The Oxford English Dictionary just declared "selfie" as its word of the year for 2013 -- and I'm annoyed. It's not even Thanksgiving! They've probably had holiday lights up at the OED offices since the day after Halloween. There should be a word for ending the lexical year before its time. What happened to waiting to see if a neologism would crop up out of Black Friday, or a breaking news event, or the ridiculousness that is the holiday season itself?
Selfie, in case you don't have the Internet where you live, means "self-portrait photograph," often taken with a smartphone, and often accompanied by the word "duckface" -- which I'm adding to my own, better, words of the year (so far) list at the end of this post.
OED selfie! So heavy I couldn't even hold it up and take the picture properly (and yes, that's the "compact" size). Good for hiding duckface.
Here, the rest of the OED's shortlist. Some I knew; some I didn't. How about you?
Next: Binge-Watch ===>
Words I Knew
Image: espensorvik via Flickr
Definition: The act of viewing several episodes of a show -- especially all episodes in a season or all seasons of a series -- in a short time. (I didn't know this term dated back to the mid-'90s! One more thing to blame on The X-Files.)
Used in a sentence: Binge-watching the 100% adorable Masterchef Junior made me not revile Gordon Ramsey for the first time in my life, and I'm not sure what to do about this paradigm shift.
Next: Bitcoin ===>
© Katie Dees/The Orange County Register/ZUMAPRESS.com
Definition: A decentralized digital currency that allows people to make (often hard-to-trace) transactions without involving a central bank.
Used in a sentence: Now that positive evaluation in a Senate panel caused the value of a bitcoin unit to shoot to over $700 this past Monday, perhaps I'll stop putting it in the same mental category as Camel Cash.
Next: Showrooming ===>
Image: © Ruaridh Stewart/ZUMAPRESS.com
Definition: Going to a store to try stuff out, then ordering said stuff online at a discount.
Used in a sentence: It is considered ill-mannered to showroom one's sex toys.
Next: Twerk ===>
Image: John Spencer-EdRethink via Flickr
Used in a sentence: No.
Next: Words I'd Never Heard Before ===>
Words I'd Never Heard Before
bedroom tax, noun, informal
Image: ByzantineK via Flickr
Used in a sentence: This phrase describes some British rental tax thing.
Next: LOOK AT THIS OMG CUTE ===>
Definition: The first carnivore mammal species to be discovered in the Western Hemisphere in 35 years,
Used in a sentence: WHERE THE HELL WAS I when this cutie's discovery was announced by the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in August? Probably watching cat videos.
Next: Schmeat ===>
schmeat, noun, informal
Image: © Imago/ZUMAPRESS.com
Definition: I'll let the OED define this one.
a form of meat produced synthetically from biological tissue. [ORIGIN early 21st century: perhaps from SYNTHETIC and MEAT, influenced by the use of ‘- -, schm - -’ as a disparaging or dismissive exclamation (e.g. fancy schmancy: ‘some of the gourmet sauces you get in fancy schmancy places are just too spicy for me’).]
Man-made meat is more commonly (and neutrally) known as ‘in-vitro meat’ or ‘cultured meat’. This word remains very rare, largely because the phenomenon it refers to is still in its infancy. However, in August 2013, the world’s first hamburger made with in-vitro meat was served up by Dutch scientists, raising the possibility that the general public may have more occasion [sic, OED! OMG!] to use this word in the not-too-distant future.
Used in a sentence: In the not-too-distant future, 3-D printed breakfast schmeat will be the new bacon.
Next: My List … So Far ===>
Words That Might Be on MY Words of the Year List, But I Can't Promise You Anything Because It Is ONLY NOVEMBER
- The prepositional "because".
- Cronut -- because, cronut.
- Derp (which was on the August list of OED words. Oxford just lists "variant of 'duh'," but Know Your Meme posits that it came from Baseketball.
- Duckface, the logical corollary to "selfie."
- Knaidel, the winning word from the new, vocab-oriented Scripps National Spelling Bee
- Lean In
- Tuhao (so much better than "bling," no?).
What are your words of the year?
More from living