The Oxford English Dictionary selected "vape" as its word of the year this year. If you're not sure what "vape" means, don't feel bad. I didn't, either, and I deal with words for a living.
The dictionary defines "vape" as a verb meaning "to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device." Added in August, "vape" is a utilitarian noun brought about by new technology.
"A gap emerged in the lexicon, as a word was needed to describe this activity, and distinguish it from 'smoking,'" said the dictionary in a statement. "The word vape arose to fill this gap, and it has proliferated along with the habit."
An unscientific scan of Twitter seemed to indicate that "vape" wasn't especially popular.
Oxford Dictionaries' 2014 Word of the Year: vape The terrorists won— Taylor Hein (@Taylor_Hein) November 18, 2014
First we lost a fucking plane, then "vape" was added to the dictionary, and now Charles Manson is getting married from prison.. tf 2014?— Aaron™ (@eatsleepski02) November 18, 2014
several contenders for the prize. Some of these are zeitgeisty portmanteaus like "budtender," referring to a marijuana dispenser, and "slacktivism," a noun to describe those who dive into causes from the comfort of their couch. There's also "normcore," an ironic fashion movement in which people wear distinctly unfashionable clothing.