Kevin Rudd selfie
Kevin Rudd selfie Contributed

Buzzword 'selfie' is the 2013 word of the year

'SELFIE' the mainstream shorthand word for a self-portait photograph has been chosen as word of the year for 2013.

Selfie joins previous winners 'chav', 'podcast', 'carbon-neutral' and 'localvore' as the word that has made the biggest impact on the English language.

Judy Pearsall, Editorial Director for Oxford Dictionaries, said the frequency of the noun's use had leapt 17,000 per cent in the past year.

"Using the Oxford Dictionaries language research program, which collects around 150 million words of current English in use each month, we can see a phenomenal upward trend in the use of selfie in 2013, and this helped to cement its selection as Word of the Year," she said.

Its linguistic productivity is already evident in the creation of numerous related spin-off terms showcasing particular parts of the body like:

  • helfie (a picture of one's hair)
  • belfie (a picture of one's posterior)
  • welfie (workout selfie)
  • drelfie (drunken selfie)

It was added to more informal Oxford Dictionaries Online in August, along with 'twerking', the raunchy dance move performed by Miley Cyrus.