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Oxford’s Word of the Year for 2022 is “goblin mode”


The public’s choice for the 2022 Oxford Word of the Year is “Goblin mode.”

Slang for “a form of behavior which is unrepentantly self-indulgent, sluggish, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that opposes social standards or expectations” is “goblin mode.”

Even though it was originally used on Twitter in 2009, the phrase gained popularity on social media in February 2022 after being used in a mock headline that was shared.

As Covid lockdown rules loosened in several nations and individuals began leaving their houses more frequently in the months that followed, the phrase then gained prominence.

Ben Zimmer, an American linguist and lexicographer, stated during a special event to discuss this year’s methodology for choosing the Oxford Word of the Year: “Goblin Mode really does speak to the times and the zeitgeist, and it is unquestionably a 2022 phrase. Social standards are being viewed by people in novel ways. People are given permission to reject existing social conventions and adopt new ones.

The phrase does seem to have captured the general attitude of those who either rebelled against the idea of going back to “regular life” or against the increasingly unrealistic aesthetic standards and unsustainable lifestyles promoted on social media.

The term “metaverse,” which is sometimes proposed as a potential extension of or replacement for the internet and social media, came in second place. It describes “a (hypothetical) virtual reality environment in which users interact with one another’s avatars and their surroundings in an immersive way.”

The hashtag “#IStandWith” came in third place. This year, it was frequently used with the hashtags “#StandWithUkraine” and “#IStandWithUkraine” to show support with the Ukrainian people.

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