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  1. ITV Report

'Photobomb' named Word of the Year

Benedict Cumberbatch famously photobombed U2 on the Oscars red carpet. Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake

'Photobomb' has been named Word of the Year after storming the English language seemingly out of nowhere.

The term, which describes the act of intruding into the background of a photo without the subject's knowledge, was first recorded in 2008.

We had been tracking 'photobomb' for a couple of years but were not sure that it would become widely established.

Its vastly increased prominence in 2014 shows the power of media and sporting events to publicise a word and bring it into wider use.

– ian brookes, consultant lexicographer, collins english dictionary
Prince William photobombing Sir Chris Hoy Credit: Twitter/@chrishoy

The Word of the Year is selected every year by staff at Collins English Dictionary based on new words that have been submitted by the public on its website. Words that have returned to prominence this year can also be considered.

Collins notes that 2014 has seen an "unprecedented level of high-profile photobombing," singling out Jennifer Lawrence photobombing Taylor Swift at the Golden Globes and Benedict Cumberbatch's effort at the Oscars (see above).

Other contenders for the Word of the Year 2014 include:

  • Tinder: The dating app Tinder matches users in their local area, who swipe right to like a profile and left to reject it. The app alerts the user if there is a match and opens a chat box.
  • Bakeoff: a baking competition
  • Normcore: a trend in fashion emphasizing the practical and/or ordinary
  • Devo Max: an arrangement in which a central government transfers the maximum amount of authority to a regional government while still retaining sovereignty over it.