After last year's controversial word of the year choice, "selfie," the Oxford Dictionary went with a more practical pick for this year. The dictionary announced on its blog that "vape," a verb that means "to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device," is the 2014 word of the year.
The word rose to prominence this year particularly as the use of e-cigarettes became more widespread. According to statistics, the usage of the word has doubled in the past year, and you are thirty times more likely to come across the word now compared to three years ago.
"A new word was needed to describe the activity of using these devices, a word distinct from smoking," said Elanor Maier, the senior editor of the Oxford Dictionary.
Vape had some tough competition, as this year's runners-up include: bae, budtender, contactless, indyref, normcore and slacktivism. However, Vape was unique in that it added a whole lexicon of words to our vocabulary with it. We now have compound nouns like vape shop and vape pen, as well as the retronym (new term created from an existing word in order to distinguish the original word from a later development) of tobacco cigarette for traditional cigarettes.
Although vape has just claimed it's title of word of the year, we're already thinking of possibilities for next year's winner. So if any Oxford Dictionary employees are currently reading this, here are our suggestions for next year (no need to thank us)...
5 Suggestions for 2015's Word of the Year
1. Gram: (verb) To take a photo for Instagram. No one's allowed to touch dinner until I have a chance to gram it.
2. Fleek: (adjective) On point. Beyonce's eyebrows are on fleek in her newest selfie.
3. Boo-thing: (noun) A significant other who you are semi-serious about. He's not my boyfriend yet, right now he's just a boo-thing.
4. Secondhand Embarrassment: (noun) Feeling ashamed or embarrassmed for something you are not directly involved in. I couldn't contain my secondhand embarrassment when I saw him desperately tweeting Britney Spears for concert tickets on my twitter timeline.
5. Right Swipe: (verb) To find someone or something attractive or agreeable, originally a reference to the dating app Tinder. I'd right swipe a basket of bread sticks right now. Let's go to Olive Garden.