“#COVIDSchmovid! #SummerTreats” The usage and functions of schm-reduplications in corona virus related discourse

  • Satu Manninen Lund University
  • Maria Wiktorsson Malmö University


The aim of this paper is to investigate the uses of schm-reduplications, also known as deprecative reduplications, in current corona virus related discourse. The investigation shows that schm-reduplications, such as covid schmovid, corona schmorona and pandemic schmandemic, are often used in a spirit-lifting function, to show that, despite all the threats and complications posed by the virus and national lockdowns, we are still able to do things and that we also continue to have a sense of humour in our lives. Another common function of schm-reduplications is criticism of other people’s irresponsible behaviour. The functions identified in previous work on schm-reduplications—associations with aspects of irony, scorn, scepticism, disparagement and dismissal—are seldom present in the corona virus related formations.