Put your best duck face on, pop culture easels its way into the Oxford Dictionaries once again!
Seems like only yesterday, ‘Bootylicious’ was voted in as the Word of the Year into the Oxford Dictionaries (that was back in 2004!), the most esteemed guardian of the English language – and today, it is joined by another peculiar choice: Selfie.
Nope, it’s not an abbreviation of the word Selfish, although it is just as narcissistic and interestingly happens to be an outcome of how far we’ve come technologically in this digital age.
Defined as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website”, ‘selfie’ has been named word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries editors, after the frequency of its usage increased by 17,000% over the past 12 months.
As for the correct way of spelling it, you could spell it with an ‘ie’ or ‘y’ (as in ‘selfy’), and both would be correct. Considering the way the first ‘selfie’ was born into this world, it’s no wonder Oxford Dictionaries is not too particular about the proper spelling.
Back in September 13, 2002, the word ‘selfie’ first popped up on an Australian chat room – making it the earliest recording of this word, and who knew that the consumption of alcohol could lead to the creation of one of the most used words in the world today?
“Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer and landed lip first (with front teeth coming a very close second) on a set of steps. I had a hole about 1cm long right through my bottom lip. And sorry about the focus, it was a selfie.”
Since then, it’s just been uphill for the word and in fact, it has gone on to reproduce a bunch of offspring:
“helfie” — a photo of one’s own hair
“welfie” — a selfie taken while working out (be careful of this one, comments may not be well-received)
“drelfie” — a photo of yourself when you’re drunk
“belfie” — a snapshot of one’s own backside
What do you think? We reckon it’s a good choice considering how tech gadgets are now even being created and marketed to the ‘Selfie’ generation.
Well, better ‘selfie’ than ‘twerk’ – which was also on the shortlist, no?