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Going Goblin Mode

By Hedia Ninan

At the end of each year, Oxford carries on the tradition of choosing a word that best

embodies that year. However, this year, a change has been made: a public vote was added. With political and social events in recent years causing people to be divided, Oxford feels that this year has been about opening back up and coming together, which inspired their decision to start a vote for the word.

People around the world were able to choose between three words: “goblin mode,”

“#IStandWith” and “metaverse.” On December 5, the long-awaited result was released; the word this year is officially goblin mode.

Goblin mode refers to being unapologetically lazy or self-indulgent in a way that

rejects societal expectations in favor of doing what an individual wants to do. This term has been used since 2009, but a tweet featuring a fake headline stating Kanye West broke up with Julia Fox because she went goblin mode went viral in February 2022. The term goblin mode then evolved to describe a person who has let go of society’s expectations and embraced their instincts thus, letting out their inner goblin. Many agreed with the sentiments that the word established after their experience in COVID where they were in isolation and did not have to fear the judgment of others.

Artwork by Debarati Chowdhury

“Goblin mode describes 2022 because many people in the world realized that they

needed to start living, so they were able to let go of all societal expectations and just live for themselves,” senior Hannah Ninan said.

Some New Hyde Park students shared their opinions on the word of the year.

“I don’t think goblin mode fits 2022, because even though COVID has changed all of us, I

don’t think people have given up society’s expectations. It has been a reluctant change, and I think in a few years, people will be more open to it,” English teacher Mr. Mechanic said.

Though goblin mode was most popular globally, the other contending words gained support as well. Both metaverse, which refers to a hypothetical virtual-reality space in which users can interact with one another and their surroundings, and “#IStandWith”, a hashtag used on social media to show support for certain issues or certain people, were voted for by NHP students.

“I chose ‘metaverse’ because I believe our future is technologically advanced. I think it

will help us medically and in many other ways in the future,” seventh grader Jasmin Jani said.

“I chose #IStandWith because in 2022, social media affected our stances on situations

more than we expected it too. Without even hearing the other side, we immediately form our conclusions and pick sides without a second thought. This behavior is commonly seen in school and social media alike,” sophomore Sarah Wilson said.

The three words chosen for voting were shaped around the themes of togetherness and opening back up through social media, leading Oxford to choose words that were trending on the internet this year. Goblin mode as the word of the year may represent responses on social media to significant events and the changes in societal expectations many feel were prevalent in 2022.


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