Oxford Dictionaries has named "Selfie" the word of 2013, the BBC reported Tuesday. "Selfie," short for self-portrait, is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website".
According to Oxford Dictionaries, the "niche social media tag" has gone mainstream, and research shows that its use in the English language has spiked 17,000 percent over the last year.
The word of the year is awarded to a term that showcases social, political and technological inventiveness in the English language.
According to the BBC report, the use of "selfie" was first detected in 2002 when a man posted a photo of himself following a head injury on an Australian online forum. It has since gained popularity after a picture of the Pope with teenagers went viral. The Obama daughters have also gotten in on the action.
Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli, an avid user of the popular photo sharing application Instagram, recently posted a selfie of herself following the surgical removal of a mole.
Oxford Dictionaries Online added the word in August, but is not yet in the Oxford English Dictionary, although it is being considered for future use. Other contenders for the spot this year were "showrooming" - examining a product at a shop before buying it online at a lower price - and bitcoin - a digital currency in which transactions can be performed without the need for a central bank.
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