Oxford Dictionaries reveals its word of the year – ‘goblin mode’
When asked to describe 2022 in a word, the public chose a phrase which describes ‘the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past twelve months’.
Oxford Dictionaries on Monday revealed that in an online vote, “goblin mode” has been selected as the word of the year.
The term is defined as “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
The bizarre word was first introduced in 2009 on Twitter and gained popularity in 2022 as the world was stepping into the uncertainty of life post pandemic.
This was the first time that the year’s winning phrase was chosen through a public vote. The voters were given a choice of three words selected by Oxford Languages lexicographers. They were: goblin mode, metaverse and the hashtag IStandWith.
Oxford Languages President 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.”
Even though the word is not popularly used offline, “goblin mode” was a strong winner among internet users with 93% of more than 340,000 votes cast.
The choice is indicative of an unsettled world which is the result of years of pandemic chaos and big behavioural as well as political changes brought about by social media.
Last week, Merriam-Webster announced that its word of the year was “gaslighting” which it describes as psychological manipulation intended to make a person question the validity of their own thoughts. In 2021 the Oxford word of the year was “Vax” and for Merriam-Webster it was “vaccine”