fall fashion issue 2023

A Glossary for Giving Up

Illustration: Dennis Eriksson

In 2022, the internet gave us two new phrases for the feelings of languishment and anti-ambition that defined our post-pandemic mood. First came quiet quitting, the act of putting in just enough effort at work to not get fired; then, in December, after an overwhelming public vote, Oxford Dictionaries declared its Word of the Year goblin mode, or behavior that is “unapologetically self-indulgent, lazy, slovenly, or greedy.” In the year since, quiet quitting and goblin mode have given way to a whole vocabulary of laziness, complete with new phrases and microtrends that seem to capture nearly every degree of throwing in the towel. Here, a brief list of terms for leaning into your most unambitious self.

Rat Snacks
The bizarre concoctions we create in our most impatient, overwhelmed, and ravenous states. These are food combinations that are barely passable as nourishment: a pickle wrapped in a slice of cheese; a dollop of peanut butter topped with assorted nuts; potato chips in a bowl of vinegar; a spoonful of frosting and some pretzels.

Act Your Wage
A cornerstone of quiet quitting, “acting your wage” entails giving the amount of effort that matches your pay. Minimum wage equals minimum work.

Bare-Minimum Monday
Easing into your workweek by doing as little as possible post-weekend. A gateway to quiet quitting.

Lazy-Girl Job
Jobs that pay well but require minimal effort, such as data entry, virtual receptionist, remote administrative assistant. The TikToker widely credited with coining the phrase described lazy-girl jobs as “basically something you can just quiet quit.”

Bed Rot
Staying in bed all day and succumbing to the urge to do nothing but sleep, eat, watch TV, repeat. “Bed rotting” has given some doctors pause, who note its resemblance to what some might call a depressive episode. (And also, presumably, its potential to cause actual bed rot.)

Carcass Time
A mini bed rot. Carcass time spans a few hours, often after a social gathering, and is spent alone, horizontal à la a carcass.

Everything Shower
Because even the most slovenly among us has to go outside sometimes, a special sort of cleanup has developed for coming out of goblin mode/carcass time/bed rotting. As its name suggests, an everything shower is comprised of all forms of feminine “cleanliness” — washing, shaving, hair-masking, exfoliating, tweezing, priming.

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A Glossary for Giving Up