The Oxford English Dictionary has been updated with new words relating to the coronavirus pandemic in its April edition.
The additions were also made in the dictionary’s sub-entries and unrevised entries.
The newly-added words are COVID-19, infodemic, R0, self-isolate, self-isolated, self-isolating, self-isolation, self-quarantine, self-quarantined, shelter in place, social distancing, and social isolation.
The dictionary also added “to flatten the curve” in its new entries
“PPE” and “social recession” were updated in the dictionary’s sub-entries while “elbow bump” and “WFH” – working (or work) from home – were included in its unrevised entries.
In a post on its blog, OED also listed 20 keywords searched during the coronavirus pandemic – January – March.
In January, the words mainly relate to naming and describing the virus: coronavirus, SARS, virus, human-to-human, respiratory, and flu-like.
By March the keywords reflect the social impact of the virus, and issues surrounding the medical response.
Among the words listed are social distancing, self-isolation, and self-quarantine, lockdown, non-essential (as in non-essential travel), and postpone are all especially frequent, as are PPE and ventilator.
OED Executive Editor, Bernadette Paton, said some of the words were generated through news and social media.