E-Cig Smoking Rise Makes "Vape" the Oxford Dictionaries 2014 Word of the Year

By Gerald Lynch on at

The word "vape" has seen the dictionary-aiming aspirations of another year's worth of made up words go up in smoke, as it has been chosen as the Oxford Dictionaries' "Word of the Year" for 2014.

Beating out "bae," "indyref", "contactless" (as in the payment system), "slacktivism" and stoner-culture-inspired "budtender" for the title, it reflects the number of smokers worldwide putting down their traditional roll-ups and swapping them for e-cigarettes, considered the healthier option.

"Vape is also the modifier for other nouns, creating new compound nouns which are growing in popularity," says the blog post on the announcement. "The most common of these are vape pen and vape shop, and there is also recent evidence for vape lounge, vape fluid, vape juice, and others. Related coinages include e-juice, carto, and vaporium."

It may seem a silly award (and one certain to frustrate expert Scrabble players), but the Word of the Year award does have some influence. While 2012's "YOLO" seems to have fallen out of fashion, 2013's "selfie" looks to be here to stay, even inspiring a sitcom of the same name. [Oxford Dictionaries]