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The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 is…

20 November 2013

From The Oxford English Dictionary:

It’s that time of the year again. With a fanfare and a drum roll, it’s time to announce the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year. The votes have been counted and verified and I can exclusively reveal that the winner is….


. . . .

The decision was unanimous this year, with little if any argument. This is a little unusual. Normally there will be some good-natured debate as one person might champion their particular choice over someone else’s. But this time, everyone seemed to be in agreement almost from the start. Other words were considered, as you will see from our shortlist, but selfie was the runaway winner.

. . . .

But what of the word itself? While it is safe to say that selfie’s star has risen over the last 12 months, it is actually much older than that. Evidence on the Oxford English Corpus shows the word selfie in use by 2003, but further research shows the earliest usage (so far anyway) as far back as 2002. Its use was, fittingly enough, in an online source – an Australian internet forum.

2002 ABC Online (forum posting) 13 Sept.
“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.”

The term’s early origins seem to lie in social media and photosharing sites like Flickr and MySpace. But usage of it didn’t become widespread until the second decade of this century and it has only entered really common use in the past year or so.

Link to the rest at The Oxford English Dictionary


One Comments to “The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 is…”

  1. I didn’t know there were words of the year. Kind of cool. :)

    So, I must be very ‘out’ of common culture, because I’ve never heard of ‘selfie’. And – unless I missed it – the article doesn’t say what it means. I had to Google it.

    But now I KNOW. I’ll see everyone later. I have to go take a selfie.

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