cabin fever & stir crazy: essential quarantine vocabulary

after several weeks of quarantine, folks around the world are starting to feel a little stressed from being in the house for so many days in a row. there are a couple of expressions that are being used all over the internet to describe this condition: cabin fever and stir crazy.

cabin fever IN YOUR FACE

fun elt practice 😀 richyrocks english on youtube

  • fever is a noun, and cabin fever recalls (evokes) an image of american settlers (european immigrants, pioneers) living far from cities in isolated cabins during long, brutal winters. by the end of the winter, these settlers were eager (excited) to get out of the cabin.

a cabin (getty)

an article by gary martin for the canberra times used cabin fever in its headline

Couples’ cabin fever threat looms as new workplace reality hits home

couples’ is a plural possessive. a threat is the possibility of danger. loom means it could happen soon. as means while. hit home is a double meaning. the cabin fever is caused by spending a lot of time at home. additionally, hit home is an idiom that means understand the significance.

did the movie the lighthouse predict 2020 cabin fever?

martin explains…

not every duo working at home will end up a train wreck. but if we are honest for just a moment, we will recognise that the more time we spend together, the greater the chance of conflict. and the possibilities for conflict are endless.

end up indicates the end of a process. it’s a difficult phrasal verb to use correctly. be sure to check these other examples. a train wreck gives the idea of a messy or ugly confrontation between a couple working together from home. the suffix -less means without, so endless means no end.

if u haven’t seen the shining, spoiler alert…this one ends up messy.

and the article makes this observation….

the bottom line is that for many couples, spending too much time together crammed around the kitchen table – and while continuing their individual careers – can be far from sexy.

the bottom line is the most important point. too much means an excessive amount of time. means crowded, there isn’t enough space.


how the hell did that dog cram so many tennis balls in his mouth? (finnyboymolloy)

an article on the financial news analysis site suggests a natural remedy for cabin fever. its headline says

Exploring Cannabis For Shelter-In-Place Cabin Fever

shelter is a place to stay–houses, apartments or other structures. shelter-in-place is the order to stay home until the threat of the coronavirus starts to diminish


shelter-in-place is a big opportunity to explore cannabis

to article contains various recommendations…

on the best way to explore cannabis for alleviating the anxiety of being stuck inside

stuck, the irregular past participle of the verb stick, is used as an adjective here. it means unable to move. alleviating is in the -ing form because for is a preposition.


pooh stuck in a rabbit hole. if u were stuck in a rabbit hole, would u rather have flowers or some weed?

but smoking marijuana might not be the best choice for everyone…

first timers should probably, at this time, stick to edibles. even though vaping and smoking is fundamentally safe, it does irritate the lung tissue a little bit. If someone has a lung or bronchial infection much like what covid-19 is, u will be damaging the cells a bit when you should be as nice to them as possible.

first timers are people trying marijuana or anything else for the first time. should is used to present a recommendation. stick to means not vary from. lungs are the respiratory organs. tissue is what lungs and other living things are made of. even though is contrasting how safe it is to smoke marijuana with the slight (small) irritation of lung tissue that smoking weed (marijuana) causes. a little bit is not much. as nice as possible is the as adjective as structure. in the context of this paragraph, it serves as a superlative; the idea is that during the quarantine u should treat your lungs in the nicest manner possible.

lungs (mdgrphc/
  • stir crazy is also used to refer to stressful feelings that result from being confined. in contrast to cabin fever, though, crazy is an adjective. stir crazy was originally applied to people in prison. reports that boomtown brewery in downtown los angeles has a new product inspired by the current frustrations of their customers.

Brewery releases aptly named Stir Crazy beer

a brewery is the place where beer is made. aptly means appropriately, correctly.


one of the most popular movies of 1980. i watched the first hour on netflix during the quarantine. i didn’t laugh once 😐

boomtown brewery is suffering the same complications as many other businesses during the quarantine. they are…

fighting to stay afloat and keep employees on the payroll amid the coronavirus pandemic.

stay afloat means survive. payroll is the list of employees that a company pays. amid means in the middle of.


the literal meaning (and the physics) of floating

and edward ludlow and david westin have an article on indian financial news service bloombergquint that uses stir crazy in the headline too, but talking about a different beverage (drink)…

Starbucks CEO Sees ‘Stir-Crazy’ Consumers Going Out, Eventually

ceo is chief executive officer, different from spanish, u should pronounce all three letters invidually : C-E-O. it’s an abbreviation, NOT an acronym. go out means attend a place socially, for entertainment or to eat. eventually means after some time.

some consumers will eventually go back to starbucks. she might not

in the article, kevin johnson, the ceo of starbucks elaborates…

people won’t fully let their guard down until a vaccine is available, and even then, habits likely have changed for good… [but] customers are looking for something to uplift the every day. maybe they cut back a little bit, but there’s an affinity customers have for starbucks.

fully means completely. let their guard down means relax. a vaccine is an injection builds up the body’s immune system against disease, coronavirus in this case. until is used with the negative won’t because the vaccine being available is anticipated, not a continuing action. even emphasizes the difficulty businesses will have getting customers to return after the quarantine ends. likely is probably. for good means permanently. uplift means inspire. cut back is reduce.

the video has additional examples of cabin fever, go out, stir crazy, a little bit, stuck, amid, weed and shelter in place as well as this vocabulary from other posts on mighty, run out of, pretty, joy.

post your quarantine memories and/or vocabulary questions under leave a reply




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