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This pandemic has been a global event that no living human experienced anything like it before. The language needed to catch up. And while we reached out to our linguistic archive and dusted off some old words (quarantine and isolation), a slew of new words have popped up to describe our new reality. Some were technical, and jumped from academic textbooks into everyday use (flatten the curve, social distancing), other were freshly minted like The Rona (no not the store), Essential Jobs, Elbow Bump, Quaranteaming, Quarantini, and let’s not forget our prime minister’s off the cuff “Speaking-Moistly” which now ended up with its own song and an urban dictionary definition which considers it a Canadianism.
Our staff have sourced their social media feeds and compiled a list of the latest words.

Coronavirus Baby

Babies conceived during/as a result of the Covid-19 quarantines


An amalgamation of COVID and Idiot. It refers to anyone who ignores the public health warnings or hoards supplies.



Did you see that covidiot with 300 rolls of toilet paper in his basket?

That covidiot is hugging everyone she sees.


This activity you are dreaming of doing because you find yourself attracted to it because you're stuck in your house for a month and a half. It does not need to be realistic, and you will likely ditch the idea once life is back to normal.



This refers to the group of people who choose to live together during this quarantine.


Example: My girlfriend lives by herself, so my roommates and I have included her in our quaranteam


Texting someone you normally wouldn't reach out to due to quarantine. Often out of boredom and you know the other person isn't busy. Mostly, really refers to texting your ex

Quarantine and Chill

This is the coronavirus spin on “Netflix & Chill”. Used by partners when they decide to stay home. do we need to say more?

Quarantine bf / gf


Variations: Quarantine bae / Ronabae

This refers to developing strong feelings over text and social media to someone you never met and the feelings cannot be verified in person until the quarantine is over. So there is a promise to meet. It’ll likely be a flop, and we can all go back to our usual lives and pretend nothing ever happened.


Example: “ima flirt with as many people as I can during this quarantine. what y’all gonna do?? come see me? LMAO” or “I need a quarantine bf, I'm bored”

Quarantine Brain

Doing everything one said they wouldn't do when isolated and alone.


Example: this lockdown is giving me a serious case of quarantine brain


We really like this one. First mentioned on the TV show Scrubs, this word picked up again. It refers to any drink consumed while quarantining. It must consist mostly of white spirit, just like a Martini. Only you drink it at home by yourself, or whoever you are quarantining with.

Speaking Moistly

An off the cuff phrase coined by the PM during his April 7 press conference. He was referring to the need to have face masks on. The phrase took off almost immediately. There is now a YouTube song made of the phrase with nearly 3M views. The Urban Dictionary even specified it as a Canadianism defining it as “To speak to a Canadian within a two-metre radius of yourself as specks of spittle fly from your lips.”

The Rona

Slang for Coronavirus.



Did you hear that Italy is shut down because of Rona?

Rona ruined my summer plans.


One of the newest additions to the Oxford English Dictionary. It's defined as “working (or work) from home, either as a regular or permanent alternative to office work or on an occasional or temporary basis.”


For a witty list of additional everyday words definitions, check this Psychology Today article by Dr. Bobby Hoffman.

For a list of words added to the Oxford English Dictionary this April, head here.
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