Are You in Goblin Mode?

Image: Adapted from Canva Pro

The Oxford University Press announced their word of the year, 2022, recently. Three words made it into the first ever public vote: Goblin Mode, metaverse, and #IStandWith. Goblin Mode won with a landslide 93% of the vote.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, the word is a slang term used to describe, ‘a type of behaviour, which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.’

I had never heard of the term until the announcement. After first appearing on Twitter in 2009, Goblin Mode took a bit of a hiatus until it went viral on social media in February 2022.

This got me musing about what my word of the year would be. There are numerous candidates, many of which would be unsuitable for WordPress. After much consideration, I decided to come away from the modern world and delve back into Old English and a word I discovered in one of my favourite books of 2022.

The Rise of the Ale-Poet

The book is, The Wordhord: Daily Life in Old English, written by Hana Videen. The Wordhord takes readers on a journey through Old English words related to activities and customs encountered in Old English life. The word I chose was ealu-sceop, (pronounced EH-al-luh-SHEH-op) a noun, meaning Ale-poet, someone who recites poetry in the presence of those drinking.

Ale-poets were a common occurrence in early Medieval England. The thought of wandering around inns and taverns reciting poetry is something which appeals to me. ‘A poem for a pint.’ Is there a better way to earn a living?

I have an opportunity to test out my new business idea this weekend as my local village, Haddenham, is holding its winter beer festival, Winterfest. There are expected to be over a thousand people attending. My plan is to leave my poetry until late in the day when the strong local ales will be exerting their maximum effect.

Wish me luck. Do you have a word of the year? Why don’t you share it in the comments section. Have a good weekend.  

16 thoughts on “Are You in Goblin Mode?

  1. Great minds think alike! I just wrote a post for January about Goblin Mode after seeing it was Oxford’s word of the year. I do choose my own word for the new year and have for a decade now. 2022 was wisdom. I think I have narrowed down my word for 2023, but I haven’t committed yet. Ale-poet is fantastic combining two of my favorite activities. 😉 I wish I could see you at your Winterfest. I think it’s a brave, unusual, and wonderful idea. Cheers!

    1. Thank you, Alicia, I appreciate your kind words and thoughts. I will be interested to see your take on the Goblin Mode. Maybe we can start an ale-poet society in 2023? Looking forward to seeing your word of 2023.

  2. “‘A poem for a pint.’ Is there a better way to earn a living?”

    Very sorry to rain on your parade but not even the most hardcore ale-poet can live from pints alone. In order to make a real living from it they should also frequent butcheries – “a poem for a cutlet” and greengrocers – “a poem for a lettuce”.
    That’s a more realistic business proposal, no?

    1. I will give it a try, Orca. Real ale is full of fruit and vegetables. I like your idea of expanding the business. How about poem in a garage, a sonnet on a bonnet; or poetry in a police station, a rhyme for a crime. You have got me thinking.

  3. I’ve never hear of this goblin-mode’ although I spend little time on social media except with all the other codgers on facebook. Favorite word? I dunno. I like a lot of them.

    1. Thanks, Jeff. Seems that social media has now taken over our dictionaries, as all three word that made it into the vote were terms on social media. The magic of language is it is always developing.

  4. These words are definitely new to me. I like the ‘poetry bar’ concept. Could get quite an audience for that. Sip away and let the words carry you away. Have a great time, Davy. 🙂

  5. I have to confess I’ve never heard of the term Goblin Mode, so this is a new word for me to learn today. In fact, I hadn’t realised that we have a new word of the year every year. For someone who likes writing and using words in poetry, I’m not sure how I’ve never known this. I like the idea of being an Ale Poet, though. I hope you do manage to recite something poetic at the Winterfest. Lots of luck. You’re braver than I would be by a long way. The only place I share my written poetry is on my blog; I rarely read it aloud to anyone.

    If I had to choose my word of the year, it would be a common but very meaningful one to me, and that’s the word ’empathy or empathetic’. I think having empathy with others is so important and is a good quality to have. I wish you good luck with your performance.

    1. That is a beautiful word, Ellie, and empathy is a great quality to have. The Oxford University Press come up with some interesting words each year. Thank you for your thoughts and wishes.

  6. Definitely never heard of goblin mode till today, so that’s interesting. But what’s more interesting is having a hashtag make it into the list? I’m not sure how the word of the year works though, so I may be missing something, lol. Anyway, thanks for this post!

    1. A pleasure, Stuart, and thank you for your thoughts. The inclusion of hashtags is a good indication as to how language constantly evolves. Good for us writers to always have something new to consider.

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