5 More Pandemic Words & Phrases People Want To Stop Hearing

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so too does the repetitive language people are using to talk about it. After a while, it gets exhausting hearing the same words over and over again in every article, tweet, and news broadcast. A few weeks ago, we rounded up the overused pandemic words and phrases our Twitter followers told us they were absolutely tired of hearing. The list included terms like unprecedented, social distancing, and trying times. Then, we asked you to submit your own pandemic word pet peeves to round out the list.

Learn more coronavirus words you need to understand the news.

After receiving over 300 submissions following our original post, we have a few additions to talk about. Here are the five most suggested pandemic words and phrases Thesaurus.com fans told us they never, ever want to hear again.

Abundance of caution

It seems everyone is doing everything these days out of an abundance of caution. Being cautious is a good thing, but using the same phrase over and over again? Not so much.

There are a lot of clever options to choose from to change this one up: wealth of watchfulness, profusion of providence, or even bounty of vigilance. But in the interest of being succinct, you could just say you’re being careful.

Flatten the curve

Who knew flatten the curve would become the rallying cry of 2020?

Flattening the curve is a good thing to do, but you aren’t alone if you’re tired of talking about it. Instead, why don’t we smash the trajectory? If that’s not your favorite option, you could always subdue the sinuosity, beat down the bend, or trample the contour. You have options.

Face mask

Face masks aren’t fun to wear, but they can serve an important purpose. If you’re tired of talking about them, give yours a fun, new nickname.

Put on your grimace visor. Don your mug cloak. People will appreciate that you care enough to use a countenance veil, especially when you tell them what your extra clever synonym name for it is.

Wash your hands

By now, we’re all hand-washing experts. Maybe you’re even ready to try a new title for it: mitt laundering, extremity cleansing, paw scrubbing.

This phrase (and the act it describes) isn’t going anywhere, so spend your 20-second trip to the sink mulling over some new ways to talk about it.


We’re in uncharted territory, and we’re headed for uncharted waters, but the word uncharted is no longer a mystery to any of us.

Much like unprecedented, this word has become one of the most used of the pandemic (that is, when people aren’t mistaking it for unchartered). If it’s ruffling your feathers, try mentally replacing it with another word like unexploredlittle known, or undiscovered. Are we perhaps headed into exotic waters? Well, no. But it might make things sound a little more interesting.

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