Coronavirus pandemic has inspired this new dating slang, Babbel reveals

Are you being 'corona-zoned' or 'lockblocked'?

Maybe someday, you’ll tell your great grandchildren about getting "zumped" during the coronavirus pandemic.

As if dating wasn’t already tricky enough, COVID-19 complications have accelerated the roller coaster ride of courtship in the modern era. Hopefuls looking for love have likely switched gears to heed health and safety concerns on the search for that special someone, trading traditional first dates for video calls or socially-distanced outdoor meetups. Those already coupled up have also been forced to adjust to a new normal, perhaps becoming work-from-home coworkers overnight, and spending a whole lot more time together.

Maybe someday, you’ll tell your great grandchildren about getting "zumped" during the coronavirus pandemic.

Maybe someday, you’ll tell your great grandchildren about getting "zumped" during the coronavirus pandemic. (iStock)


Before Cupid pulls back his bow on Valentine’s Day, Babbel has released a list of new pandemic-specific lingo and slang to help better navigate the dating world. In a report shared with Fox News, Jennifer Dorman, sociolinguist for the language learning app, revealed nine-must know terms to describe challenges and experiences unique to dating today.

Though romantics already know to be wary of "zombie-ing" (a cold form of ghosting) and "zumping" (getting dumped over a Zoom call), singles may be feeling frustrated by being "corona-zoned" or "lockblocked."

Allow Babbel to explain.

"'Corona-zoned' refers to when a physical relationship with someone is put off because one or both people don’t want to catch or spread the virus, with the couple opting to keep the relationship (rightfully!) socially distanced," Dorman wrote.

"Lockblocking," alternatively, refers to cancelling or rescheduling a date if lockdown rules and restrictions ruin plans for a date, she added.

Singles may be feeling frustrated by being "corona-zoned" or "lockblocked."

Singles may be feeling frustrated by being "corona-zoned" or "lockblocked." (iStock)


New types of online dates, too, have inspired their own terminology, including the Japanese word "on-nomi," an expression for drinking together online. As Dorman says, this best describes a new trend of online socializing," especially when in-person dates aren’t possible, and more singles are hopping on video chats with possible partners to mix and mingle.

Skeptics, meanwhile, might be feeling "FODA," which the sociolinguist defined as "the very opposite of FOMO." An abbreviation meaning "fear of dating again," Dorman said the term has been coined to summarize the "anxiety and fear that comes with the prospect of dating for those people who have been ‘out of the game’ since the pandemic began."


Other must-know terms include "quarantine bae," used by those dating exclusively during the pandemic, and "quarantionship," defined as a relationshop that started during lockdown and developed virtually. On the other hand, everybody probably knows a couple already showing off their quarantine bliss through "smugsolation," or flaunting a flourishing relationship all over social media during this difficult time.

"Language evolves as cultural shifts emerge and people seek new words to communicate their environment, feelings and behavior," Dorman told Fox News on Monday. "Dating culture was already taking place online, but the pandemic pushed singletons everywhere towards apps, video dating and socially distanced courtship."

"It’s natural, then, to see so many dating terms originating from lockdown," she explained. "We’ve experienced a big cultural change and people need new words to communicate and describe their lived experiences to others."