Oxford Dictionaries’ 2013 word of the year is ‘selfie’

Use of the word for a photograph taken of oneself, by oneself, has had a ‘phenomenal upward trend’ this year, according to Oxford’s editorial director.

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The word for that type of photo, “selfie,” isn’t particularly new, either. The editors of the Oxford English Dictionaries have traced its first back to 2002, in an Australian online forum. But 2013 was its moment. To mark the occasion, Oxford has named “selfie” its 2013 word of the year.

Oxford explained that this year the word evolved “from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph.”

Use of the word has increased 17,000 percent since 2012, Reuters reports. “Selfie” has also been the basis for a few portmanteaus, including “helfie” (a shot specifically of hair), “drelfie” (a drunk selfie) and “welfie” (a shot taken during a workout).

Oxford Editorial Director Judy Pearsall said “selfie” has been used on Flickr since 2004, but has had a “phenomenal upward trend” in 2013. It was added to Oxford’s online dictionary in August.

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