In Germany, more than 1,200 new words have been created in the age of COVID-19


Schadenfreude.

Zeitgeist.

Weltanschauung.

Weltschmerz.

Donaudampfschiffahrtsgesellschaftskapitän.

THE STATE DEPARTMENT TO INCREASE “DO NOT TRAVEL” ADVICE

A singular German word brimming with length and precision can shake an English speaker: from its number of letters to its complex meaning.

In the era of COVID-19, more than 1,200 words in German have been created.

“I can’t think of anything, at least since World War II, that would have changed the vocabulary as drastically and at the same time as rapidly as the corona pandemic,” said Anatol Stefanowitsch, professor of linguistics at the Free University of Berlin. “I can think of many other examples of a huge cultural change that changed the German vocabulary. But it didn’t happen in a few months.”

The list of new words has been compiled by the Leibniz Institute for the German Language.

“When new things come to the world [we] look for a name, “said Dr Christine Möhrs, who works at the institute and collects the words.” Things that don’t have a name can make people feel fearful and insecure. 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. “

She noted that the new words help reduce Coronaangst (anxiety about the virus).

“Language has a lot of power,” Möhrs added. “We see over and over again how important it is to formulate precisely and be very careful with the words we choose. Words do not only convey content, but can also convey emotions and feelings. And speakers should be of it. aware. “

A singular German word brimming with length and precision can shock an English speaker: from its number of letters to its complex meaning.

A singular German word brimming with length and precision can shock an English speaker: from its number of letters to its complex meaning.
(Photo illustration / iStock)

Below are more COVID-19 neologisms in German:

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  • Coronamüde (COVID-19 exhaustion)
  • Impfneid (urge to be vaccinated)
  • Coronafrisur (corona hairstyle)
  • Kuschelkontakt (cuddly contact)
  • Abstandsbier (remote beer)
  • Glühweinstandhopping (hopping between mulled wine stalls)
  • Balkonsänger (balcony singer)
  • Todesküsschen (a friendly kiss on the cheek considered a kiss of death)
  • Alltagsmaske (everyday mask)
  • Spuckschutzschirm (mask: sputum protection umbrella)
  • Schnutenpulli (mask: muzzle sweater)
  • Maskentrottel (silly mask that wears a covering face leaving the nose exposed)
  • Hamsterkauf (panic while buying and storing food like a hamster)
  • Mindestabstandsregelung (minimum distance regulation)
  • Anderthalbmetergesellschaft (one and a half meter company)
  • Ausgangssperre (exit curfew)
  • Ausgangsbeschränkung (exit restriction)
  • Coronadiktatur (COVID-19 dictatorship)
  • Impfzwang (forced vaccination)

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