Word Formation and Meanings of English Words Related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic

Main Article Content

Nuntana Wongthai


This article aims to analyze the word formation in English occurred in the period of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 outbreak and appeared in the social media in Thailand. It also categorizes the semantic domains of those words. The frameworks applied in the study are morphology and semantics in the field of linguistics. The study also provides some remarks on the use of some words by referring to the political correctness in the field of sociolinguistics. The findings reveal six processes of word formation: compounding, borrowing, derivation, blending, acronyms, and multiple processes. They are already used in the English language, which have more specific meanings in this pandemic context. The meaning extension is under both metaphor and metonymy processes. Those words found can be categorized into 10 semantic domains: behavior, prevention, equipment, diagnosis, people, place, spread, names of vaccine, names of COVID-19, and symptoms and diseases due to the pandemic. The findings also show that even letters can be used in order to lessen stigma and accusation on others or specific groups of people.

Article Details

How to Cite
Wongthai, N. (2021). Word Formation and Meanings of English Words Related to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic . Manutsat Paritat: Journal of Humanities, 43(2), 72–95. https://doi.org/10.1016/manutparitat.v43i2.249731
Research Articles
Author Biography

Nuntana Wongthai, Srinakharinwirot University

Assistant Professor Dr.

Head of M.A. in Linguistics Program


Andrews, E. (1996). Cultural Sensitivity and Political Correctness: The Linguistic Problem of Naming. American

Speech, 71(4), 389-404.

Bryce, A. (2020, May 14). Constant Zoom calls are worsening people’s body dysmorphia.

https://metro.co.uk/2020/05/14/constant-zoom-calls-are-worsening-peoples-body-dysmorphia- 12697948/

Butar, B. P. B. (2021). The Word Formation and Semantic Domains in COVID-19 Sections in WHO Website.

Yogyakarta: Department of English Letters, Faculty of Letters, Universitas Sanata Dharma.

Encyclopedia Britannica Inc. (2021). https://www.britannica.com/topic/political-correctness

Fernstrom, M. (2021, May 18). What is Covid 'cave syndrome' — and how to fix it.


Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., & Hyams, N. (2017). An introduction to language (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

Gohd, C. (2020). Russia names its 1st COVID-19 vaccine ‘Sputnik V’ after space race triumph.


Infotagion. (2020). Factcheck: Does Covid stand for ‘Chinese Originated Viral Infectious Disease’?.


Merriam-Webster. (2021). https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/curfew

Ramachandran, V. (2021, February 23). Stanford researchers identify four causes for ‘Zoom fatigue’ and their

simple fixes. https://news.stanford.edu/2021/02/23/four-causes-zoom-fatigue-solutions/

Ratanakul, T. (2018). เหตุใดเธอจึงไม่ยอมฉีด? ที่มาของความกลัววัคซีน สู่ ‘ลัทธิต่อต้านวัคซีน’.


Roger, Kristen. (2020, March 19). Do I have ‘cabin fever?’ What it is, how to ‘cure’ it.


Simatupang, E. C., & Supri, I. Z. (2020). Compound words that occur during the global pandemic covid-19: A

morphosemantic study. English Review, Journal of English Education, 8(2), 291-298. doi: 10.25134/erjee.v8i2.2824.

Thai PBS. (2564). Hospitel คืออะไร. https://covid19.thaipbs.or.th/faq/?post=25645

UNICEF (2020). Physical not social distancing. https://www.unicef.org/sudan/press-releases/physical-not-social-


World Health Organization. (2021, June 15). Tracking SARS-CoV-2 variants.


Yule, G. (2006). The study of language (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.