Cookie banner

This site uses cookies. Select "Block all non-essential cookies" to only allow cookies necessary to display content and enable core site features. Select "Accept all cookies" to also personalize your experience on the site with ads and partner content tailored to your interests, and to allow us to measure the effectiveness of our service.

To learn more, review our Cookie Policy, Privacy Notice and Terms of Use.

clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

'Selfie' Beat 'Twerk,' 'Showrooming' as OED Word of the Year

The master, <a href="">via</a>
The master, via

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

The arbiter of the English language, the Oxford English Dictionary, has deemed "selfie" the Word of 2013. It beat "twerk" (thanks Miley), "binge-watch" (thanks Netflix), showrooming (thanks every shopper everywhere), and schmeat (???). The dictionary claims that "the frequency of the word selfie in the English language has increased by 17,000% since this time last year."

For reference, the definition reads, "A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website." The example of usage offered is "occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself everyday isn't necessary." Read the first known use of selfie below.

And then of course there is this gem from the announcement blogpost:

Research shows the word selfie in use by 2002. The earliest known usage is found in an Australian online forum post: 2002 ABC Online (forum posting) 13 Sept.

"Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripped ofer [sic] 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."

Thanks random drunk Aussies! You did the world and the English language a service.
· Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013: Selfie [OED Blog]
· Oxford English Dictionary Adds Flatforms, Jorts, Double Denim [Racked]