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Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year? Goblin Mode

Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year? Goblin Mode

If you went goblin mode this year, you’re not alone. Oxford English Dictionary has crowned the term as its Word of the Year, which, well, really sums up 2022.

For the less chronically online, “goblin mode” is a slang term referring to “a type of behavior that is typically self-indulgent, lazy or greedy, often in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.” For example, every single human during the peak of Covid-19 lockdown. 

“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,” said Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford University Press’ Oxford Languages. 

The phrase first appeared back in 2009 and has slowly made its way into common vocabulary over the last decade. But this year, the term shot into the national spotlight after a fake headline claimed Julia Fox “went goblin mode” following her breakup with Kanye West. 

It’s also gained popularity thanks to apps like TikTok and BeReal, which have seemingly normalized everyone going goblin mode after Covid restrictions have been lifted. Rooms are messy, shirts are worn (and re-worn) for multiple days, people don’t move from their comfy beds unless absolutely necessary. The goblin has been unleashed in all of us, and it looks like it’s here to stay. 

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