Oxford Dictionary Chooses “Vape” as 2014 Word of the Year
Each year, Oxford Dictionary picks a new word to add to its expansive list. The new word is carefully selected to fit new cultural relevance and reflect major innovations of the year. For 2014, the word of the year was awarded to “Vape”. That’s right… the days of hearing people talk about “smoking” electronic cigarettes is over. Now this globally recognized word authority has officially approved the term “vape”.
According to the new dictionary definition, “vape” is a verb that means “to inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device, while both the device and the action can also be known as a vape.”
Authorities at Oxford chose “vape” because electronic cigarettes have become increasingly popular in 2014. In fact, they say that you are thirty times more likely to hear the word “vape” now than you were just two short years ago. E-cig use has more than doubled in the past year alone. Beyond its growing commonality, “vape” is a term we see more and more in the media as journalists report on changing laws related to electronic cigarettes. This year, we have seen the word appear in major publications like The Telegraph, The Washington Post, and BBC, among others.
There were a few other words that were close contenders for this year’s “Word of the Year”, but they did not quite make the cut. One close runner up was “Bae”, a noun used as a loving description of one’s significant other. Another close option was “Budtender”, referring to a person who serves patrons at a cannabis dispensary.
So what put “vape” over the edge to make it the winner for 2014? According to Oxford Dictionaries’ editorial director Judy Pearsall, the word was already in use so commonly that it only made sense to add it to the dictionary’s official listings. “As vaping has gone mainstream, with celebrities from Lindsay Lohan to Barry Manilow giving it a go, and with growing public debate on the public dangers and the need for regulation, so the language usage of the word ‘vape’ and related terms in 2014 has shown a marked increase,” Pearsall said.
Whatever the reasons, it is a glowing victory for the e-cig industry. Now that “vape” is the official word of the year for 2014, you can brag to all your friends that you were using the term before it was ever even recognized by Oxford.