Speed Reads

the power of words

Vape is Oxford's 2014 Word of the Year

Drumroll, please...Oxford has decided that the word of the year is "vape."

To vape is to inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette. It's not a new word; as Time reports, it was first used in the 1980s when companies began to create prototypes of smokeless cigarettes. The word exploded over the past year, with Oxford figuring its usage more than doubled between 2013 and 2014.

Casper Grathwohl, president of Oxford's dictionaries division, told Time that vape was chosen for a variety of reasons, including the popularity of e-cigarettes, their influence on legislation, and technological advancement. "'Vape' has been a lightning rod for a lot of discussion about the positions we want to take as a society," he said.

Other words in the running included bae, normcore, slacktivist, contactless, and budtender.