‘Selfie’ is ‘runaway winner’ as Oxford Dictionaries’ word of the year
“GIF” was so last year.
Oxford Dictionaries has released its 2013 word of the year, and, like last year, it has gone with a tech-savvy term: “selfie.”
The formal definition of the word, for those of you not familiar with social media and/or narcissism, is a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically using a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website. For an example of a selfie, check out Kim Kardashian’s swimsuit version.
In a blog post announcing the decision, Oxford Dictionaries called “selfie” the “runaway winner.”
“The decision was unanimous this year, with little if any argument. This is a little unusual. Normally there will be some good-natured debate as one person might champion their particular choice over someone else’s. But this time, everyone seemed to be in agreement almost from the start.”
Other contenders included “twerk” (thank you, Miley Cyrus), “bitcoin,” “showrooming” and “binge-watch.”
Tech terms have been popular on Oxford’s top-word list over the last decade. “GIF” took the top spot last year, and “unfriend” was No. 1 in 2009. “Podcast” was the word of the year back in 2005.
Oxford went on to say that it has already seen a proliferation of words piggy-backing off the popularity of “selfie.”
“Its linguistic productivity is already being seen by the creation of a number of related 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),” Oxford said. “In fact, it seems that the words know no bounds, although some do seem rather forced.”
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