The Oxford word of the year chosen by popular vote has been revealed.
“Goblin mode” is a slang term that describes “unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy” behavior. Oxford lexicographers chose it as one of three possible options. Thousands of people managed to get out of goblin mode to vote, and the phrase won by a landslide with 318,956 votes, accounting for 93% of the total. So, what exactly does goblin mode imply?
It is a slang term that is frequently used in expressions such as “I am in goblin mode” or “to go goblin mode,” according to Oxford University Press, which publishes the Oxford English Dictionary. It went on to define it as “unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy behavior, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
The term first appeared on the internet in 2009, but it gained popularity earlier this year due to a fictitious headline scandal involving actress and model Julia Fox, as well as a popular Reddit post describing someone who has been acting like a goblin. As Covid restrictions eased, the term grew in popularity as people realized they did not want to return to their previous way of life.
It sparked a campaign for its selection, with PC Gamer magazine encouraging readers to “set aside our petty differences and vote for ‘goblin mode’ over ‘metaverse’ as the Oxford Word of the Year,” because “goblin mode rules.” It’s difficult to argue with that logic when many of us occasionally feel goblin-like. It is the first time the public has chosen the word of the year, a decision made in a year that organizers described as “more divided than ever.”
People have been embracing their inner goblin, according to Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Languages. He continued: “We had hoped that the public would enjoy being included in the process, but the level of engagement with the campaign completely surprised us.
“The force of the response emphasizes the importance of vocabulary in understanding who we are and processing what is going on in the world around us. “Given the year that has just passed, ‘goblin mode’ resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed right now. It’s a relief to admit that we’re not always the idealized, curated versions of ourselves that we’re encouraged to present on our Instagram and TikTok feeds.” Metaverse came in second with 14,484 votes, followed by #IStandWith with 8,639 votes.