Good news for all you Instagram junkies out there. The word “selfie” has become a cultural phenom with no signs of slowing down. Which is why the Oxford Dictionary named the ridiculous term 2013 Word of the Year, reports OxfordWords blog.
Instagram is a fairly new apparatus yet the people at the Oxford claim that the origin of the word dates back all the way to 2002.
Evidence on the Oxford English Corpus shows the word selfie in use by 2003, but further research shows the earliest usage (so far anyway) as far back as 2002. Its use was, fittingly enough, in an online source – an Australian internet forum.
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 word seemingly has a feminine connotation in the urban world; something Rick Ross pointed out on his street single, “I Wonder Why.” As the opening chords crept in, the MMG boss rambled, “All these n***as taking Instagram photos…selfies…point me to the money.”
For the male population, that doesn’t necessarily equate to a bad thing. Kim Kardashian sent shockwaves through the net when she decided to snap a post-baby selfie, much to her fiancée, Kanye West’s delight.
Only time will tell if the word can uproot itself from being just a faddish term, but at any rate, it’s in the record books as #1 for 2013. Personally, we’re casting our early ballots for “struggle” as top word in 2014.