Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year is a whole mood – or "mode"

Oxford, UK - Oxford Dictionaries announced on Monday that after being put to a public vote for the first time in its history, the votes are in for 2022's World of the Year – and it's an out-of-the-box pick.

The Oxford Dictionaries Word of 2022 is "Goblin mode"
The Oxford Dictionaries Word of 2022 is "Goblin mode"  © 123rf/peshkov

The Oxford University Press (OUP)’s lexicographers put three words they believe captured "the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past twelve months" to a general online vote, according to their press release.

The winner? "Goblin mode." It beat out "Metaverse," and #IStandWith" with 93% of the more than 340,000 votes cast, per the Associated Press.

"Goblin mode" is a slang term which Oxford defines as "a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations."

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It first appeared on Twitter in 2009 but went viral in February 2022 after it was used in a mock newspaper headline. It is mostly known online versus in vernacular speech.

The term is said to be used to describe the feeling of the masses after emerging from Covid restrictions.

"Given the year we’ve just experienced, 'Goblin mode' resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point," said Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford Languages.

"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."

According to Oxford, the Word of the Year is one that has the potential to be "a term of lasting cultural significance" and reflects the current zeitgeist.

The Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year for 2021 was "vax."

Merriam-Webster's Word of the Year for 2022 is "gaslighting," while Collins Dictionary has crowned "permacrisis."

Cover photo: peshkov

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