Coronavirus Vocabulary: 8 Slang Words You Need To Know During The Pandemic

3 Mins Read

The coronavirus pandemic has led to the emergence of a number of new words. You might have already heard a few of the new words popping up in conversation lately with the more scientific terms like social distancing and flattening the curve having become commonplace in daily language and communication. But what about the new corona slang? Below is a list of 8 slang words, phrases and terms that have become a part of our everyday vocabulary due to Covid-19.

1. Doomscrolling

Are you staying up late and reading scary news? Many of us have found ourselves reading one article after another or watching depressing news videos detailing rising deaths and deep economic downturn. There’s now a word to describe just that. Doomscrolling has been gaining momentum and according to The Times’ Mark Babarak, it refers to “an excessive amount of screen time devoted to the absorption of dystopian news”. Guilty. 

2. Covidiot

A covidiot is a person who blatantly ignores health authorities’ and scientific warnings regarding public health or safety. It was first uploaded onto the online slang platform Urban Dictionary in early March, but has since been trending on Twitter newsfeeds and has been used consistently to name-and-shame poor hygiene practices and social distancing offenders. Happen to know of any covidiots?

3. Zooming

Widespread lockdowns and social distancing measures has meant that most of us are either working from home and children are learning from home. Digital apps and tools have skyrocketed as a result to keep us connected remotely, in particular Zoom, the video conferencing platform that has become the go-to for everything from university lectures, school classrooms, work meetings and even family gatherings. Zooming has therefore become a common verb, thanks to everyone zooming around nowadays.

4. Covideoparty

Another word that has emerged in everyday parlance is covideoparty. It’s pretty self-explanatory, as it refers to a virtual television or movie-watching party during the coronavirus pandemic. Assistance of a couple digital apps is required, such as the overnight sensation Netflix Party web-plugin or the multitasking chat platform Discord

5. Corona-divorce

We’re now spending a lot more time in enclosed indoor spaces with our families. Enter corona-divorce, a term that has begun trending on Japanese social media sites as more couples staying together during lockdown become annoyed with one another. Many of the posts are written by fed-up users who are airing their frustrations about their partners online. 

6. Zumping

Speaking of unhappy couples, zumping is now a thing. You don’t ever want to be a victim of the unfortunate term, which is what people are using to refer to getting dumped over a Zoom call, since many couples are now unable to meet up in person due to lockdown measures. The jury’s still out on whether getting dumped via text is better or worse. 

7. Quarantini

Is it quarantini o’clock yet? It’s a play on the drink martini, which you can play bartender and make at home during this period of quarantine. But it doesn’t just describe martinis under lockdown – you can use it for any alcoholic drink you consume while you stay at home and help flatten the curve. 

8. Coronacation

With the extra time on your hands, perhaps you’ve been dedicating your evenings to a whole lot of self-care, from bubble baths to body scrubs and face masks. If you can consider yourself a part of the lucky few who are able to do this, the pandemic experience has not been unlike a staycation – just at home. Hence, the word coronacation came into being.  

Lead image courtesy of iStock.


  • Sally Ho

    Sally Ho is Green Queen's former resident writer and lead reporter. Passionate about the environment, social issues and health, she is always looking into the latest climate stories in Hong Kong and beyond. A long-time vegan, she also hopes to promote healthy and plant-based lifestyle choices in Asia. Sally has a background in Politics and International Relations from her studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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