Germans love to stay current with the times by creating new words; on average, 200 new words are added each year to their vocabulary, but 2020 was no average year. During the pandemic alone, 1,200 new words were created in the German language! As you can imagine, most pertain directly to Covid and living life during a pandemic.
Coronaangst – describes the angst and frustration we feel while living in rather uncertain times.
Abstandsbier – describes a happy outing to enjoy beers with friends-at a safe distance.
Schnutenpulli – translates directly to “mouth sweater” and have you ever heard anything more accurate?
Impfneid – is the vaccination envy people feel while waiting their turn, towards those already vaccinated.
The Covid pandemic is unlike anything we have experienced before, making it difficult at times to accurately express how we feel about it, or to put into words what, exactly, is going on. Many new words and phrases have become “the norm” out of a necessity to fill the vocabulary gaps. Words like ‘Covidiot’ to describe someone who does not adhere to restrictions or wear a mask, or ‘quarantini’ to describe the increased alcohol consumption as a coping mechanism while so many people were stuck at home during the lockdowns. And I think many of us can commiserate with being ‘overZoomed’ at this point. Old words like ‘herd immunity’, ‘PPE’, and ‘Patient Zero’ have become buzz words, a part of our everyday speak.
Using humor as a coping mechanism during tough times is nothing new and though it may seem counterintuitive, it can actually be used as a way to feel connected with each other, even at a distance