Selfie noun, informal
(also selfy; plural selfies)
a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website
Today Oxford Dictionaries announces selfie as their international Word of the Year 2013. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date. Language research conducted by Oxford Dictionaries editors reveals that the frequency of the word selfie in the English language has increased by 17, 000% since this time last year.
selfie can actually be traced back to 2002 when it was used in an Australian online forum. The word gained momentum throughout the English-speaking world in 2013 as it evolved from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph. Its linguistic productivity is already evident in the creation of numerous related spin-off terms showcasing particular parts of the body like helfie (a picture of one’s hair) and belfie (a picture of one’s posterior); a particular activity – welfie (workout selfie) and drelfie (drunken selfie), and even items of furniture – shelfie and bookshelfie.
Judy Pearsall, Editorial Director for Oxford Dictionaries, explained the decision: “Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research programme, which collects around 150 million words of current English in use each month, 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.”
The Word of the Year need not have been coined within the past twelve months, but it does need to have become prominent or notable in that time. Selfie was added to OxfordDictionaries.com in August 2013, although the Word of the Year selection is made irrespective of whether the candidates are already included in an Oxford dictionary. selfie is not yet in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), but is currently being considered for future inclusion.