Since the start of the pandemic we have not only altered the way we work and play, we have also morphed our language to fit the evolving and changing coronavirus known as COVID 19 that has haunted us over the past few years. I feel viddy. The Rona. The COVID shakes. And more.
People with COVID-19 symptoms, in particular light-headiness, have been heard using the phrase “I feel viddy.” Well at least in our household they have. It may not have stretched far yet, but we think it will catch on because it is such an onomatopoeic phrase. And it’s not far from I feel dizzy, but with more specificity that those who have had COVID will recognize immediately.
Not Giddy with COVID
You of course would never feel happy with COVID, either as a diagnosis, or if you were symptomatic. So please do not confuse viddy with giddy, even if they sound similar. They are not one and the same.
Not like watching a viddy either
In some circles a video might be called a viddy. As in let’s watch this viddy. Or let’s turn on the TV and catch a few viddies.
Unconfirmed reports say the use of the “viddy” or “viddies” phrasing for videos is more common in the UK, but we can neither confirm nor deny this rumor.
Not latin, as in Vidi
“Veni, Vidi, Vici” is attributed to Julius Caesar, meaning “I came, I saw, I conquered.” Plutarch tells us this was Caesar’s report to the Roman Senate, reporting on his 47 BC victory in the Battle of Zela (now know as Zile, Turkey).
Caesar was the first Roman Emperor. After he took control of government he used his power to reform government in Rome, and gave us our modern “Julian” calendar. He was assassinated on the Ides of March in 44 BC.
In Shakespeare’s dramatic retelling of this story Caesar is warned by a soothsayer in the first Act of the play to “Be aware the Ides of March.”
In Shakespeare’s hands, after being stabbed by the rebellious Senators, including his friend Brutus, Caesar says “Et tu, Brute? – Then fall, Caesar.”
Veni, Vidi, Vici is one of the most famous non-fictionalized phrases that has passed down to us from ancient times.
And finally, not to be confused with Stanley Kubrik’s viddy, as in “to see”
Stanley Kubrick’s film Clockwork Orange, based on the Anthony Burgess novel offers a dystopian view of crime, punishment, and “rehabilitation.”
Burgess and Kubrick deploy “viddy” to mean “to see” or “to understand,” and in the hands of the central character Alex (played by Malcolm McDowell in the film) viddy is used to nauseating effect. Alex ensures his victims of what he calls “ultra violence” understand and see what he is doing. The “viddy” theme continues through Alex’s forced conditioning, where he watches violent videos and is drugged to feel ill.
What about The Rona
What a terrible phrase: The Rona. It’s not clear how widely used this is, but hopefully it disappears before it catches on. It conjures up an image of sci-fi post-apocalyptic scenes of disaster. Of course COVID has been a disaster, so maybe it’s an appropriate label.
Already in the Urban Dictionary
The Urban Dictionary picked up the word Rona in 2020, meaning to have the Coronavirus, or COVID-19. They don’t have the full treatment with the pre “The” in front of it to make The Rona, but they get close enough.
Not the Canadian store Rona
There is a relatively large Canadian Home and Garden retailer (a bit like Home Depot or Lowe’s for the US audience; they are actually owned by Lowe’s Canada) called Rona. Next time you are north of the border check them out, they have close to 400 stores.
Who exactly is Miss Rona
The Public Health Insider launched an Ask Miss Rona Q&A series.
Yes, the biggest problem with The Rona is that it sounds like My Sharona, an ear-worm of a song that if you are of a certain age you want to forget but just never can or will.
My Sharona is by a band called The Knack which are often described as a one-hit wonder. They actually were quite talented musicians and songwriters that suffered from over-hype and over-play that left their one big hit song, My Sharona, a parody of itself.
Other COVID-19 language incursions
The Covid Shakes
Just like it sounds, high fevers the come along with an active COVID-19 infection can lead to shivering and shaking. Hence, covid shakes.
A demographic group, growing up with COVID-19. Coronials conjures up Millennials or Centennials. Sometimes this is used to refer to children in school during this period. In some cases it has been applied to nurses graduating during COVID-19.
Like Coronials, quaran-teens refers to teens growing up in quarantine, missing out on many of the usual interactions they would face. There was even a short lived TV series.
Just like it sounds, covidivorce is a divorce driven by COVID-19 or the isolation and quarantine that came along with the early part of the pandemic.
Simply an acne outbreak caused by masks or other face coverings.
A quarantini is cocktail consumed during quarantine, possibly with others via a zoom call.
A covidiot is someone who ignores public health recommendations, with or without intent, for better or for worse. This phrase is sometimes reserved for someone who contracts COVID or who gives some someone else COVID.
Let us know what you think, or please suggest some new phrases we should add to our growing COVID-19 lexicon. And please check out our other language posts.