It’s Official: ‘Selfie’ Is The Word Of The Year

Duckfaces of the world unite.

Every year, Oxford Dictionaries nominates a “Word Of The Year”. For 2013, the winner is…

They look a bit like this.



And now selfie is a phenomenon.

The Word Of The Year always creates debate and conversation, and the editors at say the usage of selfie (or selfy, if you prefer) has increased 17,000% this year.

However, selfie isn’t yet in the Oxford English Dictionary, which is published by the same company and has different criteria for selecting words, including that the word is used over a reasonable length of time. The OED’s editors are considering its inclusion.

It’s popular now, but it’s not a new thing - the first usage of selfie can be dated back to an Australian online forum post from 2002:

I busted my lip pretty good the other night (put my front teeth straight through my bottom lip). On the inside, I got 3 dissolvable stitches. They said they should be gone in a week or so. I’ve been licking the wound a bit cause it gets really dry and uncomfortable, will this make the stitches dissolve too soon?

Other words to make the Word Of The Year shortlist include:

The list of past Words Of The Year say a lot about the things that preoccupy us as a nation.

2004 - chav
2005 - sudoku
2006 - bovvered
2007 - carbon footprint
2008 - credit crunch
2009 - simples
2010 - big society
2011 - squeezed middle
2012 - omnishambles
2013 - selfie

Sadly, “sharknado” is still to make the shortlist.

Maybe next year, sharknado.

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Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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