And the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year Is…

Nov 18, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
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Man Smoking from Vape

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

The jury has spoken, and the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year isvape.

Following the increasing popularity of the e-cigarette over the past several years as well as the widespread legalization of marijuana shops across the United States, perhaps it isn’t too surprising that this word comes in as champion in the 10th year of Oxford Dictionaries’ annual contest. Acknowledging the societal influence of the Word of the Year (WotY), Casper Grathwohl, president of the Oxford dictionaries division and global business development, stated,

A word is just the surface of something that often has a really complex and rich life underneath.

When used as averb, Oxford Dictionaries defines vapeas:

(v.) inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device

The noun form can either refer to this act of inhalation, or it can simply mean the device itself. The word derives from “vapor” or “vaporize,” coming from the mechanics behind the popular – and polemic – type of smoking instrument. Oxford Dictionaries cites the origin of the word as coming from the 1980s.

Vapemay come as a new word for many, but for those of us that have counted this term in our vocabulary for some time, be prepared for an onslaught of new vape-related terminology such as “vape shop,” “vape lounge,” or our personal favorite, “vape juice.”

According to the website statisticbrain.com, there were a reported 2.5 million e-cigarette smokers in the United States in 2014. These rising statistics come hand in hand with the growing demand for policy regulation and reform in regards to the tobacco-free devices. As the World Health Organization has taken a fairly neutral stand on the topic, citing lack of studies, countries remain actively engaged in the debate over e-cigarettes, officially referred to as electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). While the UK and US have proposed regulation policies, some entities, such as Western Australia, have gone so far as to ban e-cigarette sales.

Not a fan of the vape? Runners-up for the coveted Word of the Year that you should be sure to include in your hip daily lexicon include “slacktivism,” “normcore,” and every teenager’s favorite: “bae.” Despite winning, vape has not officially been added to the Oxford Dictionary.

Oxford American College Dictionary

(Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Oxford Dictionaries announces its annual Word of the Year, and the winner is “vape.” How much do you know about this word?