A few weeks ago, the Oxford English Dictionary people did something unprecedented: they let the public vote on the Word of the Year. The finalists were: #IStandWith, metaverse, and goblin mode. As you may recall, Lit Hub stood firmly behind one of those options and put out a call to action to our readers.
Guess what: your vote mattered! We’re particularly pleased to share that goblin mode will forever reverberate in the halls of history as 2022’s Oxford English Dictionary’s Word of the Year.
In case you’ve been off the internet and living under a rock for the past few months (respect), goblin mode is defined as “a slang term, often used in the expressions ‘in goblin mode’ or ‘to go goblin mode’ – is ‘a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.’”
Or, as The Guardian eloquently put it: “spending the day in bed watching 90 Day Fiancé on mute while scrolling endlessly through social media, pouring the end of a bag of chips in your mouth.”
It was a landslide. Over 342,000 people weighed in, and 93% of those went goblin mode. Casper Grathwohl, President of Oxford Languages, said in a statement:
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. 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. This has been demonstrated by the dramatic rise of platforms like BeReal where users share images of their unedited selves, often capturing self-indulgent moments in goblin mode. People are embracing their inner goblin, and voters choosing “goblin mode” as the Word of the Year tells us the concept is likely here to stay.
I’m proud of us weirdos for coming together to make this niche dream come true. Now we can all retreat back into our caves, don our ugliest sweatpants, and continue eating several-week-old-Thanksgiving-mashed-potatoes over the sink. (Anyone else? Just me?)