Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Oxford reveals the word of the year

19 November 2013, 15:42

London - Michelle Obama shared one with her "first dog" Bo, Hillary Clinton tweeted one with her daughter Chelsea. Now "selfie" — the smartphone self-portrait — has been declared word of the year for 2013, according to Britain's Oxford University Press.

The publisher of the Oxford dictionaries said on Tuesday that "selfie" saw a huge jump in usage in the past year, bursting from the confines of Instagram and Twitter to become mainstream shorthand for any self-taken photograph.

Researchers behind the renowned dictionaries pick a prominent word or expression in the English language each year that best reflects the mood of the times. Previous words of the year have included "unfriend" in 2009, "credit crunch" in 2008, "carbon footprint" in 2007 and "Sudoku" in 2005.

Judy Pearsall, the editorial director for Oxford Dictionaries, said "selfie" appeared to have been first used in 2002 on an Australian online forum, and the hashtag #selfie appeared on the photo-sharing website Flickr in 2004.

"But usage wasn't widespread until around 2012, when 'selfie' was being used commonly in mainstream media," she said.

Australian English sometimes uses the suffix "-ie" — such as barbie for barbeque and tinnie for a can of beer — which helps to explain where "selfie" may have come from, Pearsall added.

Words chosen by research programme

Oxford usually assigns a separate word of the year to the US and to the UK, but it said "selfie" captured the imagination on both sides of the Atlantic this year.

The term beat other buzzwords including "twerk," the sexually provocative dance move that got a huge boost in usage thanks to an attention-grabbing performance by pop star Miley Cyrus; "showrooming", the practice of visiting a shop to look at a product before buying it online at a lower price; and "Bitcoin", the digital currency that gained widespread media attention.

Also making the shortlist was "binge-watch", a verb that describes watching many episodes of a TV show in rapid succession.

The words were chosen by a research programme that monitors online content and collects around 150 million words of English in use each month.

"Selfie" was added to the online version of the Oxford dictionary in August and is being considered for future inclusion in the more traditional Oxford English Dictionary.

Kim Kardashian's famous semi-nude selfie of her post-pregnancy body:

- AP


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...