January 01, 2021

2020 in Words

2020 in Words

Once the dust settles, life gets back to normal, and linguists start their studies, 2020 will surely go down in Russian history as one of the most word-productive years since the changes of 1917 and 1992.

Words that once were so odd and new that no one knew where to put the stress are now part of everyday speech. Коронавирус (coronavirus) is ковид or the slangier корона, as in: Как вы думаете, вот скорая приехала на дом к больному и сразу определила, что у него корона? (What do you think, did an ambulance make a house call and immediately diagnose him with “corona”?)

Hospitals specializing in Covid patients are called ковидник or ковидница (Covid-nik or Covid-nitsa, playing on клиник — clinic — or больница — hospital) or less frequently ковидарий (Covidarium). And no one is frightened by the thought of a room full of masked people. In fact, it’s welcomed: Все были в масках, и слава Богу! (Everyone was in a mask, thank God!)

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Tags: language

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