Selfies, Binge-watching, Twerking, and Oxford

This week, Oxford Dictionaries named “selfie” the word of the year for 2013.  Oxford University Press names a word or expression every year that “best reflects the mood of the times.” It appears that “selfie” was first used on an Australian online forum in 2002 and in 2004, Flickr users started using the hashtag #selfie. Use of the word was not widespread until 2012 when it was being used across mainstream media. Other words on this year’s shortlist are:

  • twerk – thanks, Miley.
  • showrooming – “the practice of visiting a shop to look at a product before buying it online at a lower price.” I didn’t know there was a word for this or that others do this too.
  • Bitcoin – digital currency
  • binge-watch – “watching many episodes of a TV show in rapid succession.” I’m sure this is thanks to Netflix, Amazon, and AppleTV, and those constant marathons on television.

Previous words of the year (from include:

Year Oxford Dictionaries UK Word of the Year Oxford Dictionaries US Word of the Year
2004 chav
2005 sudoku podcast
2006 bovvered carbon-neutral
2007 carbon footprint locavore
2008 credit crunch hypermiling
2009 simples unfriend
2010 big society refudiate
2011 squeezed middle
2012 omnishambles GIF (verb)

Now I’m off to go start looking up some definitions while I’m binge-watching and taking selfies!

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