'Selfie' has been named Oxford Dictionaries' Word of the Year for 2013.
In a statement posted on its blog, Judy Pearsall, Editorial Director for Oxford Dictionaries, explained the decision: “Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research programme, which collects around 150 million words of current English in use each month, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use of selfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection as Word of the Year.”
Selfie, used to describe 'a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website'.
Selfie can be traced back to 2002 when it was used in an Australian online forum. The word gained momentum throughout the English-speaking world in 2013 as it evolved from a social media buzzword to mainstream shorthand for a self-portrait photograph.
The announcement led Time to declare that the word 'Twerk' was robbed of that honour.
The popularity of selfies can be seen even with global leaders. Pope Francis' selfie with a group of Catholic devotees caused much stir online, while on a more local level, Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's selfie with his Malaysian counterpar, Najib Razak, received much attention when it was shared on social media sites.
Oxford's word of the year last year was GIF.