Oxford's Word of 2014: Vape

'Budtender,' 'slacktivism' also on the shortlist
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 17, 2014 11:01 PM CST
Updated Nov 18, 2014 3:42 AM CST
Oxford's Word of 2014: Vape
Daryl Cura demonstrates an e-cigarette at Vape in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

(Newser) – Oxford Dictionaries says it tries to reflect what's happening in society with its word of the year, and this seems to have been a smoke-heavy year: "Vape"—"to inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device"—was this year's top new addition, NPR reports; "budtender," "a person whose job is to serve customers in a cannabis dispensary or shop," also made the shortlist. Other contenders included the term of endearment "bae," as well as "slacktivism," a term for actions performed online in support of a cause that don't require much more effort than a click.

The chief of Oxford's Dictionaries Division tells Time that "vape" not only reflects a huge surge in the use of e-cigarettes: The issue has "been a lightning rod for a lot of discussion about the positions we want to take as a society" on issues like government regulations and has spawned related words like "vaper," "vapoholic," "vaporium," "carto," and "e-juice." Other new words added this year include "YOLO" and "amazeballs"; "selfie" beat "twerk" and "bitcoin" to become Oxford's choice last year. (Read more dictionary stories.)

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