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'Move over selfie, this town ain't big enough for the both of us-ie': Usie becomes the new name for a group selfie

The word pronounced uss-see has been appearing in a number of publications of late

Jack Simpson
Thursday 31 July 2014 15:04 BST
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Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose
Actors front row from left, Jared Leto, Jennifer Lawrence, Meryl Streep, Ellen DeGeneres, Bradley Cooper, Peter Nyongío Jr., and, second row, from left, Channing Tatum, Julia Roberts, Kevin Spacey, Brad Pitt, Lupita Nyongío and Angelina Jolie as they pose (AP)

This year has definitely been the year of the group selfie.

Whether it was Ellen DeGeneres’ Academy Awards effort in March that included pretty much everyone who is anyone is Tinseltown, or Joan Collins’ snap at the Prince’s Trust that saw Ben Kingsley, Dominic West and Jools Holland pose together, it is now a well-established celebrity past time.

However, despite being so ingrained in the celeb psyche, as of yet, this display of “narcissism, but with people” has not even been given a proper name.

That is until now.

Joining the selfie (traditional you and the camera shot), belfie (bum selfie) and shelfie (selfie of a bookshelf), the way to refer to a group selfie is now, apparently, to call it a “usie” - sometimes spelt "ussie".

Pronounced uss-eee (rhymes with fussy), Ben Zimmer, executive producer of Vocabulary.com and language columnist for The Wall Street Journal, says the terminology has been around since April 2013; however it is only now that it is beginning to become a part of everyday speak.

Joan Collins posing with a number of celebrities including Jeremy Irons, Ben Kingsley, Tess Daly, Gabby Logan and Vernon Kay at the Prince's Trust (Twitter Joan Collins)

Observers say that the first public use of the word came last year, when The Times of India proclaimed that a snap of Pope Francis posing with a group of visitors at the Vatican last year, could be described as “first chronicled celebrity usie.”

Since then the term has been a appearing in a number of other publications, with some saying that it could soon replace the “traditional” selfie.

And, there’s more.

Not only does the “usie” now have a name, according to marketing experts, they also are a good way of promoting good social values in people.

Michal Ann Strahilevitz, a professor of marketing at Golden Gate University in San Francisco who studies consumer behaviour, says that, “Usies are a growing trend that I think have far more social value than selfies,

“In contrast to one-person selfies, usies are “more about the relationship, and less about you and your hair.”

Adding: “It’s magical capturing moments we share with other people.”

Additional Reporting AP

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