'Selfie' is the Oxford English Dictionary 'Word of the Year' - and here's why
2013 is the year of the 'selfie,' the Oxford English Dictionary reckons at least, as the word used to describe a self-shot photograph has been named as the word of the year by the established dictionary authority. According to the Oxford English Dictionary web page, the decision to adopt selfie as word of the year was a " unanimous" decision, noting a 17,000 per cent increase in the usage of the word over the past 12 months.
Mariah Carey is one star who has helped boost the 'selfie' craze
The powers at the Oxford English Dictionary have gone on to chart the rise of the word selfie, tracing its origins to a 2002 ABC Online forum posting. The word experts noted the wider use of the word in 2003 and its adoption into common usage by 2012, but it isn't until 2013 that selfie has become worthy of the Word of the Year title. It beat such buzzwords as 'bitcin,' 'showrunning' and the ever popular 'twerk' to emerge victorious, but what is it that has made 2013 the year of the selfie?
As the OED notes, selfie has commonly been used by mainstream media sources since 2012, with its use on the rise ever since. But what has made selfie even more popular over 2013 is its increased usage by social media-savvy celebrities, usually as a means to show off their rocking bods.
Mariah Carey uploaded a sexy selfie on to her Twitter as a pre-night time birthday gift for hubby Nick Cannon, whilst Geraldo Rivera took a nearly nude bathroom selfie to profess his belief that "70 is the new 50."
Technology-shy Prince made his first steps into the world of social media this year, and you better bet that he used a selfie to announce his arrival, whilst Shia LaBeouf also stripped down to his nether parts for a promo selfie for an upcoming film. Elsewhere Jennifer Aniston continued to be the envy of most women when she featured in a make-up free selfie, but it was a selfie from Kim Kardashian that caught most of our attention. The mother of one posted her first post-baby body shot last month, flaunting her enviable curves in a white leotard that had the internet chatting for days afterwards.
As the OED goes on to state, the word has trascended the use of tabloid-fodder celebrities, and has been adopted by the Obamas and The Pope in 2013 alone. So, does this mean that 2014 will be the year of the twerk, or will we have another buzz word by this time next year?