Vote for the Word of the Year 2022


2022 has been a year defined by opening back up. However, although we have finally been able to physically reunite and come together again, our world somehow feels more divided than ever.


In recognition of this shift, we wanted to open up the final step of our Word of the Year selection process to the true arbiters of language: people around the world. How we communicate and develop the English language affects Oxford’s selection every year, but for the first time in its history, the 2022 Word of the Year will be chosen by the public.


Our team of expert lexicographers have narrowed down a longlist of worthy contestants to a final choice of three words.


We are currently counting the hundreds of thousands of votes for this year's Oxford Word of the Year. Check back on Monday, 5th December, to see if your word won!

The shortlist


The three words are: metaverse, #IStandWith, and goblin mode – each relevant to the year in a different way:


  • In ‘metaverse’, we see the conceptual future brought into the vernacular in 2022. From hybrid working in VR, to debates over the ethics and feasibility of an entirely online future, usage of this word has quadrupled in October 2022 compared to the same period last year.

  • ‘#IStandWith’ recognizes the activism and division that has characterized this year. From war in Ukraine, to the Depp v. Heard lawsuit, this ‘word’ coined on social media to align your views to a cause or person can often further foster dispute (and sometimes even hate speech) in its polarizing nature.

  • ‘Goblin mode’ is another relatively new concept: the idea of rejecting societal expectations put upon us, in favour of doing whatever one wants to. Early usage dates back to 2009/10, but as we emerged from lockdowns all over the world, the phrase has been coined in rejection of returning ‘back to normal’ after a fake ‘quote’ from Julia Fox brought the term back into the mainstream.