As per their official statement, the term is a type of behaviour which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.
It’s often used in the expressions ‘in goblin mode’ or ‘to go goblin mode’.
In February 2022, the word went viral on social media and quickly made its way into newspapers and magazines after being tweeted in a mocked-up headline.
It captured the prevailing mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to ‘normal life’ after the lockdown.
“Given the year we’ve just experienced, ‘Goblin mode’ resonates with all of us who are feeling a little overwhelmed at this point. People are embracing their inner goblin, and voters choosing ‘goblin mode’ as the Word of the Year tells us the concept is likely here to stay.”
– Casper Grathwohl, President, Oxford Languages
Interestingly, the other words from their prized possession include Selfie (2013), Vape (2014) and Toxic (2018).