Vape Named Oxford Dictionary’s Word Of The Year For 2014

Chuck Bednar for redOrbit.com – Your Universe Online
Thanks to the growing popularity of e-cigarettes, ‘vape’ beat out the likes of ‘bae’ and ‘contactless’ to take top honors as the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year for 2014, officials at the popular language compendium announced on Monday
The term vape “originated as an abbreviation of vapor or vaporize,” they explained. “The OxfordDictionaries.com definition was added in August 2014: the verb 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.”
According to BBC News, readers are now 30 times more likely to encounter the word vape than they were two years ago. However, the earliest known use of the term dates back to a 1983 article entitled “Why Do People Smoke?” in which the author described “an inhaler or non-combustible cigarette” capable of “delivering a metered dose of nicotine vapor,” a “new habit… known as vaping.”
While e-cigarettes themselves were invented over 10 years ago, Gail Sullivan of The Washington Post explained that the increased popularity of the devices as of late has had a noticeable impact on the English language, spurring the retronym “tobacco cigarette” to distinguish electronic from traditional ones, as well as “throat hit” to describe the sensation experienced by the user and several other new terms associated with the habit.
“Traditional cigarettes are also referred to as ‘analog’ or ‘hot cigarettes,’” Sullivan said, noting that the e-cig community also uses such terminology as “e-juice” for the liquid that turns to vapor, “carto” which is short for the cartomizer or the disposable cartridge that holds e-juice, and “vaporium” for a place that markets e-cigarettes.
Some of the other words edged out by vape, include: bae, a noun used as “a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner” (and a work that was also a candidate for Time magazine’s recent “Which Word Should Be Banned in 2015?” poll, according to Sullivan); budtender, a term used to refer to a person to serves customers at a cannabis dispensary; contactless, an adjective used to describe technologies that allow smart cards or mobile devices to send wireless payments to an electronic reader.
Rounding out the shortlist are indyref, an abbreviation of “independence referendum” used to describe the September vote for independence in Scotland; normcore, a noun used to describe the trend of wearing ordinary, unfashionable clothing in order to make an intentional fashion statement; and slacktivism, a blend of slacker and activism used to refer to informal actions performed online in support of political or social causes, but which require little actual time or effort (for example, signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website).
Vape joins the likes of ‘selfie,’ which was named the 2013 Word of the Year last November and was defined by the dictionary as “a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” Selfie ultimately became so popular that it “became the name of an ABC sitcom (albeit now a canceled one),” said Mashable’s Chris Taylor.
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