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10 pandemic catchphrases

10 pandemic catchphrases

I am always in awe of teacher when I see them command a room full of squirmy 6 year olds with a tendency for nose picking and farting. But even more so watching them conduct a phonics lesson over zoom and hold the kids attention without being in the same room. It’s nothing short of miraculous! I did smile to myself the other day when I heard a teacher say “If you can’t behave then I will have to put you in the waiting room”. That right there is a pandemic catchphrase. 😄

1. “You’re on Mute”

Let’s face it, ten years ago in 2019, none of us had heard of Zoom. Now we can’t imagine life without it. As much as it has bought people together, it also has its issues. My main issue is the people who shout or mime “You’re on mute”. They maybe on mute, but they can still hear you!

2. “Socially Distanced”

Pre-pandemic if anyone had used “socially distanced” in a sentence, you would have been forgiven for thinking they had fallen out with a mate, and were using a Gweneth poncy phrase to describe what to everyone else would be a breakup. You can shove your “conscious uncoupling” with your socially distanced walks.

3. “Don’t forget your mask”

In 2019 would have been unthinkable for us to wear masks in this country. Now we have had to clear drawer space to make room for them, and we are quite chuffed that we got one that matches our winter coat.

4. “You wouldn’t speak to your teacher like that”

I don’t know which parent has it harder. Those trying to help younger primary school kids with their phonics “ow as in cow, ow, ow, ow”. Or those with older primary school kids trying to help them with their maths, only to discover that they changed maths and it’s really hard. Either way I think we’ve all developed our own home school catchphrases. Mostly muttered under our breath through gritted teeth!

5. “Flattening the curve”

This and many other statistical and scientific phrases have become common place in our language. I don’t think I’ve seen as many graphs since GCSE maths. And the r number is giving me horrific algebra flashbacks. Is there going to be a test on all this later?

6. Lockdown fatigue

We have just got used to the term lockdown being more than a lyric in a Blue song. Now they throw in lockdown fatigue. We get it. We’re all bored and fed up and finding this hard. Did we have to give it a name? Is there someone whose specific job it is to come up with these names?

7. Panic buying

I’ve been known to panic buy a dress for a wedding because I couldn’t find anything and live to regret my decision. I’m old enough to remember when some people panic bought tins because the world was going to implode with the Y2K bug. But bloody toilet rolls?! What was it about this pandemic that made people buy two years supply of toilet roll in one day? AND where the hell are they keeping it all?

8. Self Isolation

Sounds like another term Gweneth might use if she took herself off to a far off retreat to find herself. In truth it’s locking yourself away for 14 days with the people whom you love most in the world, but with all due respect are pretty bored of right now. You are going to have to find a zen like state to get through it.

9. Bubbles

Pre-pandemic bubbles were something kids blew, or an alternative name for champagne. Now bubbles is synonymous with confusion and rule bending, and choosing which family members you like best at Christmas. I prefer the pre-pandemic kind of bubbles.

10. And finally there was this delightful one…


Thanks to the following people for contributing catchphrases for this post: Crummy Mummy, Life With Baby Kicks, Whinge Whinge Wine, Five Little Doves, Emily & Indiana, A More Intentional Life, Business For Mums, Just Average Jen, A Rose Tinted World, DIY Dad

You might also like weird sayings that make no sense to me over on my blog, Life, Love and Dirty Dishes.

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About Claire Kirby

Claire is the blogger behind Life, Love and Dirty Dishes. A blog about the amusing side of parenting. Claire's claim to fame is that she once spoke to Phillip Schofield on a Going Live phone in. Awesome, right? She with three boys; The Husband, Big (9), who never ever stops talking, and Little (5), who never ever stands still. They live in a Lego house. They don’t really, but they have so much off the stuff they could probably build one.