This week the Oxford Dictionaries official 'word of the year' was revealed as 'selfies' - or to give their precise definition:

[FONT=Courier New]Pronunciation: [URL=""] /ˈsɛlfi/[/URL]
(also selfy)

noun (plural [B]selfies[/B])
[I] informal[/I]
[/FONT][INDENT][FONT=Courier New] a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website:
[/FONT][/INDENT][INDENT][INDENT] [FONT=Courier New][I]occasional selfies are acceptable, but posting a new picture of yourself every day isnt necessary[/I]

early 21st century: from SELF + -IE"

[/FONT]One of the reasons that the Oxford Dictionaries editors declare a 'word of the year' is for the chosen word to be new and to have entered into widespread use. It actually took a while for the word 'selfie' to take off in 2012 after having first been coined by a forum poster in Australia who photographed his swollen lip to display to the world in 2002, describing the photo as a 'selfie'.

They may not have been called selfies back then but I have been taking selfies for decades and well before the idea of a mobile phone having a camera in it was even believable, let alone thought of as being routine!

So here's a few personal examples, in chronological order:


Me in my chubbier days back in 1998 with Lizzie (then not quite 2) just before her younger sister, Lara, was born. I used a 1.2 megapixel (interpolated!) Agfa ePhoto 1280 digital camera and this was ideal for selfies as it had no optical viewfinder and instead it had a live view screen on that could be twisted so it faced the same way as the lens.

I used the same camera at the birth of Lara a few days later:


Of course the smiling was easy for me and a big effort for poor Julia and Lara of course slept through it all!


Fast forward to 2010 and Julia received her Maths degree at Ely Cathedral and her proud family recorded their presence with - a selfie. This time I used a HTC Desire smartphone although the composition was all guesswork as there is no front facing camera on this handset.


Taken in May last year, this time with my then-new Samsing Galaxy Note 'phablet' Android smartphone and with a front-facing camera.


This was taken just a couple of months ago and yes, I was using a smartphone (the same Galaxy Note as the previous shot) but not to record the photo. Instead it's acting as the viewfinder of an Olympus Pen E-P5, linked via wifi, to the smartphone. The photo is triggered on the smartphone (at which I am staring) but the Olympus camera is actually the camera taking the shot - which Lara knew very well!


At the same event (Julia's parents' 50th wedding anniversary) Julia's mum, Rosemary, becomes another subject of a selfie.

So there you go, the selfie is both new and old!

Have you taken any interesting selfies? Feel free to post them here :)