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By Narissa Subramoney

Deputy digital news editor

From ‘vax-hole’ to ‘covidiot’, here’s a guide to the language of Corona

Do you speak Corona? Two years into the pandemic, Covid-19 has sparked a language of its own. Here's a guide to language of Corona.

Nearly two years into the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s safe to say Corona has become a language of its own. The longer we remain in the confines of pandemic life, the more descriptive our language becomes.

From ‘vax-hole’ to ‘covidiot’, these are the days of our lives on the ‘Coronacoaster’

Oxford University has named “vax” the word of 2021.

According to Oxford University Press, South Africa lead publisher for dictionaries and dictionary data, Phillip Louw, although the world has been around since the 1980s, it’s been used most frequently this year.

“This word just jumped out at us; it has been used 72 more than the previous year, and that really a big red flag that this is a word of prominence, said Louw on Radio 702.


Depending on where you are in the world, it describes jabs, immunisation, injections.

Vax relates to the subject that has preoccupied our minds and has been the topic of conversations globally and is not limited to the world’s English speaking population.

The word ‘vax’ has given birth to other popular terms associated with Covid-19 and has become part of the Corona language.


A person who is dead against Covid immunisation for various and often personal reasons.


Refers to the official documentation when one is immunised.


Someone who has completed both doses of the Pfizer vaccine.


One of the more newly coined terms for people who want to travel after getting their jabs.


Also newly coined, it refers to a person who has been vaccinated and exhibits pompous, a**hole behaviour towards everyone else.

Oldies but goodies

Since the global outbreak towards the end of 2019, we’ve had to learn to speak the Corona language and coin new terms such as social distancing, lockdown, “self-quarantine” and “super spreaders”.

Covid slang or informal words and phrases have become part of daily life and conversations. Here are a collection of the terms first created to describe pandemic life.

Covidiot: Someone who doesn’t take the virus seriously.

Coronacoaster: The ups and downs of pandemic life.

Morona: A person behaving stupidly because of or during the coronavirus outbreak.

Coronalusional: Suffering from disordered thinking resulting from or during the Covid-19 crisis

Drivecation/Staycation: A holiday at home because of lockdown travel restrictions. Or “drive-cation” in the Northern Hemisphere typically describes a vacation in a motorhome in one’s driveway.

Hamsterkaufing: Stockpiling and/or hoarding (adapted from German).

Zoombombing/ Zoom Raiding: The unwanted, disruptive intrusion, generally by Internet trolls, into a videoconference call.

Zoom/virtual fatigue: Worry or burnout associated with the overuse of virtual platforms of communication, particularly videoconferencing

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