What’s the word of the year for 2013? It’s “selfie,” declared by Oxford Dictionaries editors.
A “selfie” is: “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” The publisher of the Oxford Dictionaries said Tuesday (Nov. 19) that the word saw a huge jump in usage in the past year, beginning its popularity rise on social media before breaking into the mainstream as shorthand for any self-taken photograph.
Oxford editorial director Judy Pearsall told the AP that “selfie” first appeared in 2002 on an Australian online forum, and the hashtag #selfie appeared on the photo-sharing website Flickr in 2004. However, she says usage of the world didn’t explode until 2012, “when ‘selfie’ was being used commonly in mainstream media.”
Researchers behind the renowned dictionaries pick a prominent word or expression in the English language each year that best reflects the biggest trends of the year. Previous words of the year have included “unfriend” in 2009, “credit crunch” in 2008, “carbon footprint” in 2007 and “Sudoku” in 2005.