The biggest dictionaries in the world has declared their respective 2022 word of the year. Every year, Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Collins Dictionary and Oxford Dictionary releases their word of the year and for 2022, these words are “Gaslighting” for Merriam-Webster, “Permacrisis” for Collins and “Goblin mode” for Oxford Dictionary.
Collins Dictionary 2022 Word of the Year “Permacrisis”
Permacrisis is a term that describes an extended period of instability and insecurity. This word was chosen in relation to the ongoing crises in the UK and the world such as the war in Ukraine, climate change, the crisis in the cost-of-living and political instability.
Merriam-Webster 2022 Word of the Year “Gaslighting”
According to the definition from Merriam-Webster Gaslighting is “the act or practice of grossly misleading someone especially for one’s own advantage”. The word is fitting for our current situation where the society in general is dealing with misinformation, fake news and conspiracy theories.
According to the data presented by Merriam-Webster, there is a 1720% increase in search for the word “Gaslighting”. The term “Gaslighting” however, is not new, as it’s origins came from a 1938 play which was later on turned into a movie with the title “Gaslight”. The movie is about a husband who, through manipulation made his wife believe that she is imagining and hallucinating.
Prior to the modern meaning of the word, Gaslighting was initially defined as:
psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of their own thoughts, perception of reality, or memories and typically leads to confusion, loss of confidence and self-esteem, uncertainty of one’s emotional or mental stability, and a dependency on the perpetrator
Oxford Dictionary 2022 Word of the Year “Goblin mode”
Goblin mode is “a type of behavior which is unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy, typically in a way that rejects social norms or expectations.”
Goblin mode, came about from the pandemic, although this word first appeared on Twitter in 2009, it wasn’t until February of 2022 when it was often used and became popular.
Goblin mode is a mood that came about after COVID lockdowns and restrictions. It is the “mood of individuals who rejected the idea of returning to ‘normal life’, or rebelled against the increasingly unattainable aesthetic standards and unsustainable lifestyles exhibited on social media.“
Watch the Oxford Word of the Year 2022 Launch Event