Oxford Dictionary name ‘selfie’ as Word of 2013

By John Glenday | Reporter

November 19, 2013 | 2 min read

Editors at Oxford Dictionary have chosen the phrase ‘Selfie’ as their Word of 2013, seeing off stiff competition from the likes of ‘twerking’ and ‘binge-watch’.

The social media tag has now become a mainstream term for the act of snapping an arms-length self-portrait via a mobile phone following its earliest known usage first on an internet forum back in 2002.

That appearance was penned by an unknown Australian who wrote: “Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”

Judy Pearsall, editorial director for Oxford Dictionaries, said: 'Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research programme, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use of selfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection as Word of the Year.”

“Social media sites helped to popularise the term, with the hashtag selfie appearing on the photo-sharing website Flickr as early as 2004, but usage wasn’t widespread until around 2012, when selfie was being used commonly in mainstream media sources.”

In the last year alone usage of the term has leaped 17,000 per cent according to Oxford Dictionaries.

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