Goblin mode was chosen by the public as the 2022 Oxford word of the year. The term, which refers to a type of behaviour that is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy, has become the first word of the year that has been decided by the public vote.
Given a choice of three words or phrases, the hashtag word is narrowed by lexicographers from Oxford University Press OUP more than 340,000 English speakers around the world who cast their vote.
Metaverse was the second choice, followed by IStandWith Goblin mode, giving it a landslide victory, with 93% of the vote coming from 318,956 people.
The president of Oxford Languages, Casper Grathwohl, said that while he and his colleagues were hoping that the public would enjoy being brought into the process, the level of engagement had caught them totally by surprise, given the year we've just experienced, goblin mode resonates with all of us feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. It is a relief to acknowledge that we are not always the idealised, curated selves that we are encouraged to present on our Instagram and TikTok feeds. The rise of platforms like BeReal has shown the rise of platforms like BeReal where users share images of their unedited selves, often capturing self-indulgent moments in goblin mode. The winning term was first seen on Twitter in 2009, but went viral on social media in February 2022 after being tweeted in a mock-up headline.
In March Guardian technology reporter Kari Paul attributed the rise in the phrase's usage to the Pandemic s third year and the launch of World War Three The hashtag goblinmode on TikTok is often used as a rebuff of the girl trend, which is all about being the best version of yourself ie getting up early to exercise, performing elaborate skincare routines and drinking organic green smoothies, and of course posting about all of this on social media.
The use of goblin mode went up in the first half of 2022, when Covid restrictions were relaxed in many countries. It captured the 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. American linguist and lexicographer Ben Zimmer said: Goblin mode really speaks to the times and the zeitgeist, and it is certainly a 2022 expression. It gives people the freedom to break free from social norms and embrace new ones. Goblin mode joins the previous Oxford words of the year vax 2021 Climate Emergency 2019 and selfie 2013 Other dictionaries have also chosen 2022 words of the year: Collins chose permacrisis while Cambridge Dictionaries went for homer, which went viral in May thanks to Wordle.