Vape is the Word of the Year

Posted on November 21, 2014

The Oxford Dictionaries have selected the new word of the year. It's vape, meaning to inhale and exhale the vapor of an electronic cigarette or similar device. The word vape is an abbreviation of vapor or vaporize.

The new definition was added to the definition in August. The verb is vaping. The word has been in the news quite a bit in the past two to three years as e-cigarettes have become quite popular. There is also quite a bit of controversy about e-cigarettes regarding health issues. E-cigarettes release steam or vapor when exhaled instead of smoke. But the FDA says they are no different from cigarettes because they contain nicotine and emit cancer-causing chemicals that can be inhaled by those that are nearby. Certainly you can smell them.

The dictionary's word team notes that the United Kingdom's first vape cafe has opened in London, where as New York City banned indoor vaping. There have been numerous articles in the press debating the pros and cons of vaping, which also helped move the word to the top of the list.

Vape beat out a number of other new words which made the shortlist, including bae, which is a synonym of boo. It's a term of endearment for a romantic partner. Budtender is a person who waits on purchasers of marijuana in a legal dispensary in those states which allow the sale of marijuana.

Another contender for the top spot was contactless, an adjective that refers to any technology that allows you to pay for something using wireless connection on your smart phone or smart card. Normcore was another word that made the shortlist. Normcore refers to deliberately wearing normal, unfashionable clothes as a statement of one's hipsterness.

Slacktivism and indyref rounded out the short list. Slacktivism is lazy activism: supporting a cause by clicking a button online instead of taking a more active role. Indyref referred to the failed referendum on Scottish independence from Great Britain.

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