26’s words of the year

I asked for your words of the year and for 2019, and the people of 26 have spoken. From musings on the current political climate, to personal reflections and hopes for next year – here they are, starting with mine.

For 2018, I choose nonplussed. Because this year’s events have been, well, um…

And for 2019, it has to be wanderlust. One of my favourite words, which feels particularly appropriate with trips to New York, Cartagena, Lisbon and the Croatian islands to look forward to. And my secondary word will be thrifty, in order to afford said trips. 

– Sophie Gordon

My word of 2018 is WORK. Lots of it. Thick. Fast. At times, intense. All very much ‘a good thing’ as a freelancer. But, as counterbalance, my word for 2019 is PLAY. Not necessarily less work, but approaching things in a different and more playful way – remembering to have fun with work – and words – along the way. 

– Bridget Waters

I know that my fantasy word for next year would be tixerb, which is Brexit in reverse. We can but hope… And on the subject of hopes dashed, I had hoped that the word of 2018 would be impeachment, but that didn’t come to pass.

– Martin Lee

It has to be backstop. There’s been no escaping it. And typical of the Brexit debate no one knows what it means. More positively for 26 this has been the year of the Centena. Really proud of the 100 centenas that made up the Armistice project 

– John Simmons

My vote is for ze, the gender-neutral pronoun. (And it’s going to be ace for Scrabble.)

– Fiona Thompson

My word of 2018 is dysregulation. It sums up the British political condition in the past twelve months. As the (highly reputable) PsychCentral website puts it, “Emotion Dysregulation may be thought of as the inability to manage the intensity and duration of negative emotions such as fear, sadness, or anger.” Or, indeed, Brexit. My word for 2019 is reinvention, in the hope that there will be hope, for us all.

– Ezri Carlebach

For 2018 – extraordinary – because there was so much that was, good and bad, and because I always love the fact that you can pronounce it two ways. For 2019 – if – because there are so many possibilities and so many unknowns (sorry to sound a bit like a former US secretary of state with his known unknowns etc).

– Wendy Jones

Word for 2019: Kairos – an opportune moment.

– Ed Prichard

My word for 2018 is adapting. And my word for 2019 is thriving. I lived in London for thirty years up until last year when – finally an empty nester – I upped sticks and moved to the States to be with my boyfriend. It was and is a huge adjustment. We commute between bustling, gritty, honest Manhattan and boring, peaceful, never-lock-our-front-door Greenwich, Connecticut. I like the contrast of the two spots, each making me appreciate the other.  I also still return to London every chance I get. My hope for 2019 is that I will accept and fall in love with my triple life living between two continents and coasts.

– Elena Bowes

Lastly, and poetically, as always, Therese Kieran’s words:

A word that sums up my year: learning – about: life, love, words, loss, belonging, acceptance, patience in Hawkwood, Armagh, London, Atlanta, Nashville, Eatonville, Belfast, Monaghan, Dublin, Glasgow and Coventry.

For 2019 – a word that sums up my hopes: persevere – keep moving forward, because giving up (anything/everything) isn’t an option, because we never know what might happen, because it’s good to be curious.

The word I have written in wipeable marker on my kitchen door is ramatacks which my parents tell me was used ‘in their day’ to mean having a good time.

So hopefully 2019 will see me continuing to learn, remembering that perseverance generally pays off but factoring in some ramatacks as I push through the mire.

– Therese Kieran

Here’s to 2019, and a ramatacks-filled Hogmanay for all!

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