With competitors such as “bae, budtender, normcore, and slacktivism”, the word “vape” won the 2014 Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year. Vape is the action of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or other similar devices.
The Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year is chosen each year based on the trending of the word throughout the calendar year. It is also based on the cultural significance and the potential for longevity in the English language.
According to the online Oxford Dictionary the usage of the word “vape” was prevalent through the year, but peaked in April of 2014 when there was controversy around the idea of being able to vape inside of public places.
Past words of the year have included: podcast, unfriend, GIF, and selfie.
When asked about the word of the year professor of English at Bluffton University Jeff Gundy first responded with “what does that mean?” He then proceeded to talk about how this year’s word in relation to past words of the year stating, “it is not as ambiguous as selfie, since I am on Facebook I see more selfies than I see people vaping” and “podcast is still in use…selfie is also still prevalent…it’s hard to tell what is going to happening with the e-cigarette and vaping”.
Even though “vape” has been chosen as word of the year this does not guarantee it a spot in the Oxford dictionary. Unless the word secures longevity it will not be considered for placement in the dictionary.