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'Selfie' Dubbed Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013

The Oxford Dictionaries Infograpic on the Many Spawns of Selfie

Even if you didn’t know what they call it, you’ve probably done it. Having risen in popularity from social media buzzword to mainstream media, ‘selfie’ was now inked its way into greater fame by scoring the title of Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2013. ‘Selfie’ is the shorthand descriptor of a self-portrait photograph which for some reflects the gratuitous self-involved state of contemporary culture, and for others the fact that stars have now become their own paparazzi.

Defining the Selfie - Oxford Dictionaries InfographicTo earn its title, selfie had to knock down ‘twerk’,  the cute new mammal the olinguito, bitcoin, bedroom tax, binge-watch, showrooming  and schmeat. And in truth, these words never had a chance.

According to the Oxford Dictionaries website, ‘selfie’ received a unanimous vote as this year’s winner. Though word has been tracked back to as early as 2002 but in recent years, with rise of smartphones equipped with cameras and sharing technologies, its popularity has risen dramatically.

As long as their are easily available digital cameras, will probably remain with us, and to prove itself, it has already begat other words, each more dubious than the original. ‘Selfie’  derivatives include the ‘helfie’ a picture of the hair; the ‘welfie’ a workout selfie; the ‘drelfie’ a drunken selfie and even ones to capture furniture with the ‘shelfie’ and ‘bookshelfie’. Contenders for 2013 Word of the Year - Oxford Dictionaries Infographic

There is even the ‘delfie’ but the ‘d’ comes from a multiplicity of places and could stand in for dog, double or even dead. And with the number of ‘selfies’ she has posted, it’s surprising there isn’t a ‘riselfie’ - the Rihanna selfie.

‘Selfie’ has not yet made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary (and my computer expresses its outrage by underlining it in red) it was added to the Oxford Dictionaries Online in August 2013.

And if you question its legitimacy, just remember that in 2010 the US Word of the Year was Sarah Palin’s malaprop, ‘refudiate’.