Goblin mode: Oxford Word of the Year 2022 – Times of India

With the year coming to an end, it’s time to look back and reflect upon the past 12 months. During this time, every year the Oxford English Dictionary shares its Word of the Year which aptly sums up the mood and ethos of that particular year. But for the first time in Oxford English Dictionary’s history, this year the Word of the Year 2022 was chosen by public voting. And, people have chosen ‘Goblin Mode’ as the Oxford Word of the Year 2022!

Over 300,000 people casted their vote to choose the Oxford Word of the Year 2022 in the last two weeks.

“‘Goblin mode’ – a slang term, often used in the expressions ‘in goblin mode’ or ‘to go goblin mode’ – is ‘a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations,'” reads a statement on Oxford Languages’ website.

The word ‘goblin mode’ was first seen on Twitter in 2009, however it went viral on social media this year in February. The reason: it was used in a mocked-up headline , involving actress-model Julia Fox and a popular Reddit post which described someone who’s been acting like a goblin. “The term then rose in popularity over the months following as Covid lockdown restrictions eased in many countries and people ventured out of their homes more regularly. Seemingly, it captured the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to ‘normal life’, or rebelled against the increasingly unattainable aesthetic standards and unsustainable lifestyles exhibited on social media,” reads a statement on the website.

While ‘Goblin Mode’ was chosen as the Oxford Word of the Year 2022, the other two contenders for public voting were: ‘metaverse’- which got the second place, and ‘#IStandWith’- which got the third place.

Commenting on ‘Goblin Mode’ being the winner of this year’s Oxford Word of the Year, Casper Grathwohl, President- Oxford Languages, said in a statement, “We were hoping the public would enjoy being brought into the process, but this level of engagement with the campaign caught us totally by surprise. The strength of the response highlights how important our vocabulary is to understanding who we are and processing what’s happening to the world around us. Given the year we’ve just experienced, ‘Goblin mode’ resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. It’s a relief to acknowledge that we’re not always the idealized, curated selves that we’re encouraged to present on our Instagram and TikTok feeds. This has been demonstrated by the dramatic rise of platforms like BeReal where users share images of their unedited selves, often capturing self-indulgent moments in goblin mode. People are embracing their inner goblin, and voters choosing ‘goblin mode’ as the Word of the Year tells us the concept is likely here to stay.”

Previous Oxford Word of the Years are: vax in 2021, climate emergency in 2019, and selfie in 2013.

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