Photo Bomb or Photobomber – Usage, Meaning & Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

In the impressive age of social media and selfies, one thing that has captured our attention, regardless of where you’re from, is the photobomb. This lighthearted prank has given birth to countless viral images and big laughs. But what exactly is a photobomb, and where did the term come from? Well, I’m about to tell you!

What Is a Photobomb?

Photo Bomb or Photobomber Usage Meaning Origin

A photobomb is an unexpected, usually humorous, appearance in a photograph by someone or something that wasn’t supposed to be in the image. It’s like a form of photo lurking.

You’ve probably seen pictures where someone is trying to pose prettily, but their cat dips their head in at the last second, and the photograph now has a cat’s head in the corner.

Photobombs can also be intentional, where people deliberately jump into the frame. But it started as an accidental thing, with people or animals unknowingly wandering into the shot. Either way, they’re super fun.

Is It Photobomb or Photo Bomb?

The correct term is “photobomb” as a single word and is considered a verb because it refers to the act of jumping into a frame just as the camera takes a picture.

  • I’m going to photobomb my sister at her wedding.

With that being said, you could use the two-word version in an informal context or setting, and no one would even notice. But, if you wish to be grammatically correct, use the one-word version.

You can also use “photobomb” as a noun when referring to a picture with an unexpected addition. 

  • There’s a duck walking in the background of my picture from Paris! It’s a photobomb!

Photo Bomber or Photobomber

So, still, the same grammar rules apply here in terms of meaning. The correct use is the one-word version “photobomber.” In this case, it’s not a verb; it’s a noun used to describe the person or the thing that’s not meant to be in the nice photo.

  • Keep your eye on Dave at the wedding; he’s a photobomber.

Origin of the Term Photobomb

Photobomb Ngram

The term itself didn’t come into use until the rise of photo-type bombs in digital pictures during the early 2000s. Photobombs have always existed since the dawn of cameras, but the word wasn’t coined until recently. Urban Dictionary added it in 2008 with the definition of to drop in on a photo unexpectedly.

What Is Another Word for Photobomb?

  • Image intrusion
  • Picture crasher
  • Photo interruption
  • Snapshot sabotage
  • Photo lurking 
  • Unintended cameo

Photobomb Examples in a Sentence

Photo Bomb or Photobomber Usage Meaning Origin 1
  • I was trying to take a snap of the gorgeous summer sunset, but my dog photobombed the shot, turning it into an adorable picture.
  • If I were famous, I’d photobomb everyone’s photos when I’m out in public.
  • My brother photobombed every single one of my wedding photos.
  • We were taking a group photo when a friendly stranger jumped in and photobombed us, who turned out to be Jason Momoa.
  • I didn’t realize the waiter had photobombed the pic I took of my food until I looked at it later.

Do You Photobomb?

So that’s all you need to know about the term photobomb and photobomber! Just remember that “photobomb” refers to the action of jumping into someone’s pic, and “photobomber” refers to the person doing it.

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