Tag Archives: social distance

How Coronavirus Turns Walking Into Awking

Today a guest post from the  wife of the Skeptical Cardiologist who has invented a new word for these difficult times.


Because my job can be pretty sedentary sometimes, I try to walk at least two to three miles every day (in addition to my regular cardio). I love Europe – you have to walk everywhere, and so I try to continue that behavior when we are here in the States.

Normally going for walks in my neighborhood, I will encounter occasional dog walkers, or baby walkers, or runners… but not many.

Lately, because of the coronavirus pandemic, it seems that everyone is out walking, even in terrible, dreary, cold weather. I think it’s encouraging that people are so committed to daily exercise now, because it really is so important to stay healthy and positive.

But I’ve noticed a funny phenomenon. Because of the 6 feet distancing in effect, it’s getting more challenging for me to go on walks. I am constantly having to move to the other side of the street or the middle of the road to avoid people.

It’s incredibly awkward because I don’t want to offend anyone and make them feel like I think they are infected. But at the same time, I’m trying to follow the rules and protect myself.

While out walking the other day, I was laughing to myself about this behavior and thinking that someone should invent a term for it. The new word would perfectly describe  “awkwardly & suddenly moving to the other side of the street when you realize you’re sharing a sidewalk with someone coming towards you” (behavior necessitated by a desire for keeping a six foot distance during the COVID-19 pandemic)

I thought of 2 words – awkward and walking, and came up with “Awking“. Then I started to wonder if I could get this on Urban Dictionary (or if somebody had already come up with it.) I looked it up, and there were a couple of definitions for my word, but not the one that I was thinking of. So I looked up how to submit on Urban Dictionary, followed the instructions, and submitted it. Within five minutes they responded and said that my word had been approved!! It’s silly how happy this made me. Me, a humble Gen Xer who is not well-versed in “kids today” language.

My immortal contribution to slang!  🤣  (turns out its not so hard to get a word approved on Urban Dictionary, but hey whatever, ha!)

Now you must excuse me…
I need to cross to the other side of the street to keep 6 feet away from my neighbor.


Speaking of neologisms, a few months ago while scanning the blurb on the wrapper of a keto-friendly snack  I created by accident the portmanteau word, farb. Thus far, I have not submitted it to Urban Dictionary.

Neologically Yours,

-ACP

N.B. The featured image comes from @BDStanley on Twitter. Beatleish lyrics of relevance on that tweet include “We were talking about the space between us all.”