Oxford Dictionaries announces word of the year: vape

Shortlisted words include bae, budtender, normcore and slacktivism.
By JC Sevcik  |  Nov. 18, 2014 at 7:57 AM
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OXFORD, England, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Oxford Dictionaries, the online presence of the publishers of the Oxford English Dictionary, announced the 2014 word of the year Tuesday: vape.

From the dictionary:

Vape (vāp) verb [NO OBJECT] Inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device: 'I'd rather people vaped indoors than smoked outside' [WITH OBJECT]: 'many smokers have started vaping e-cigarettes to help them cut down' (as noun vaping) 'there's concern that young people may take up vaping as a less harmful alternative to smoking'

noun 1 An electronic cigarette or similar device: 'I've been using a vape now for 15 weeks'

An act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device: my cravings went away as soon as I took a vape

Oxford University Press said the competition was stiff, but vape—originated as an abbreviation of vapor or vaporize—was victorious.

According to the announcement, the word first appeared in 'Why do People Smoke?,' a prescient 1983 article in New Society by Rob Stepney.

"An inhaler or 'non-combustible' cigarette, looking much like the real thing, but...delivering a metered dose of nicotine vapour. (The new habit, if it catches on, would be known as vaping,)" Stepney said of the then-hypothetical device.

The word gained more prevalence in 2009 with the advent of commercially available electronic cigarettes.

With e-cigs becoming more popular and the legalization/decriminalization of marijuana in several places familiarizing other health-conscious consumers with the term, vape has seen a dramatic increase in usage in recent years, doubling in the last year alone.

The shortlist of the terms vape beat out for word of the year is a time capsule of 2014 buzzwords:

bae n. used as a term of endearment for one's romantic partner.

budtender n. a person whose job is to serve customers in a cannabis dispensary or shop.

contactless adj. relating to or involving technologies that allow a smart card, mobile phone, etc., to contact wirelessly to an electronic reader, typically in order to make a payment.

indyref, n. an abbreviation of 'independence referendum', in reference to the referendum on Scottish independence, held in Scotland on 18 Sept. 2014, in which voters were asked to answer yes or no to the question 'Should Scotland be an independent country?'

normcore n. a trend in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate fashion statement.

slacktivism, n., informal actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.g. signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website; a blend of slacker and activism.

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