Language
6:00 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Get Out Your Camera, The Word Of The Year Is 'Selfie'

KCUR staffers, in all their selfie glory.
KCUR staffers, in all their selfie glory.
Credit Briana O'Higgins + staff / KCUR

The word of the year, according to Oxford Dictionaries, is selfie. The company announced the 2013 selection on Monday in a press release.

According to the release, selfie can be tracked to 2002, where it was used in an Australian online forum.

Oxford claims the word's linguistic productivity is already evident by numerous spin-offs, like welfie (workout selfie) and drelfie (drunk selfie).

"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,” said Judy Pearsall, editorial director for Oxford Dictionaries.

Pearsall says social media sites helped popularize the term, and media outlets started using it heavily in 2012.

Some other words on the Word of the Year shortlist:

  • binge-watch, verb:
    to watch multiple episodes of a television program in rapid succession.
  • bitcoin, noun:
    a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.
  • olinguito, noun:
    a small furry mammal found in mountain forests in Colombia and Ecuador, the smallest member of the raccoon family. (The discovery of the animal was announced in August 2013)
  • schmeat, noun, informal:
    a form of meat  produced synthetically from biological tissue. 
  • showrooming, noun:
    the practice of visiting a shop or shops in order to examine a product before buying it online at a lower price.
  • twerk, verb:
    dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.

Selfie was added to OxfordDictionaries.com in August 2013. Currently, it is not in the Oxford English Dictionary.

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