What is 'goblin mode,' Oxford word of the year 2022?
The Oxford word of the year 2022 is "goblin mode." Ever heard of it? It is a slang word for behaving shamelessly with no regard for social norms. This is the first time when the public could cast a vote to choose the word of the year. More than three lakh English speakers around the world voted for "goblin mode." Here's more to it.
What does the term mean?
The term "goblin mode" defines a type of behavior that is "unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy behavior, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations." The colloquial term is often used in the expressions "in goblin mode" or "to go goblin mode." The term captures the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to normal life.
Oxford announces the word of the year
The ‘goblin community’ has spoken!— Oxford University Press (@OxUniPress) December 5, 2022
We’re pleased to announce goblin mode as the #OxfordWOTY 2022.
Read more about this year’s winning choice here #TeamGoblinMode: https://t.co/NmC2UYau3U pic.twitter.com/yqQ9eIlIeQ
The word resonates with all
The president of Oxford Languages, Casper Grathwohl said, "Given the year we've just experienced, 'goblin mode' resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point." In an article, The Guardian wrote, "Goblin mode embraces the comforts of depravity," attributing the term's rise to the "pandemic's third year and the feared launch of World War 3."
Metaverse was the second choice
"Metaverse" was the second choice, followed by "#IStandWith." However, goblin mode was a landslide victory: it was selected by 318,956 people, making up 93% of the overall vote.
How did the word become popular
The term first appeared on Twitter in 2009 but became popular only when it went viral in February of this year. An intended fake news headline that quoted actress Julia Fox as saying that she and Kanye West broke up because he didn't like it when she "went goblin mode" went viral. The term has thereafter been widely used by netizens across the world.
The word truly represents the zeitgeist of 2022
Speaking at a webinar to announce the approach to selecting Oxford Word of the Year, Ben Zimmer, American linguist and lexicographer said, "Goblin mode really does speak to the times and the zeitgeist, and it is certainly a 2022 expression." "People are looking at social norms in new ways. It gives people the license to ditch social norms and embrace new ones," added Zimmer.
Word of the year by other dictionaries
Other dictionaries have also selected 2022 words of the year: Collins chose "permacrisis," while Cambridge Dictionaries went for "homer," which went viral in May thanks to the game Wordle. American dictionary publisher Merriam-Webster declared gaslighting as the word of 2022.