All That You Need to Know About Goblin Mode

According to the Oxford dictionary, “goblin mode” is a slang word which describes a type of behaviour that means to be unapologetically self-indulgent, greedy and lazy. This is a way that rejects social norms as well as all kinds of social expectations. This is used in some sentences like, “in goblin mode” or “to go goblin mode.” The interest in this particular word, “goblin mode” spiked in February when a viral tweet featured this word, in a fake headline to show how easy it is to spread fake news online. This was used to describe the short-lived romance between actor Julia Fox and the rapper Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. Julia Fox opened up about her ‘difficult’ relationship with Kanye West. She said that he didn’t like when she went into goblin mode.


What does the word, “Goblin Mode” mean?

When you behave shamelessly or indulge in some kind of bad behaviour and bad habits not caring about what people think about you, is referred to as the goblin mode. When someone is in this mode, they do not adhere to the social norms or expectations.

The behaviours that are considered to be “goblin mode” by one person, might be different from the behaviours that are considered to be in “goblin mode” for some other person. In most cases, however, it includes certain behaviours like having junk food, disregarding one’s appearance and disregarding hygiene. This mode is a temporary state. One might get into this mode after work or during the weekend.


A good example of “goblin mode” is:

This weekend, I was in goblin mode and ate a bucket of ice cream while sitting in shorts and watching some reality shows.

This behaviour, in most cases, is considered to be humorous and this is also referred to as a mode of behaviour. Therefore, you will often find this word in phrases like, “enter goblin mode” and go “full goblin mode.” Goblin mode is considered to be the opposite of those kinds of behaviour that are considered to be healthy, productive and organized and are highly curated in the world of social media. At times, goblin mode is also referred to describe people or animals who suddenly become wild.’


How was it got selected for Oxford word of the year?

This word was first seen on Twitter in the year 2009. It, however, became popular in social media in February 2022. It was during this time that people were returning from their pandemic lives. As the COVID lockdown pandemic eased, the popularity of this word kept increasing. Most people were trying to get back to their normal lives. The word, “goblin mode” started being used to describe the mood of those people who still rejected the idea of getting back to their normal lives. 

As many as 3000000 English speakers voted for over two weeks, in support of the word, “goblin mode” which finally got selected as the Oxford word of the year, in 2022. The competition was between three words that the editors at the Oxford University Press had selected. “ Goblin mode” received a total of 318956 votes followed by the word, “Metaverse”, which received 14,484 votes and it was followed by the word, “Istandwith” which received 8,639 votes.


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Why it is becoming a people craze in daily use?

The “goblin mode” hashtag has been used as a contrast to the idealised manifestations of being the best version. This word was also used in Reddit and it described a person who is acting like a goblin.

Goblin mode describes all those people, who are a little overwhelmed at this point. Through this word, people try to acknowledge the fact that we are not always, the idealized, curated self as we are expected to represent ourselves in the different social media platforms.

This has been all the more demonstrated by the growing popularity of some platforms where users can share images of their unedited selves. People often capture self-indulgent moments in the goblin mode. People are embracing their inner goblin and the voters have selected the word, “goblin mode”, as the word of the year. This very much shows that this word is here to stay.

Due to the COVID-19 restrictions, people became quite relaxed. This word, therefore started representing the sentiments of those people, who rejected the idea of getting back to their normal lives after the lockdown.

At the launch event of the Oxford word of the year, Ben Zimmer, the American Linguist and Lexicographer said that this word is an expression of the year, 2022. People these days look at social norms in different ways. This word, allows people to ditch the social norms and accept new ones.


Know about the words, Metaverse and #IStandWith

According to the Oxford University Press, the word, “Meta verse” means a hypothetical virtual reality environment where the users interact with another avatar and their surroundings in the most immersive way. This is also, at times, positioned as a virtual extension of the internet or as a replacement of the internet.



In conclusion, it is not that the word “Goblin mode” comes out of nowhere, rather this word appeared on Twitter in the year, 2009 and has been chosen as the Oxford Word of the Year,2022. It is used to describe a kind of behaviour that contains unproductivity, lethargy, or greediness. The precursor of this word is “beast mode”. This word refers back to to the 90’s-era “Beast Wars: Transformers”. This is a cartoon where the robots could shift into “beast mode.” 

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