‘Goblin mode’ is Oxford Word of the Year 2022

‘Goblin mode’ is Oxford Word of the Year 2022

‘Goblin mode’ is Oxford Word of the Year 2022

Written by Staff Writer

05 Dec, 2022 | 7:58 pm

“Goblin mode” has been chosen by the public as the 2022 Oxford word of the year. 

Goblin what?

‘Goblin mode’ is a slang term referring to "a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations."

Although first seen on Twitter in 2009, the term went viral on social media in February 2022, quickly making its way into newspapers and magazines after being tweeted in a mocked-up headline.

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.

Speaking at a special event to announce this year’s approach to selecting the 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.”

Indeed, the term seems to have 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.

The term ‘metaverse’ came in second place – describing "a (hypothetical) virtual reality environment in which users interact with one another’s avatars and their surroundings in an immersive way, sometimes posited as a potential extension of or replacement for the internet and social media." 

'#IStandWith' came in third – a hashtag used on social media to express solidarity with a specific cause, group, or person, with frequent uses this year include #IStandWithUkraine and #StandWithUkraine.

Source: Guardian / EuroNews

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