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This study fields a range of radical and newly-formed sayings, which are derived almost directly from traditional sayings, in a number of African languages, in reaction against or engagement with the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The set of proverbial creations, otherwise referred to as COVID-19 postproverbials, showed the ingenuity of the human mind in its creative powers as a regenerative, defensive and even playful forge against the choleric force of illnesses. The radical imagination in these proverbial creations in particular language communities are evident of the philosophy of engagement with the pandemic, ranging from admonition and deflation to derision of the pandemic as well as the promise of triumph against the illness. Beyond their structural and lexical formations, a general analysis of the body of COVID-19 postproverbials indicates certain common reflections on the reality of the pandemic, the experience of lockdown, social distancing and hygiene as well as the invocation of the morbid potential and presence of the virus across in communities. Thus, COVID-19 postproverbials are creative expressions of the awareness of the virus as much as they are verbal jousts with the realities of its virulence and trauma.

Article Details

COVID-19, Postproverbials, Proverbs, African Languages, Pandemic, Virus
How to Cite
Raji-Oyelade, A. “COVID-19 (POST)PROVERBIALS: TWISTING THE WORD AGAINST THE VIRUS”. Proverbium - Yearbook, vol. 39, no. 1, July 2022, pp. 224-244, doi:10.29162/pv.39.1.55.


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