Hungover Australian student likely coined the term in 2002
A man who shared a photo of his busted lip following a drunk accident in 2002 may have been the first-ever person to call it a “selfie,” just chosen as the 2013 word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries.
Little is known about the first selfier, but according to the Telegraph, the photo was shared on the website of ABC, the Australian public broadcaster, in September of 2002. Only identified as Hopey, the pioneer left the following rambling message seeking advice about his injury.
“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.”
There it is, the first recorded time someone called a self-portrait photo a selfie.
Hopey apparently had a tendency to abbreviate many words with -y and -ie endings, so the story seems plausie (plausible).