May 24, 2024

What The Hell Does It Mean?

Fed up with seeing ‘That Girl’ on TikTok? Warning, you may be entering your goblin mode era. And you’re far from alone, as Oxford Languages have chosen it as their word of the year.

For the first time ever, the public was allowed to vote on the Oxford “Word of the Year. ” Over 300,000 people cast their votes (with “metaverse” and “#IStandWith” also up for the title), and it’s “goblin mode” that has clearly resonated with us the most.

And honestly? It’s not really a surprise. After two years of on-and-off lockdowns, many of us became overly acquainted with our bedrooms: loungewear became workwear, and our sofas became makeshift desks. We started to prioritise physical comfort over keeping up appearances, and guess what? It felt good.

We entered goblin mode, and we have no intention of leaving. But what exactly is goblin mode? And how is it related to Julia Fox, fake news, and feminism? We’ve scoured the internet (OK, TikTok) to find the answers.

What is goblin mode?

Picture the scene: it’s Saturday afternoon, and you have hundreds of errands to run. Instead, you make yourself a comforting bowl of instant noodles and devour them, splashing broth over your chin and bedsheets while your dog gazes over in disgust. You’ve just binged an entire series on Netflix and are preparing to start another; you feel a bit like a slob, but who cares? It’s goblin season.

On the Polyester Zine podcast, Ione Gamble and Eden Young discuss the phenomenon, citing Esme Blegvad (the illustrator responsible for this viral image of a woman in goblin mode) as saying, “goblin mode speaks to an emerging mood of feeling not just sick of influencer culture, but feeling and acting completely unhinged as a reaction to it. »

A TikTok by Polyester Zine (@polyesterzine) elaborates on why the idea of a goblin has become so unexpectedly alluring, saying, “Goblins are outcast figures in folklore, somewhere between anti-hero and villain. Their storylines revolve around them interrupting the status quo by getting some for themselves; ‘I’ll be having that’ mentality. ”

However, as TikTok points out, the goblins are “never actually properly evil. They’re just self-centred and mischievous. ”

Dave McNamee, whose tweet about goblin mode went viral, told The Guardian:

“Goblin mode is like when you wake up at 2am and shuffle into the kitchen wearing nothing but a long T-shirt to make a weird snack, like melted cheese on saltines. It’s about a complete lack of aesthetic. Because why would a goblin care what they look like? Why would a goblin care about presentation? ”

Where did the term ‘goblin mode’ originate from?

For many of us, the first time we heard the phrase «goblin mode,» was when Julia Fox tweeted about it. Except err, she didn’t.

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