Thursday, December 23, 2021


Language nerds like moi love neologisms. The Coronavirus has popularized a plethora of words and phrases that we don't normally use in English. A few examples:

  • Quarantine
  • Asymptomatic
  • Social Distancing
  • Contact Tracing
  • N95
  • Zooming
  • Quarantini (a cocktail)

Here's a new pandemic word that's recently appeared in Austria, especially in Wien (Vienna). It's "oida." You say, "That ain't new. Even a beginning student of Greek understands that oida means 'I know.'" 

But this is a different oida. OIDA is an acronym for a series of Coronavirus-related rules that Austrians are expected to follow. 

  • "O" stands for "Obstand hoitn" (Abstand halten). English: "Keep your distance."
  • "I" stands for "Immer d'Haend' woschn" (Immer die Haende waschen). English: "Always wash your hands."
  • "D" stands for "Daham bleiben" (Zuhause bleiben). English: "Stay at home."
  • "A" stands for "A Masken aufsetzn" (Eine Maske aufsetzen). English: "Put on a mask." 

There you have it: 


So if someone asks you, "Did you know that?", now you can say "Oida!" 

P.S. I really love studying the German that is spoken outside of Germany. It's so fascinating how the language works in other places. Als ich in Wien war, hatte ich wirklich grosse Schwierichkeiten, die Leute zu verstehen. Oesterreichisches Deutsch hat doch seinen Charme. Ich selbst finde Wien eine absolute Vorzeigstadt.

Viel Glueck im Umgang mit Corona, y'all!