ceafinney > miscellania > quindicine

quindicine, the two-week quarantine

We’re often given the story of how in Medieval times, ships approaching Venice would be required to anchor in the harbor for a (nominal) period of forty days and be subjected to health inspections before being allowed to dock. This period of forty days, or quarantina in Italian or quarantena in Venetian, was used to prevent introduction of the plague into the port city and gave rise to the English word quarantine, which now has a more general meaning.

For those of us who fret over the wanton use of decimate, given its original meaning, the practice of calling the two-week isolation period during the COVID-19 pandemic a (self-)quarantine is irksome. We need something more specific!

Following the pattern of quarantine, I humbly offer the word quindicine, derived from the Italian quindicina, or a period of “fifteen days” or loosely “two weeks”.

quindicine ...

You’re welcome, world!

Oh, and remind me sometime to tell you how I invented the “air fist bump” (telekinetic fist bump in my original, arguably incorrect, coining) back in 2008, in my spare time no less. I’m always a decade or more ahead of my time ...