20 Nov 2013

'Selfie' named word of the year

10:27 am on 20 November 2013

Oxford Dictionaries have chosen "selfie" as word of the year, as it moved from a social media tag to mainstream use.

The editors said research on the word for a self-portrait photograph suggested its frequency in the English language had increased by 17,000% in the last year.

Other shortlisted words included twerk - a raunchy dance move performed by Miley Cyrus - and binge-watch meaning watching lots of TV.

Schmeat, meaning a form of meat synthetically produced from biological tissue, was also a contender.

Selfie is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website".

Its increase in use is calculated by Oxford Dictionaries using a research programme that collects around 150 million English words currently in use from around the web each month, the BBC reports.

Selfie can be traced back to 2002 when it was used in an Australian online forum, according to Oxford Dictionaries.

A man posted a picture of injuries to his face sustained when he tripped over some steps. He apologised for the fact that it was out of focus, saying that it was not because he was drunk but because it was a selfie.