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The Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year has been revealed

It refers to ‘a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy’

Chiara Wilkinson
Written by
Chiara Wilkinson

Have you found yourself slipping into strange, lazy habits this year? Maybe you’ve been particularly self-indulgent, like eating tubs of Ben and Jerry’s while doom-scrolling on TikTok for hours? Perhaps you no longer give a fuck about looking presentable for work? Or maybe you have absolutely no shame about doing your entire weekly shop in soup-stained pyjamas and slippers?

Chances are, you’ve slipped into ‘goblin mode’ – and it’s completely normal. So normal, in fact, that it was voted by the public as the Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year. Oxford University Press described it as ‘a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations’.

The slang term was one of three potential choices selected by Oxford lexicographers, and won with a total of 318,956 votes – a whopping 93 percent of the overall vote. The runner-up was ‘metaverse’ with 14,484 votes, followed by ‘#IStandWith’ with 8,639 votes. 2021’s Word of the Year was ‘vax’, following the invention of a coronavirus vaccine.

‘Goblin mode’ has been around online since 2009, but it went viral earlier this year and continued to gain popularity as the UK emerged from the pandemic. Suddenly, we were expected to return to the office and actually leave our houses – putting ‘goblin mode’ under threat.

But with the term winning the public vote for Word of the Year by a landslide, we’ve basically been given permission to embrace our inner goblins now, right?

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