What on Earth is Goblin Mode and why is Kanye involved YET AGAIN?

Ayaan Paul
Ayaan PaulDec 06, 2022 | 16:47

What on Earth is Goblin Mode and why is Kanye involved YET AGAIN?

The phrase Goblin Mode beat out 'Metaverse' and 'IStandWith' to be crowned the Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year 2022. What exactly does it mean and why does anything and everything as of late have a connection with Kanye West?

  • Having secured over 3,00,000 votes from 3,00,000 English speakers over the span of two weeks, the slang term marks the first Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year to be chosen by the public.

The word joins the ranks of previous winners over the years including ‘Vax’ (2021), ‘Climate Emergency’ (2020) and ‘Toxic’ (2019).

But what exactly does Goblin Mode mean?

“A type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations”

Shocker, isn’t it? Who could have thought that a term of the sort would resonate so resoundingly with the world as it stands right now?

Though the term originated on Twitter in 2009, it went viral in February this year over a fake news headline that claimed actress Julia Fox had broken up with Kanye West because “he didn’t like it when I [Julia Fox] went goblin mode”.

The fake news headline that catapulted Goblin Mode to success

In the time since, the term has risen to fame exponentially and has captivated the imaginations of many social media rants, shitposts, memes and posts with people using the term to describe their unflattering, self-indulgent behaviour as a means to escape or relax. 

And why shouldn’t it? In the aftermath of some of the worst couple years post-pandemic with the world on the brink of a Third World War and meandering in and out of economic recession, why shouldn’t we all go goblin mode every once in a while to let off some steam, keep our sanity intact.

“What ‘goblin mode’ tells me is that it resonated with the feeling that the pandemic is over, but we’re still grappling with it. Do we want to go back to the notions of respectability of the pre-pandemic world?”
- Katherine Connor Martin, product director at Oxford Languages in an interview with the New York Times

In a year where the socio-political significance of ‘IStandWith’ within the context of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the ever-expanding digital frontier is being revolutionised with the advent of the ‘Metaverse’; it seems that people would rather lock themselves in a dungeon, shut out the world, and indulge in food, drink and other binges as a form of peak self-care. 

Sometimes, a bit of goblin mode is all we need to keep us going. (Kanye West will agree.)

Last updated: December 06, 2022 | 16:48
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