Vape Wins Oxford Wordplay Competition


Oxford Dictionaries has announced that “vape” is its word of the year for 2014. It beat out “bae,” an affectionate term for a romantic partner, and “budtender,” a server in a cannabis dispensary or shop, to claim the title. The term vape has its origins in counter culture.

The choice of vape is a reflection of the growing popularity of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigs. “A gap emerged in the lexicon, as a word was needed to describe this activity, and distinguish it from ‘smoking,’” the company said in a news release. “The word ‘vape’ arose to fill this gap, and it has proliferated along with the habit.”

“Vape” can be used as both a verb and a noun. “It originated as an abbreviation of vapor or vaporize,” explained Oxford editors. “The verb means ‘to inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.’”


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In noun form, the object is a vape. The associated noun vaping, e.g. “vaping is cool,” is also listed. Increasingly, vape is being used as the modifier in a compound noun. Vape pen, vape shop, vape lounge and vape juice are a few examples.

According to research conducted by the Oxford editors, “You are thirty times more likely to come across the word vape today than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year.” Don’t be surprised if you wake up one day to find a vaporium located near you.

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