Oxford Dictionaries Name ‘Selfie’ as Word of 2013
Photo courtesy of NASA
‘Selfie’ is a word that is very definitely a 21st century word — it’s defined by the Oxford Dictionaries as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”, something that didn’t exist a mere 13 years ago. It’s also their choice for the word of 2013.
Editorial director Judy Pearsall said: "Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research programme, which collects around 150m words of current English in use each month, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use of selfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection."
There are permutations of the word, as we reported earlier this year, there’s ‘bookshelfie’ or just ‘shelfie’, where the individual takes a selfie in front of their bookcase; ‘helfie’, which is a hairstyle selfie; ‘belfie’, or bum selfie; not to mention ‘drelfie’, which is a drunken selfie.
Other words that made the shortlist included: ‘twerk’ (thanks Miley); ‘schmeat’, meaning “meat produced synthetically from biological tissue”; and ‘binge-watch’, defined as “to watch multiple episodes of a television programme in rapid succession”.
With last year’s choice being ‘omnishambles’, meaning “a situation that has been comprehensively mismanaged, characterized by a string of blunders and miscalculations”, the annual choice of word is definitely of the moment. Who’s to say we’ll be using any of these words in a 100 years? But I’ll bet you’ve taken a selfie, haven’t you?
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