Selfie is Oxford's Word of the Year, beats twerk

November 19, 2013|By Mick Swasko, @swasko | RedEye

Two things made infamous by Miley Cyrus were in the running for Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year, and only one could win.

Oxford announced late Monday that “selfie” is the 2013 Word of the Year in a blog post, noting that the use of the word has increased more than 17,000 percent this year. The dictionary notes the odd origin of the word, traced to a 2002 Australian forum post. How exactly does a dictionary of record define it?

selfie: (n) a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.

In a separate blog post, the dictionary notes there were several runners up for the award, however, “selfie” was chosen by a rare unanimous decision this year. Here’s the shortlist, along with the dictionaries definitions:

bedroom tax (n) 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.

binge-watch (v) to watch multiple episodes of a television programme in rapid succession, typically by means of DVDs or digital streaming.

bitcoin (n) a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank. Also, a unit of bitcoin.

olinguito (n) a small furry mammal found in mountain forests in Colombia and Ecuador, the smallest member of the raccoon family.

schmeat (n) a form of meat produced synthetically from biological tissue. [ORIGIN early 21st century: perhaps from SYNTHETIC and MEAT, influenced by the use of ‘- -, schm - -’ as a disparaging or dismissive exclamation

showrooming (n) the practice of visiting a shop or shops in order to examine a product before buying it online at a lower price.

twerk (v) dance to popular music in a sexually provocative manner involving thrusting hip movements and a low, squatting stance.


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