Selfie ‘word of the year’ according to Oxford Dictionary
Social media junkies the world over will be happy with Oxford Dictionaries’ choice of ‘word of the year’ for 2013. ‘Selfie’, a picture of oneself taken on a smartphone or webcam and posted to the Internet, scooped the accolade against a shortlist that included the terms ‘binge-watch’, ‘twerk’ and ‘bitcoin’.
Oxford Dictionaries decides on the word of the year by tracing its rise to common parlance over the course of a year, though the word may not have initially appeared in the last 12 months. According to official figures there were over 5 billion instances of the word were recorded, an increase of 17,000% over 2012.
The term can be traced back to an online forum in 2002 in which a poster in the ABC online forum in Australia posted a picture of himself after tripping and falling over while drunk at a friend’s 21st birthday party. The post ended “sorry about the focus, it was a selfie” and thus a word was born.
Selfie finds itself in good company, with previous winners ‘omnishambles’ (2012), ‘chav’ (2004), and podcast (2005).
Honourable mentions this year went to ‘Harlem shake’, ‘brexit’ and ‘Sharknado’.