22 February 2021

Coronaspeck and Hamsterkauf

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German speakers have invented hundreds of new words that capture the COVID epoch.

German-speakers have a wonderful habit of mashing words together to describe very specific feelings we all have but usually can’t describe efficiently in English, such as Schadenfreude – the joy of witnessing someone else’s misery. 

This strong culture of wordplay has been at work during the COVID pandemic, with hundreds of new German terms being coined.

Mundschutzmode (‘mouthguard fashion’) refers to the rise of beautiful hand-crafted, patterned masks.

Hamsterkauf (‘hamster buying’) is used to describe panic buying. It likens the habit of stripping the supermarket shelves empty to a hamster stocking up on food for the winter by stuffing their cheeks.

Coronaspeck (‘Corona bacon’) derives from the term Kummerspeck (‘grief bacon’) and refers to people overeating and gaining weight during lockdown.

Der Covidiot (you can translate this for yourself) refers to someone who doesn’t do sensible things to protect themselves against covid.

Coronamüde (covid tired) is the emotional exhaustion we’re all feeling living through this pandemic.

And one that we will soon be able to feel: Impfneid, immunisation envy.  

If you get this joke, you need to have a serious think about your career choices.

If you see something stupid, say something stupid… Send made up words to felicity@medicalrepublic.com.au.

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