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Oxford dictionary reveals ‘lazy’ 2022 word of the year

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Oxford dictionary has declared its official word of 2022 is
Oxford dictionary has declared its official word of 2022 is “goblin mode,” the group announced Monday. The phrase won an online vote to win the title for 2022. Getty Images

Goblin mode refers to “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations,” according to The Oxford Dictionary.

Now, the esteemed tome has declared its official word of 2022 is “goblin mode,” the group announced Monday. The phrase won an online vote — the first in the publication’s history — to win the title for 2022.

“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 told reporters.

While Oxford typically selects the word of the year internally, the organization opened the choice up to an internet vote for the first time this year, a historically fraught decision. 

Oxford instructed voters to choose a word that sums up “the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the past twelve months.”

The competition ultimately came down to three choices: Goblin mode, metaverse and the hashtag IStandWith. Goblin mode won with 93% of the more than 340,000 votes cast, according to the Associated Press.

Goblin mode primarily sees use online.

Oxford’s word of the year in 2021 was “vax,” and it chose to skip selecting a word in 2020, arguing there was no single word that could do it justice.

Meanwhile, Merriam-Webster’s dictionary selected “gaslighting” as the official word of 2022, and it had selected “vaccine” in 2021.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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