Oxford Dictionaries crowns 'selfie' word of the year for 2013, beating 'twerk,' 'Bitcoin'

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November 19, 2013 11:34:54 AM PST
Michelle Obama shared one with her "first dog" Bo, Hillary Clinton tweeted one with her daughter Chelsea. Now "selfie" - the smartphone self-portrait - has been declared word of the year for 2013 by Britain's Oxford University Press.

The publisher of the Oxford dictionaries says "selfie" saw a huge jump in usage in the past year, bursting from the confines of Instagram and Twitter to become mainstream shorthand for any self-taken photograph.

Oxford usually assigns a separate word of the year to the U.S. and to the U.K., but it said "selfie" captured the imagination on both sides of the Atlantic this year.

The term beat other buzzwords including "twerk," the sexually provocative dance move that got a huge boost in usage thanks to an attention-grabbing performance by pop star Miley Cyrus; "showrooming," the practice of visiting a shop to look at a product before buying it online at a lower price; and "Bitcoin," the digital currency that gained widespread media attention.

Also making the shortlist was "binge-watch," a verb that describes watching many episodes of a TV show in rapid succession.


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