Oops: Oxford Dictionary Chooses ‘Goblin Mode’ As Word Of The Year | Eastern North Carolina Now

    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Joseph Curl.

    "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." - Inigo Montoya, "The Princess Bride"


    Every year, in an increasingly outdated effort, the major dictionaries (remember those?) ask people to pick a single word or phrase they think sums up the year (or, as the verbose site says, a term that captures "the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past twelve months").

    For 2022, online voters on the Oxford English Dictionary website picked "goblin mode."

    The U.K.-based dictionary defines the term as "a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations."

    The term first appeared on Twitter in 2009 but gained popularity during and after the COVID pandemic.

    "Given the year we've just experienced, 'goblin mode' resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point," Oxford Languages President Casper Grathwohl said in a statement. "2022 has been a year defined by opening back up. However, although we have finally been able to physically reunite and come together again, our world somehow feels more divided than ever."

    But the origin of the term is odd. Goblin mode went viral last year, according to The New York Times, "thanks to a satirical tweet featuring a fake news headline that quoted the actress Julia Fox saying that she and Kanye West broke up because he didn't like it when she 'went goblin mode.'"

    Yet Urban Dictionary, a lexicography of young users, offered a slew of other definitions - some of which can't be printed here.

    The latest definition, offered in April, says goblin mode is "when you are in an extreme reckless mode, feeling very mischievous, and lack concern for the well being of others. Normally caused by consuming lots of alcohol."

    As an example of its use in a sentence, the poster said: "I saw my roommate Zack chug three 4 lokos on someones [sic] snapchat story, I really hope when he comes home tonight he isn't in Goblin Mode."

    Another user said goblin mode means a sexual position, while another said it means to take drugs with alcohol. Still, another said it means to have schizophrenia, and another user claimed the term means "when one decides to participate in evil and vile activities such as being chronically online."

    The term won 93% of the more than 340,000 votes cast. The other two finalists were "metaverse" and the hashtag "#IStandWith."

    Last week, Merriam-Webster announced its word of the year is "gaslighting." The dictionary said the word saw a 1,740% increase in lookups over the year.

    "In recent years, we have seen the meaning of gaslighting refer also to something simpler and broader: 'the act or practice of grossly misleading someone, especially for a personal advantage," the dictionary said in a statement. "In this use, the word is at home with other terms relating to modern forms of deception and manipulation, such as fake news, deepfake, and artificial intelligence."

    The views expressed in this piece are the author's own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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