'Goblin Mode' Named Oxford's Word of the Year
Internet Culture

'Goblin Mode' Named Oxford's Word of the Year

Travis Scott and Drake's 2018 hit single, "SICKO MODE" may have soundtracked mosh pits across the world, but 2022 welcomed another form of chaos: goblin mode.

You've definitely heard the phrase, whether it be in countless nonsensical memes or your friend group chat when someone has had quite a few annoying Tinder dates.

Beloved and prestigious English institution, Oxford Dictionary, has finally unveiled their 2022 Word of the Year, and it's our favorite phrase, "goblin mode."

Now strap in, because any future Jeopardy! contestants may need to know this for an upcoming category. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the slang term "goblin mode" refers to "a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations."

It's important to note that the word wasn't entirely chosen by a bunch of linguists in a room. This was the first year that the word was left up to public vote, and people really felt like the ghoulish phrase spoke to the general vibe of 2022. "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," Casper Grathwohl, President of Oxford Languages, said. "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."

Oxford University, the institution behind the dictionary, offered full transparency behind the decision in a special event used to discuss their methodology for picking such a word. According to Ben Zimmer, American linguist and lexicographer, “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.”

Let's see if 2023 can up the chaos. Start placing your bets and check out the complete announcement of our new word of the year here.

Photo courtesy of Sony Herdiana/Shutterstock

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