While taking your own photo isn’t exactly an Down Under creation – it was probably Paris Hilton or that fool on the motor bike clip with Kanye – Oxford Dictionary, which voted ‘selfie’ 2013’s international word of the year.
The earliest recorded use of the word, say the word book nerds, is apparently in a 2002 forum post on the ABC’s website.
The next, also from Oz, is on a blog in 2003.
‘It seems likely that it may have originated in the Australian context,’ dictionary editor Katherine Martin told AAP.
‘The earliest evidence that we know of at the moment is Australian and it fits in with a tendency in Australian English to make cute, slangy words with that ‘ie’ ending.’
That original post? ‘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.’
Apparently the term ‘selfie’ has increased 17,000 per cent in the past 12 months.
If you get into an argument about how it’s spelled, say something like this: ‘The use of the diminutive -ie suffix is notable as it helps to turn an essentially narcissistic enterprise into something rather more endearing,’ said a statement from Oxford’s editorial director Judy Pearsall.
Apparently former two-time PM Kevin Rudd helped popularise the term.
It was added to the online dictionary and is now being considered for the proper print one.
‘There’s a very good case (for inclusion) … if it continues to be as common a word as it is now,’ Ms Martin said.
Selfie’s greatest achievement however, is being ‘twerk’ to the word of the year honour.
Images via Getty