FORGET Captain Thunderbolt, Armidale’s claim to fame is the word “selfie”.
Tracing its origins, the first ever known use of the word was inspired by a University of New England student’s drunken night out at a birthday bash.
According to the Oxford English Corpus, a collection of new-age words from the web, research into 2013’s Word of the Year shows the earliest usage was on an ABC Online forum on the fateful day of September 13, 2002.
“Um, drunk at a mates 21st, I tripper 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.”
Oxford Dictionaries defines Armidale’s claim to fame as, "a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website".
And upload Armidale did.
The unknown UNE science student known only as “Hopey” posted in the comments of the ABC forum seeking medical advice about whether licking his lips might dissolve his drunken-fallout stitches too soon.
Labelled “Dissolvable stitches”, legendary abbreviator Hopey posted, “Anyone wanna see a picture of it? It’s pretty cool”, before linking to the infamous “selfie”.
A year later the word cropped up again, this time in a blog post spelt as “selfy”.
But Hopey’s spelling prevailed, and is now used widely by self-portrait-takers across the globe.
The term was added to the common-usage Oxford Dictionaries Online in August 2012.