This hilarious list of 'lockdown lingo' is the ultimate glossary for describing the coronavirus crisis

30 April 2020, 15:21 | Updated: 30 April 2020, 15:23

Do you know your 'quarantini' from your 'elephant in the zoom'?
Do you know your 'quarantini' from your 'elephant in the zoom'? Picture: Getty

Two months ago we never would have heard of 'quarantinis', 'covidiots' or 'anti-social distancing' - and there are even more phrases to describe this strange chunk of 2020...

Lockdown hasn't been easy for any of us - you could say it's been a bit of a 'coronacoaster'.

In typical British style, we've been styling out the last six weeks of social distancing with plenty of cheerfulness, resourcefulness, and the odd banana bread (or ten).

But it's not just stodgy sweet treats that have become a new norm across the UK, there's a whole new language to describe the collective experience we are all going through.

This hilarious list of 'lockdown lingo' perfectly sums up the last few weeks - and will keep you smiling until we meet again.

Read more: When did the UK lockdown start and when will it end?

It's always 'locktail hour' somewhere
It's always 'locktail hour' somewhere - and reason for a glass of 'bored-eaux'. Picture: Getty


The ups and downs of your mood during the pandemic. You’re loving lockdown one minute but suddenly weepy with anxiety the next. It truly is “an emotional coronacoaster”.


Experimental cocktails mixed from whatever random ingredients you have left in the house. Fruit squash, bit of fizzy pop and that random bottle of booze from Spanish duty free all you've got to hand? Mix it up, pop a glace cherry on top and you're good to go.

Or how about trying these actual cocktail recipes that are all made using tea?

Locktail hour

'Wine o'clock' in the lockdown era, which seems to be creeping earlier with each passing week... and your virtual pubs seem to be opening from lunch onwards some days!

Blue Skype thinking

A work brainstorming session which takes place over a videoconferencing app. Being sat on your own sofa as they happen doesn't make them any less uncomfortable, which was a surprise.

Read more: The best hair care products to try during lockdown

‘It’s a no, no!’ Dr Hilary Jones says to avoid napping in the day during lockdown

Sauce pot

You want to do more than just clap the NHS, but your arm is killing you after banging your pots and pans to out-din the neighbours every Thursday.

Find out how Heart is celebrating our frontline workers here.


Move over millennials, the future generation of babies conceived or born during quarantine will be the coronials. We will need to wait and see if every birthday cake will be a shoddily made and tasteless banana bread.

Furlough Merlot

Goblets of the grapey stuff consumed in an attempt to relieve the frustration of not working and trying to use this downtime to become a sommelier by watching hours of YouTube tutorials. Also referred to as “bored-eaux” and “cabernet tedium”.

Seeing all your mates and colleagues at once has a whole new meaning now
Seeing all your mates and colleagues at once has a whole new meaning now. Picture: Getty


An overdose of gloom from consuming too many news reports and government press conferences in a short time - in rare cases can trigger a “panicdemic.

The elephant in the Zoom

The glaring issue during a videoconferencing call that nobody feels able to mention. Bad DIY haircut, bombsite house in the background, questionable facial hair or just doing the meeting in a towel as nothing fits anymore.

Quentin Quarantino

The dirge of the social media feeds, this attention-seeker is now making amateur films and comedy which they’re convinced are funnier and cleverer than they actually are. Most likely to have 'discovered' TikTok at some point in early April.


Someone who thinks sunbathing or driving several hundred miles to climb Mount Snowdon in their flip flops is more important than following Government advice.


The sudden fear that you’ve consumed so much wine, cheese, home-made cake and Easter chocolate in lockdown that your ankles are swelling up like a medieval king’s.

Anti-social distancing

Using lockdown as the perfect reason to avoid everyone you don't like - easier to apply to dodge a dull chat with the neighbours than wriggling out of a particularly tiring and tedious video call.

This family brightened up lockdown by colouring in their house

Coughin’ dodger

Someone so alarmed by an innocuous splutter or throat-clear that they back away in terror and call 999 and beg for the 'infected one' to be locked up...


If people can only see your eyes, you better make them 'pop!' before venturing out in public wearing a surgical mask.

Fattening the curve  

It doesn't matter how many Joe Wicks workouts you do, it won't cancel out all the banana bread, quarantinis and general comfort eating and drinking... but who cares, normal rules don't apply during lockdown!