Roll back a few years to 2010 and most people wouldn’t have a clue what a ‘selfie‘ was! Fast forward back to the present day and ‘selfie‘ has been named the word of the year by the editors of the Oxford English Dictionaries.
According to Editorial Director Judy Pearsall, there is a ‘phenomenal upward trend‘ of people using this word, thus taking it through the committee’s selection rounds. The word ‘selfie‘ originated in an Australian forum in 2002 and appeared as a hashtag on Flickr in 2004 but the word was not widely used until 2013 when we had a boom in photo sharing apps like Instagram and Snapchat.
At first, ‘selfie‘ was spelled with a ‘y’, but the ‘-ie’ suffix has become more common. There are also variants of this word, such as ‘helfie‘, which is a portmanteau of ‘hairstyle’ and ‘selfie’, and ‘drelfie‘ for drunken selfie. Although both of these aren’t really mainstream yet.
Other notable words which made the shortlist include ‘binge-watch‘, which refers to watching multiple episodes of one’s favorite TV series in one go (I’ve done this a few times, dam you Breaking Bad), and ‘twerk‘, which means to dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance which was popularised by Miley Cyrus at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards.
What do you think – does ‘selfie’ deserve to be crowned word of the year?