For months, the hashtag #Covidiots has been trending on and off in the United States. Though it has not been defined on social media, the word has been translated in different languages and used when stories trend about maskless people and covid deniers. Today, the Royal Spanish Academy made the Spanish version of the word, Covidiotas, official. According to the Historical Dictionary of the Spanish language, Real Academia de la lengua Española (RAE) has added the word to the official dictionary.
La RAE defines ‘Covidiotas’ as “people who refuse to comply with the health regulations issued to avoid the spread of covid.”
According to the dictionary, the word was first used by the Spanish media outlet, 20 mins in March 2020 to describe people who don’t respect public safety standards to prevent the spread of covid-19 in the United States. It later also appeared in Mexico, used by the media outlet El Universal (Ciudad de México) to describe covid-deniers (we like to call them Republicans over here).
The impact of the pandemic has been widespread, and we still don’t know the long term affects. Society is still adjusting to the roller coaster of surges and shut downs, vaccine availability and accessibility, and our language has been altered to meet the moment.
Additions to dictionaries aren’t unusual, in fact, the Royal Spanish dictionary added over 2,000 words last year. Also added: “coronaboda” to describe a pandemic wedding, “coronadivorcio” to describe a couple divorcing after having to shelter in place together, and “coronachivato” to describe a person who accuses someone of breaking COVID-19 safety measures.
As the world continues to battle the worldwide pandemic, expect more words regarding the pandemic to start to appear in dictionaries across the globe.
Editor’s Note, May 3, 2021 at2:50 p.m. ET: This post has been updated to reflect the correct name of RAE.