OD Word of Year: vape

November 23, 2014

Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year is vape:

. . . So, what does vape mean? It originated as an abbreviation of vapour or vaporize. The OxfordDictionaries.com definition was added in August 2014: the verb means ‘to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device’, while both the device and the action can also be known as a vape. The associated noun vaping is also listed.

Why was vape chosen?

As e-cigarettes (or e-cigs) have become much more common, so vape has grown significantly in popularity. You are thirty times more likely to come across the word vape than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year.

Usage of vape peaked in April 2014 – as the graph below indicates – around the time that the UK’s first ‘vape café’ (The Vape Lab in Shoreditch, London) opened its doors, and protests were held in response to New York City banning indoor vaping. In the same month, the issue of vaping was debated by The Washington Post, the BBC, and the British newspaper The Telegraph, amongst others. . .

Other words which were shortlisted were:

bae n. used as a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner.

budtender n. a person whose job is to serve customers in a cannabis dispensary or shop.

contactless adj. relating to or involving technologies that allow a smart card, mobile phone, etc. to contact wirelessly to an electronic reader, typically in order to make a payment.

indyref, n. an abbreviation of ‘independence referendum’, in reference to the referendum on Scottish independence, held in Scotland on 18 September 2014, in which voters were asked to answer yes or no to the question ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’

normcore n. a trend in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate fashion statement.

slacktivism, n., informal actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.g. signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website; a blend of slacker and activism.

Word of the day

November 22, 2014

Decubitus – the posture adopted by a person who is lying down; an act of lying down; the position assumed in lying down.

Word of the day

November 21, 2014

Canorous – melodious, musical;  resonant; pleasing in sound.

Word of the day

November 20, 2014

Quangocracy – rule by quangos or similar unelected bodies; the control or influence ascribed to quango.

Word of the day

November 19, 2014

Draff – dregs or refuse; the residue of husks after fermentation of the grain used in brewing, used as a food for cattle.

Word of the day

November 18, 2014

Exsanguine – bloodless; containing no blood; anaemic.

Word of the day

November 17, 2014

Philippic – a bitter or cruel attack or denunciation; discourse or declamation full of bitter condemnation; tirade; any of the orations delivered by Demosthenes, the Athenian orator, in the 4th century b.c., against Philip, king of Macedon.


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