LONDON — Oxford Dictionaries selected "vape" as the word of the year for 2014. Usage of vape — defined as the act of smoking an electronic cigarette — doubled this year compared to 2013, reported the Agence France-Presse.
"Vaping has gone mainstream," said Oxford Dictionaries Editorial Director Judy Pearsall. Celebrities who vape and growing debate on the public dangers and the need for regulation contributed to the "marked" increase, she added.
The word was first used in the 1980s and can serve as a noun referring to e-cigarette devices, as well as the act of inhaling and exhaling the vapor they produce. This August, www.oxforddictionaries.com added the word and it is under consideration for inclusion in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Although e-cigarettes have only been in production for around a decade, Rod Stepney is believed to have coined the term in a 1983 magazine article that imagined the use of inhalers over cigarettes, according to the Agence France-Presse report.
"The new habit, if it catches on, would be known as vaping," Stepney wrote in 1983.
"Vape" began to appear regularly in mainstream sources around 2009, Oxford Dictionaries stated.
Runners-up for word of the year are "contactless" and "bae." Contactless made it on the list because of the growing use of cards with special chips to make payments in retail outlets and on public transport. Bae, meanwhile, is a shortened form of "babe" often used by hip-hop artists.