Merriam-Webster and Oxford English Dictionary have both already named their words of the year - "culture" and "vape," in case you were wondering - but those distinctions weren't enough make either of those terms the most popular word of 2014. In fact, the most popular word of the past year isn't actually a word at all. It's a symbol.
The Global Language Monitor took a look at blogs, Twitter, Facebook and 250,000 websites and found that the most widely used word was actually the heart emoji. Emojis are the little pictures and symbols that you can use in blogs, text messages and webpages to convey emotions.
The heart emoji took the crown by showing up billions of times every day on websites throughout the world.
Not all the words that rose to popularity during the past year were as unconventional as the heart emoji. Take a look at the other words on the list:
Hashtag - the reformed pound sign (#) which often gets topics trending on Twitter.
Vape - referring to vaporising, the practice of using an electronic or e-cigarette.
Blood Moon - the blood red appearance of the moon caused when it enters the earth's shadow and captures the sun's red rays.
Nano - can mean small (1 billionth of a metre) or refer to the type of technology.
Photo Bomb - breaking into a pre-arranged assemblage for a photo.
Caliphate - a form of Islamic political leadership.
(White) privilege - The alleged advantages of having lighter colored skin in a diverse society.
Bae - term of endearment for an object of desire.
Bash tag - use of a hashtag to undermine people you do not really like on social media.
The Global Language Monitor also found the most popular phrases used during the past year. It found that the most popular phrase was "Hands up, don't shoot", the phrase popularized during the Ferguson protests this year. Here's the rest of the phrases on the list:
Cosmic inflation - explosive growth of the Universe from a singularity.
Global warming - The rising temperatures caused by our use of fossil fuels.
Climate change - predictions of changes in temperature if use of gases continues.
War on Women - women and young girls stolen and sold into sexual slavery or forced into arranged marriages.
All time high - description of successful world markets.
Rogue nukes - referring to claims that Iran could assemble a nuclear bomb in weeks.
Near-Earth asteroid - space rock damaged buildings and crashed into Russian lake.
Big data - refers to how data is processed, analysed and gives a conclusion.
Polar Vector - an unusually long-lived Polar outbreak bringing very cold weather.
Many of the words on the list are tech-related, and I think that trend will continue in 2015. I wonder what new gadgets and trends will inspire popular words next year.