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Pandemic inspires 1,200 bizarre German words

Posted on Sunday, 7 March, 2021 | Comment icon 5 comments

Even the way we speak has changed. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Nickolay Romensky
Events over the last 12 months have spawned a whole plethora of weird and wonderful words and phrases.
Our vocabulary has expanded quite a bit since the pandemic started last year, with terms like 'social distancing' and 'covidiot' being among the hundreds of new English words and phrases to emerge in response to the way we have been living our lives.

Over in Europe, the German tendency to combine multiple words into a single word has produced an even broader range of bizarre new terms - more than 1,200 of them in fact.

For example, the word 'coronafrisur', meaning 'corona hairstyle', is a reference to the fact that people have been unable to visit a hairdresser due to lockdown.
'Coronafubgrub' means 'corona foot greeting' - which is where two people greet each other by bumping their feet together in place of a handshake.

'Coronamutationsgebiet', meanwhile, if you can even pronounce it, is a mash up of words meaning "corona mutation area" and refers to a place in which the virus is spreading.

Other examples include:
  • 'overzoomed' - someone who is stressed by too many video calls
  • 'abstandsbier' - meaning 'distance beer'
  • 'todeskusschen' - 'kiss of death', which refers to the dangers of a kiss on the cheek.
  • 'maskentrottel' - 'mask idiot', someone who refuses to wear a mask.
  • 'handschuhe' - meaning 'hand shoes', an alternative term for gloves
  • 'gesichtskondom' - meaning 'face condom', an alternative term for a face mask
"Things that do not have a name can cause people to feel fear and insecurity," said Christine Mohrs from the Leibniz Institute. "However, if we can talk about things and name them, then we can communicate with each other. Especially in times of crisis, this is important."

Source: Huffington Post | Comments (5)

Tags: Coronavirus, Pandemic

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Orphalesion on 7 March, 2021, 17:42
No Handschuhe has always been the standard German word for gloves (and I can't think of any other) and is not a word that was created by the Covid Epidemic (and yes it does mean hand shoes)
Comment icon #2 Posted by Abramelin on 7 March, 2021, 17:58
In Dutch the normal word for gloves is "handschoenen" as long as I can remember. And the literal translation is also 'hand shoes'.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Jaded1 on 7 March, 2021, 19:18
They have handschuhs in Final Fantasy XI and that's been going since 2002.    
Comment icon #4 Posted by Tatetopa on 7 March, 2021, 20:51
I always liked our common or similar word "window"  in several languages.  Wind with au from augen the word in Saxon and Germanic for eye.  Eye of the wind.  Who said we weren't poetic.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Seti42 on 7 March, 2021, 21:32
I love this one.

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