This is for individuals who eat dinner on the couch while binge-watching their favorite TV show, in the same sweatpants they’ve been in for days, who would rather work from home than be bothered getting dressed and may or may not have made their bed this week — the Oxford dictionary just named “goblin mode” the word of the year.
If the prior statement rang true, you might be one of these modern-day couch potatoes finally receiving your day of recognition.
The Oxford University Press defines goblin mode as “a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
It seems that the world of so-called lazy slobs found enough motivation to vote on Oxford’s word of the year. This is the first time Oxford has opened selection up to the public, and during the two-week voting period, more than 300,000 people cast their vote, with goblin mode coming in first place.
As the winner, Oxford believes that goblin mode best represents the mood, ethos and preoccupations during the last 12 months. So although it might seem the world is all about self-help and healthy eating, goblin mode says the contrary. You most likely aren’t the only one hitting the snooze button and eating take out.
According to The Guardian, goblin mode is “when you wake up at 2am and shuffle into the kitchen wearing nothing but a long T-shirt to make a weird snack, like melted cheese on saltines. ... It’s about a complete lack of aesthetic. Because why would a goblin care what they look like? Why would a goblin care about presentation?”
Where did goblin mode come from?
Goblin mode first appeared on Twitter in 2009, according to Oxford Press, but did not go viral until February 2022.
In late February, Julia Fox was falsely quoted in a news headline that said her and Kanye West broke up after she went into “full goblin mode,” reports Insider. Fox later debunked the headline in an Instagram story. “Just for the record, I have never used the term ‘goblin mode’,” she wrote, per Bustle.
Although the news about Fox and West proved to be doctored, the term had already taken off on Twitter, where users shared their own interpretation of the term.
“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,” Casper Grathwohl, the president of Oxford Languages, said in a press release.
In second place was metaverse, a term used to describe the increasingly digital world we live in.
The Oxford press defines metaverse as “a (hypothetical) virtual reality environment in which users interact with one another’s avatars and their surroundings in an immersive way, sometimes posited as a potential extension of or replacement for the internet, World Wide Web, social media, etc.”
The term in third place was #IStandWith. The hashtag dates back to 2009, but gained popularity this year with the #IStandWithUkraine movement on social media. It can be used in reference to any cause the user supports.