Words of the Year – 2014

United Kingdom: vape

In the UK, the word was determined by the wide spread adoption of a device.  The Oxford Dictionaries named vape 2014’s word of the year, defining the verb as to inhale and exhale the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device and can also be used as a noun for the e-cigarette and for the act of inhaling itself.

Spanish: Selfi 

Selfi was named Spain’s word of the year by the Fundéu BBVA, a bank-funded, non-profit group that promotes the proper use of the Spanish language by Spain’s media. The organization picked it because it was current, used frequently in the media, and because it has a certain linguistic interest.

Chinese: (fa – law)

For the first time ever, people in China were able to vote for the Chinese Character of the Year and the Chinese Word of the Year. 2014’s word of the year translates as “anti corruption.” Combined with the character of the year (which translates as “law”), the results are a reflection of the Chinese government’s ongoing crackdown on internal corruption.

French: Médicalemant

The XYZ Festival of New Words in Le Havre has selected the best, most inventive new French words of the year. Médicalmant blends calmer (to calm down) with médicalement (medically), and denotes “a medicine that is taken to calm down.”

German: Lichtgrenze

The Society for German Language chose Lichtgrenze, “border of light,” as 2014’s word due to the 25th anniversary celebrations in Berlin that saw ten miles of the former East Berlin border lit up with thousands of helium balloons that were released the evening of November 9th to symbolize the fall of the wall.

Japanese: (zei)

In Japan, the Kanji of the Year is chosen through a national ballot, sponsored by the Japanese Kanji Proficiency Society. This year’s choice translates as tax reflecting the fact that in April the Japanese government raised the country’s consumption tax for the first time in 17 years, from 5% to 8%. The rise had a notable impact on people’s wallets.

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