Oxford Dictionary Announces ‘Vape’ 2014 Word of the Year

By Marisa DeZara

If you type the word “vape” into a Word document, then chances are you will see a red squiggly line underneath of it. Well, not for long—the Oxford Dictionaries announced that  vape is the Word of the Year for 2014. According to USA Today, this word was added to the dictionary in August.

In the Oxford Dictionary, vape, a verb, is defined as follows: “to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device.” A “similar device,” in this context, would most evidently constitute a vape pen used for consuming marijuana concentrates. Some of these devices include O.PenVape, the Dabbler, Budy Pen, and many others, as noted in High Times 2014 Vape Pen Buyer’s Guide.

Moreover, the word “Budtender” was also added to the Oxford Dictionary. Budtender, a noun, is defined as follows: “a person whose job is to serve customers in a cannabis dispensary or shop.” This word may be unfamiliar to those in non-legal states, but because the Oxford Dictionary has defined the term, more people will become knowledgable of what a budtender is and what their job entails.

As silly as it may seem for  the words vape and budtender to appear in the dictionary; in a way, it further legitimizes the cannabis industry. The Oxford Dictionary has embraced these words for its meaning in various contexts, and this shows how marijuana culture is no longer being suppressed. After all, the Oxford Dictionary, a book nearly everyone picks up at some point in their life, has deemed vape the Word of the Year for 2014, showing that the word has agency and deserves widespread recognition.

On OxfordWords blog, Oxford stated, “you are thirty times more likely to come across the word vape than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year.”

The heightened use of the word vape could be looked at as a good sign for investors as well as the business-minded. Not only does it indicate that people are growing more and more interested in this method of consuming marijuana, but this space invites a big opportunity for investors and entrepreneurs alike. On March 17, 2014, USA Today reported that “investors are attracted to the growth potential of vaporization.”

Seibo Shen quit his job to create VapeXhale, a vaporizer start-up. “He raised $143,000 in 40 days through a fundraising campaign on Indiegogo.com, he says, then raised more from private investors. He met his partners through an online forum for vamping enthusiasts.”  Shen’s vapes appeal to the high-end consumer, as his product sells for more than $450.

The vape market is worth tracking. The Oxford Dictionary has recognized the word’s influence; now, it is time for investors to recognize vaping potential in the marijuana marketplace. Vaping is a modern trend that does not seem to be disappearing anytime soon, and there is plenty of money to be made. A decrease in raw marijuana purchases, and an increase in extract and concentrates purchases in some Colorado dispensaries exemplifies an increased need for smoking vaporizers. The booming vape market is calling on creative minds and investors to launch the next best product.

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