The word of the year is "vape": How to explain the new ODO additions to your grandparents

"Vape" beats out words like "normcore," "bae" and "slacktivism" to become the word of the year


Published November 18, 2014 6:00PM (EST)


Hot on the heels of last year's winner, "selfie," the Oxford Dictonary Online has announced its 2014 word of the year: "Vape,” as in, to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette, or "wanna go vape on my e-cig, bae?" (It also works as a noun.)

But it wasn't an easy victory: In order to become word of the year, “vape" had to beat out six other very zeitgeisty words that your grandma would definitely not have heard of, and will probably still have trouble understanding when she does. Here’s how you should explain them to her:

Normcore n. a trend in which ordinary, unfashionable clothing is worn as a deliberate fashion statement.
How to explain it to your grandma: This is why I've been dressing a lot like how dad used to dress during the '80s. BTW, I meant to ask: Do you have any of his old patagonia fleeces lying around that I could borrow?

Budtender n. a person whose job is to serve customers in a cannabis dispensary or shop.
How to explain it to your grandma:  "Reefer Madness" has been mostly debunked by now, I swear.

Slacktivism, n., informal actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.g., signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website; a blend of slacker and activism.
How to explain it to your grandma: This is one of the many things that people think is wrong with my generation. Probably a result of people spending too much time with their budtenders.

Contactless adj. relating to or involving technologies that allow a smart card, mobile phone, etc., to contact wirelessly to an electronic reader, typically in order to make a payment.
How to explain it to your grandma: Uh … pass.

Indyref, n. an abbreviation of "independence referendum," in reference to the referendum on Scottish independence, held in Scotland on 18 September 2014, in which voters were asked to answer yes or no to the question ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’
How to explain it to your grandma: Parts of the British Isles still hate other parts of the British Isles, only it's different parts than when you were younger. You read the newspaper right? Yeah, I know the print is really small.

Bae n. used as a term of endearment for one’s romantic partner.
How to explain it to your grandma: Remember when you and grandpa used to write letters during the war, and he would call you “dollface” and “sweetcheeks”? This is sort of like this ... No, grandma, I’m still not seeing anyone right now. Please stop asking.



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Dictionary Odo Vape Word Of The Year Words