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Be a true keyboard warrior during the Circuit Breaker

Don’t be a Covidiot

Instead, be a smart CCB (Community Circuit Breaker, in case you didn’t know). COVID-19 is changing almost every aspect of our lives, even the way we speak. Let’s see if you’re in the know. Here are some COVID-19 slangs Tropika Club discovered so you won’t be a Covidiot. 

1. Covidiot, n.

Individuals who ignores public health advice, and/or behaves irresponsibly as the virus spreads. 

This is to all those who hoarded toilet papers, exercised in groups, and those who went to shopping centres even though they didn’t need to before the Circuit Breaker measures kicked in. Yes, you’re a covidiot too if you share conspiracy theories about COVID-19 on group chats. 

Don’t want to be a Covidiot? Stay home! If you want to run at the park, run alone, and check the live crowd updates by the National Parks Board. And always, always remember what the new Dua Lipa song tells you to do

2. 抄作业 (chāo zuò yè), v. 

抄: to copy 

作业: assignments, or homework 


– To copy someone’s homework. 

– To steal China’s COVID-19 solutions without giving them credit 

There are a few ways you can use this: to say other countries are copying the work is to be patriotic, but with a hint of snark. But as a strange kind of normalcy returns to China, some users of the phrase say it when other countries execute strategies first seen in China without giving credit. 

Our next-door neighbour was already caught in the act: a user in Weibo noticed some public-service posters across Malaysia had the style of Chinese propaganda posters: red banners with health advisories in white. But maybe copying someone else’s homework isn’t so bad, especially since the virus continues to leave countries across the world scrambling in its wake.  

Don't be a Covidiot

3. Quatorzaine, n.

The 14-day isolation period , in French.

Why not add a touch of French romance to these seemingly apocalyptic times? It can be traced to when a French radio host asked the education minister about the number of pupils in quatorzaine before schools closed down in March. Then, a newspaper ran the headline “Two doctors en quatorzaine.” Before long, media outlets across France are using it.

While this COVID-19 slang may easily roll off the French tongue, its anglicised version, quatorzine, seems to have only a shadow of the original’s romance. I guess we can stick to the ‘14-day isolation period’ instead. 

4. Miss Rona, n.

A fabulous new online slang that refers to COVID-19.

Given that ‘corona’ is Latin for ‘crown’ or ‘wreath’, Miss Rona seems only appropriate for a virus with an attitude. This name for COVID-19 is an amalgamation of queer and black cultures. Gay men in America often add ‘miss’ to the zeitgeist of the moment, while in black culture ‘miss’ usually connotes someone messy or problematic. As with most slangs with Queer and Black origins, it’s spreading like wildfire, just like “yasss”, “slay”, and “bae.” 

5. Coronospeck, n.

Coronavirus fat.

German in origin, speck refers to a bacon-like food found in some German delicacies. But in a broader sense, it has a meaning similar to what we call ‘flab’. The Germans use speck in a wide variety of instances: babyspeck refers to the baby fats that lingers onto our adolescence; winterspeck as flab that forms after indulging too much in cold months. Well, we Singaporeans can still, go out to exercise, so coronaspeck shouldn’t be a problem for us. After all, you can always work out at home. 

Read: Let’s Get Physical!

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Terence is Tropika Club Magazine's deputy editor who loves learning about animals and their behavior. He is also an anthropologist, so he is very interested in how different cultures interact with animals. He has worked in the publishing industry for over 10 years, and have been lucky enough to work with some amazing authors and editors.