Oxford Dictionary's 2013 Word of the Year: Selfie
Jim LiebeltJim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University. Jim has over 25 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, and has been on the HomeWord staff since 1998. He has served over the years as a pastor, author, youth ministry trainer, adjunct college instructor and speaker. Jim’s culture blog and parenting articles appear on HomeWord.com. Jim is a contributing author of culture and parenting articles to Crosswalk.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Olympia, WA.
- 2013 Nov 21
In what was described as an unusually unanimous decision, “selfie” has been chosen as word of the year by the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary, beating out “twerk” and a host of other Internet and social-media-related terms, such as “bitcoin,” that have exploded onto the verbal scene in recent years.
Use of “selfie,” to mean a self-portrait typically snapped with a smartphone and shared over social networks, has risen 17,000% in frequency over the past 12 months, Oxford Dictionaries said. “Twerk” experienced a notable midyear surge, thanks to Miley Cyrus, but has not proved quite as popular or universal.
“It seems like everyone who is anyone has posted a selfie somewhere on the Internet,” Oxford Dictionaries said on its blog, without offering an accompanying selfie of the writer.
The triumph of “selfie” is part of the larger and seemingly unstoppable proliferation of words and technological terms that lexicographers have struggled to keep up with.