‘Selfie’ Now an Official Word in the Oxford Dictionary

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‘Selfie’ has joined the lexicon of words officially recognized by the Oxford Dictionary. The official Oxford English Dictionary (OED) definition of a ‘selfie’ is “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.”

Explains the Oxford in their online blog, “We’ve just added some srsly buzzworthy words to our online dictionary – squee! With influences ranging from technology to fashion, there is something for everyone in the update.”

definition-of-selfie

They go on to explain that “The additions may have only just entered the dictionary, but we’ve been watching them for a while now, tracking how and where they are used. Two of the words to make their debut in the dictionary, “selfie” and “phablet” both featured on our Words on the Radar post back in June 2012. At the time, selfie featured primarily in social media contexts, but had attracted media attention after Hillary Clinton apparently used the word in a text message to the owner of a Tumblr dedicated to an image of her texting.”

So, annoying as it may be when you hear a 50-year old colleague talk about a ‘selfie’, it is now an officially acceptable word.

By the way, we highly recommend the fabulous book about the making of the original Oxford dictionary, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary. It turns out that many of the words originally contributed to the OED were submitted – unbeknownst to the editor – by a ‘crazy’ doctor who had been convicted of murder, and was submitting them from an asylum for the criminally insane! Author Simon Winchester does a fantastic job of telling this fascinating story!

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