‘Goblin Mode’ is Oxford University Press’s 2022 Word of the Year


As you read this, look around you. Are you still in bed? Are there piles of clothes and take-out boxes strewn on the floor? Do you have potato chip crumbs on your sheets? Have you broken your self-care routine more times than you can count? You don’t even care? If so, you may already be in “goblin mode” – chosen by the public as the Oxford word of the year 2022.

According to Oxford University Press (OUP), the publishers behind the Oxford English Dictionary, the term slang refers to a type of behavior that is “unapologetically complacent, lazy, careless or greedy, usually of a manner that rejects social norms or expectations”. – traits that may have become familiar to many during lockdown.

Social media can represent idealized versions of self-improvement, from waking up at 5 a.m. and consuming a green smoothie, to journaling, exercising, and planning preparing your weekly meals.

This era may be passing away. In its place is Goblin Mode – the opposite of trying to improve.

The OUP Word of the Year – also known as the Oxford Word of the Year – has been chosen by the public for the first time. A group of OUP lexicographers gave people the choice between: “goblin mode”, “metaverse”, and “#IStandWith”.

“Goblin Mode” won, garnering 318,956 votes, or 93% of the total. “Metaverse” came in second and “#IStandWith” came in third.

Casper Grathwohl, chairman of OUP of Oxford Languages, said in a press release on Monday that “the level of engagement with the campaign took us totally by surprise.”

“Given the year we’ve just had, ‘goblin mode’ resonates with all of us feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. It’s a relief to recognize that we’re not always the idealized, organized selves which we are encouraged to feature on our Instagram and TikTok feeds,” he said.

The term was first used in 2009 but went viral on social media earlier this year, OUP said. He rose to prominence after a false headline claimed the rapper formerly known as Kanye West and Julia Fox broke up after she “went into goblin mode”.

“The term then grew in popularity in the months that followed as Covid lockdown restrictions eased in many countries and people ventured out of their homes more regularly,” according to the OUP. .

“Apparently this captured the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of ​​returning to ‘normal life’ or rebelled against the increasingly unattainable aesthetic norms and unsustainable lifestyles exposed on the networks. social.”

The popularity of the term may also be linked to the growth of new social media sites like BeReal, where users are randomly asked once a day to post a picture of what they are doing. Say goodbye to carefully curated social media feeds. Hello goblin mode.

The statement gives examples of instances where the term has been used. One of the most striking was quoted in The Guardian: “Goblin mode is like when you wake up at 2am and walk into the kitchen wearing nothing but a long t-shirt to do a weird snack, like melted cheese on saltines.”

“People are embracing their inner goblin, and voters are going ‘goblin mode’ as the word of the year tells us the concept is probably here to stay,” Grathwohl added.

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