing the English Language. Let’s take a look at ten words and phrases related to the language of Covid which have been added to the dictionary! Do take note that most of these phrases are used in a more casual context and are unlikely to be used in formal contexts like during your writing!


 

1. Rona or The rona

Meaning: (noun) slang for coronavirus (used mainly in USA & Australia)

Sentence example: Everything changed when the rona attacked.


 

2. WFH

Meaning: (abbreviation) working from home; work from home

Sentence example: My boss allows me to wfh three days a week, which means I get to save three hours of commuting a day.

language of covid


3. Social distancing

Meaning: (noun) the action or practice of maintaining a certain physical distance from, or limiting physical contact with, another person or people, especially in order to avoid catching or transmitting an infectious disease

Sentence example: Singapore’s fully vaccinated residents will enjoy relaxed social- distancing restrictions from Tuesday, including the ability to dine out in bigger groups.


4. PPE

Meaning: (abbreviation) Personal Protective Equipment — equipment and clothing that protects people from health risks at work

Sentence example: Healthcare professionals in the U.S. continue to face shortages of PPE. This puts their lives at risk.


5. Elbow bump

Meaning: (noun) a gesture (usually of greeting or farewell) in which two people lightly tap their elbows together as an alternative to a handshake or embrace, especially in order to reduce the risk of spreading or catching an infection or disease

Sentence example: Elbow bumps are the new handshake, although they might still not be enough to avoid spreading the virus.

language of covid


6. Super-spreader

Meaning 1: (noun) A highly contagious person capable of passing on a disease to many others

Sentence example: The super-spreader who infected at least 11 other people while travelling from Singapore to U.K. has been identified.

Meaning 2: (noun) an event or location at which a significant number of people contract the same communicable disease — often used before another noun

Sentence example: The music festival quickly turned into a
superspreader site after almost 5,000 people who attended it tested positive for COVID-19.


7. Vaxxie

Meaning: (noun) a photograph of oneself taken during or immediately after a vaccination (typically posted on social media); a vaccination selfie

Sentence example: Are you guilty of posting your vaxxie all over social media? 😂

Vocabulary Memes


8. Vaccine passport

Meaning: (noun) a physical or digital document providing proof of vaccination

Sentence example: In Italy, citizens are burning their vaccine passports to protest against the government’s authoritarian health mandates.

Vocabulary Memes


9. Long COVID

Meaning: (noun) a medical condition suffered by some people who have had COVID-19 and continue to feel the effects of the illness for weeks or months afterwards

Sentence example: Symptoms of long COVID can include breathlessness, chronic fatigue, “brain fog”, anxiety and stress.


10. Breakthrough

Meaning: (noun) infection occurring in someone who is fully vaccinated against an infectious agent — often used before another noun (as in “breakthrough cases” or “breakthrough infection”)

Sentence example: Health officials are advising fully vaccinated individuals to get their COVID booster shots to prevent breakthrough cases.


There we have it! Ten newly created words and expressions that popped up in our everyday vocabulary due to the coronavirus. Did any of them ring a bell to you? Hmm… I wonder what else we’ll come up with in the time of The Rona. Do you have any silly ones? Perhaps the lexicographer (a person who studies developments in the English language and compiles dictionaries) will add yours to the list! Do share with us in the comment box below. Till my next post, stay safe!

 

Ms. Azmeera

As a tutor, Ms Azmeera has acquired insight and experience in teaching primary level English. With her years of experience in the private education sector, she wishes to motivate and inspire her students to fall in love with the English language.

Let’s explore and discover new things together at Lil’ but Mighty!

Have something to share? Drop us a comment below!

Leave a Reply

Share

Other related posts

Understanding Purpose-Related Questions in Visual Text Comprehension
Ketchup on English! – is, are, was and were!
Audience In Visual Text | Visual Text Comprehension
Exploring Points of View (POV) in Composition Writing
Metaphors For? | Part II – Implied Metaphors
10 Beautiful Vivid Verbs to Boost Your Writing and Oral! | Primary School English
Metaphors For? | Part I – An Introduction to Metaphors
3 Family-Friendly Shows on Netflix (Educational & Entertaining)!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 2: Tenses
2021 Father’s Day Contest Winners
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 1: Subject-Verb Agreement
10 Beautiful Words You Can Use in Narrative / Descriptive Writing | Secondary School
Creative Writing | 3 Easy Steps to Write Your Own Haiku!
Verbs: More than Just Action Words! | Part 3: Changes in Verb Forms
How Playing Video Games Can Improve Our English (With Practical Tips for Parents!)
Primary School Composition | Onomatopoeia – What’s That?
2021 Mother’s Day Contest Winners + Our Founder’s Journey (Mother’s Day Special)!
Composition Revision: Using Your 5 Senses in Your Writing
How to Create A Dynamic Piece of Writing Using Idioms
Ketchup on English! – Subject-Verb Agreement
Punctuation Marks: Colon Vs. Semicolon
4 steps to Create Suspense
That Simile Though 2 | Using Stronger Similes
That Simile Though | An Introduction to Similes
Practice or Practise? What’s the Difference?!
PSLE ORAL | Compiled Prelim 2021 Oral Topics + Questions!
If you’re looking at getting recent PSLE Prelim Oral topics and practice questions, this will be an excellent resource for you!
5 Steps to Convert a Newspaper Article into a Cloze Passage
I would like to share with you 5 steps on how authentic articles can be transformed into cloze passages easily. Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Free SG50 Sample Practice + Model Answers
In this blogpost we will be touching on the oral stimulus-based conversation topic of National Day and SG50! Read on here!
PSLE English | Oral Conversation: Filling your Story with Details Easily + Free Revision Cards
By simply using the 5W1H, your children will be able to lengthen their stories (hence, the conversation!). Read on here!
PSLE English | Situational Writing: Q&A + Formal vs Informal Writing Comparison Chart
To aid you in your situational writing revision, here is a comparison chart that shows the differences between formal and informal writing!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Stimulus-Based Conversation Checklist
To help my children handle the Stimulus-Based Conversation examination, here are some instructions again about using the checklist!
A Little Encouragement | DIY Motivational Bookmark (Easy to personalise too!)
A bookmark with a quote to motivate is also a chance for them to see the power of words and how words can mean more than what they seem.
Situational Writing: Step-by-Step Guide + Free Revision Card
I believe a walkthrough on the process of doing situational writing is in order. Here are the requirements for content and language!
I Love Reading | 5 Ways to Motivate Reluctant Readers
One of the most important ingredients necessary for a child or anyone learning English is the habit of reading. Get motivated to read now!
PSLE English | Printable Ultimate Grammar & Synthesis Summary
Today, we are sharing two lists of essentials in our Ultimate Grammar and Synthesis Summary Printable. Download them free here!
How Well Do You Know Your Past Participles?
While we are familiar with the past, present and future tenses, the little less known but equally important tense is the past participles.
Primary Composition Writing | Starting Sentences with Introductory Clauses
Today, we'll be revising the use of sentence starters to help you create variety in your sentence structures. Read on here!
The Sentence Train | Lower Primary English
Today, we are going to learn what makes up a sentence. It will come in handy when you do the word order activity in school! Read on here!
PSLE English Tips | Oral: Reading Checklist
This Oral Reading Checklist can be used by children when they practise reading on their own. Download it now!
Using Personification to Show, Not Tell!
Expressing Character Feelings Too! | Using Show-Not-Tell (Part 2)
How to Choose a Book to Read: 8 Ways
How to Dress Up A Boring Paragraph | Creative Writing
Ketchup on English! – Halloween Special: Prepositions of Time!
Ketchup on English! – Verbs Are Not Just Action Words!
Expressing Character Feelings | Using Show-Not-Tell
Which Picture Should I Use? | Choosing the Best Picture to Use for Composition!
Oral: Reading Passage | Long Vowels – Have You Been Reading Your Vowels Correctly?
PSLE 2021 Paper 1 Simulated Questions!
Previous
Next

Like what you are reading?

Subscribe now to receive news and tips hot off the press!

Primary School English Tuition| Lil' but Mighty English