Another word for Watch
Selfie noun, informal
(also selfy; plural selfies)
a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website
Today Oxford Dictionaries announces selfie as their international Word of the Year 2013. The Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is a word or expression that has attracted a great deal of interest during the year to date. Language research conducted by Oxford Dictionaries editors reveals that the frequency of the word selfie in the English language has increased by 17, 000% since this time last year.
selfie can actually 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. Its linguistic productivity is already evident in the creation of numerous related spin-off terms showcasing particular parts of the body like helfie (a picture of one’s hair) and belfie (a picture of one’s posterior); a particular activity – welfie (workout selfie) and drelfie (drunken selfie), and even items of furniture – shelfie and bookshelfie.
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.”
The Word of the Year need not have been coined within the past twelve months, but it does need to have become prominent or notable in that time. Selfie was added to OxfordDictionaries.com in August 2013, although the Word of the Year selection is made irrespective of whether the candidates are already included in an Oxford dictionary. selfie is not yet in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), but is currently being considered for future inclusion.
The earliest known selfie
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.”
The rise of the selfie
Judy Pearsall explained the evolution of the word selfie: “Social media sites helped to popularize the term, with the tag ‘selfie’ appearing on the photo-sharing website Flickr as early as 2004, but usage wasn’t widespread until around 2012, when selfie was being used commonly in mainstream media sources.
“In early examples, the word was often spelled with a -y, but the -ie form is more common today and has become the accepted spelling. The use of the diminutive -ie suffix is notable, as it helps to turn an essentially narcissistic enterprise into something rather more endearing. Australian English has something of a penchant for -ie words – barbie for barbecue, firie for firefighter, tinnie for a can of beer – so this helps to support the evidence for selfie having originated in Australia.”
The Word of the Year shortlist
In alphabetical order, the shortlisted words for the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2013 are:
bedroom tax, noun, informal:
(in the UK) a reduction in the amount of housing benefit paid to a claimant if the property they are renting is judged to have more bedrooms than is necessary for the number of the people in the household, according to criteria set down by the government.
The Welfare Reform Act 2012 proposed various changes to the rules governing social security benefits in the UK, including an ‘under-occupancy penalty’ to be imposed on households that were receiving housing benefit and that were judged to have bedrooms surplus to their requirements. Critics and opponents soon began to refer to the new penalty as the ‘bedroom tax’. The first references to the bedroom tax in our corpus appear in 2011 but usage increased dramatically around the time this new provision came into force, in April 2013.
to watch multiple episodes of a television programme in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming. [ORIGIN 1990s: from BINGE + WATCH, after BINGE-EAT, BINGE-DRINK.]
The word binge-watch has been used in the circles of television fandom since the late 1990s, but it has exploded into mainstream use in 2013. The original context was watching programmes on full-season DVD sets, but the word has come into its own with the advent of on-demand viewing and online streaming. In 2013, binge-watching got a further boost when the video-streaming company Netflix began releasing episodes of its serial programming all at once. In the past year, binge-watching chalked up almost as much evidence on our corpus as binge-eating. (Binge-drinking remains unchallenged in the top position, at least for the moment.)
a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank. Also, a unit of bitcoin. [ORIGIN early 21st century: from BIT, in the computing sense of ‘a unit of information’ and COIN.]