'Selfie' Beats 'Twerk' for Oxford's Word of the Year


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Eleven years after it was first used, the word "selfie" has been declared the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013. Those of us who are resistant to seeing such words added to the dictionary, let alone being made Word of the Year, can at least be thankful that "twerk" didn't win out.

Oxford Dictionaries adds hundreds of new words each year, and this year was no exception. Some of the new words added to Oxford Dictionaries Online (all of these may not make the Oxford English Dictionary) include selfie, twerk, me time, buzzworthy, TL;DR, bitcoin and derp.

When selfie was added to Oxford Dictionaries Online earlier this year, the following definition was included: a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

Oxford Dictionaries decided on "selfie" as Word of the Year because its usage has exploded recently. According to Judy Pearsall, the editorial director for Oxford Dictionaries, the first documented instance of "selfie" being used was in 2002 on an online forum. "But usage wasn't widespread until around 2012, when 'selfie' was being used commonly in mainstream media," Pearsall said.

Saying that selfie is "being used commonly" might be a bit of an understatement. We all see dozens of posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram tagged with "#selfie" every single day as people use their smart phones to document pretty much every mundane event. Everything from waking up to eating a sandwich for lunch to standing on some random street corner is selfie material for some people. And let's not forget some of the more cringe-inducing selfies such as those taken at funerals and historical sites.

Not surprisingly, some people were less than thrilled with hearing that selfie is Word of the Year:

And then we have those people who have decided to celebrate the announcement of selfie being Word of the Year by posting...you guessed it, selfies:

[Image via YouTube]