Language is all about evolution and new words appear regularly in every language.
Last year, out of 170 new words to be added to the French dictionary, a large number of them are Covid related. No surprise there then!
Here are a few French words and phrases, both new and old, to throw into the conversation, should the Dreaded Lurgy rear its ugly head over an apero with French friends and neighbours.

une quatorzaine – quarantine which lasts 14 days
le déconfinement – lifting of confinement
la distanciation physique/social – social distancing
manuporté/aéroporté – hand born/airborn
la réa – intensive care (short for réanimation)
le click and collect – Just what it sounds like
une corona-piste – cycle track created to avoid crowds
le/la visioconférence/Zoomapéro/skypéro – meetings etc on line
un/une vaccinosceptique/vaccinophobe/vaccinophile/vaccinodrome – similar to english
un masque jetable/à usage unique – disposable mask
une visière (de protection) – a face shield
un cluster – a group with same illness in same area
les gestes barrières – preventative measures
une comorbidité – one or more additional conditions co-occurring with primary condition
un super spreader – an infected person who contaminates many
un test diagnostic/de dépistage – diagnostic/screening test
les postillons – spray of spit
l’essoufflement – shortness of breath
les courbatures – aches and pains
un prélèvement – sample/swab
la téléconsultation – online doc visit
Prenez bien soin de vous – Take care of yourself



Le Covid or la Covid?
Whilst most French say LE Covid, because of LE virus, the Academie Francaise, guardian of French language, informs us that it is actually LA Covid. Pourquoi? Because as it is a ‘maladie’, a word that is feminine. However, le word coronavirus is masculine!
Confused? You should be!


Leave a Comment