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Put on your best duck face, 'selfie' is 2013's word of the year

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Selfies are photos taken of oneself for the purpose of uploading them to a social media website. (Source: Bob Dass/Flickr.com) Selfies are photos taken of oneself for the purpose of uploading them to a social media website. (Source: Bob Dass/Flickr.com)
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(RNN) - Oxford Dictionaries, the group behind The Oxford English Dictionary and one of the oldest English language authorities along with the Oxford University Press, have declared "selfie" as its Word of the Year.

That's right, selfie: the thing you do when you take a picture of yourself to post for others to see.

According to the dictionary, a selfie (also selfy) is "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website."

[SLIDESHOW: #selfie is 2013's word of the year]

Oxford Dictionaries said the decision to name selfie the Word of the Year was unanimous with little argument. It had been in consideration since 2012, and beat out a list of seven other words, including twerk, Bitcoin, showrooming and olinguito - a new raccoon-like animal species discovered in Central and South America.

"It seems like everyone who is anyone has posted a selfie somewhere on the internet," Oxford Dictionaries said in a statement. "If it is good enough for the Obamas or the Pope, then it is good enough for Word of the Year."

Time put out a list of the year's most memorable selfies.

Oxford Dictionaries added that the word is already spawning new forms, like "drelfie" - defined as a drunken selfie, and "shelfie," which is taking pictures of a book shelf.

While self-portraits are nothing new - people have been doing them with photography, paint and chalk for centuries - selfie is tied to new technology and the ease of taking and sharing photos, thanks to smartphones.

"Selfies are both easier to produce and share, not least by the inclusion of a button, which means you don't need a nearby mirror," Oxford Dictionaries said.

Whether this word is truly worthy of the title of Word of the Year, or just another fad that people 50 years from now will sneer at as "2010s" lingo, only time, and millions of selfies, will tell.

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