Every year at Haggard Hawks, we crown our very own Word of the Year—a suitably obscure term lifted from this year’s HH feed, which somehow sums up the past twelve months. 

Previous winners have included the likes of overmused (worn out from overthinking), fallaciloquence (untruthful speech), and ipsedixitism (the dogmatic assertion of something as truth). Now, the time has come to name a winner for 2022—and as always, the final choice is over to you. 

So how are you feeling as we head towards the end of the year? Positive? Pessimistic? Rueful? Worried? Frustrated? Just plain exhausted? We’ve put together a shortlist of five finalists, from which you can now vote for the word you feel best epitomizes 2022. Keep reading to find out a little more about the shortlisted words below, or if you’ve already made your choice, scroll to the bottom of the page here to cast your vote. We’ll announce the winner after voting closes next week. 

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“This book will delight logophiles everywhere, and create many new ones.”
John Banville



(n.) a critically important year with significant or far-reaching future implications

It’s fair to say 2022 has been a pivotal year in lot of ways, both good and bad. Not only that, but there’s something of a feeling that the events and actions (or inactions) of this year may well have repercussions further down the line. If that sounds like your idea of 2022, then climacter is the word for you.

Related to the likes of climax and climactic (and, in the sense of a major step in life, derived from the Greek word for the rung of a ladder), climacter has been used in English of a crucial period of time—and in particular, a single year—since the 1600s.

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(n.) frivolous time-wasting while failing to prepare for the future

Oxford Dictionaries named climate emergency as their Word of the Year back in 2019, but that concern came to a head in 2022 with climate protests grabbing headlines all around the world, and the COP27 conference in November. Has the time to act came and gone? Have we been fiddling while Rome is about to burn? If those are your thoughts as we see out this year, then perhaps this is the word for you.

Inspired by one of Aesop’s fables, grasshoppering is frivolous time-wasting, while failing to adequately prepare for the future. 



(n.) an inclination to worry

Let’s be honest, the 2020s haven’t exactly been an easy ride thus far. But following a global pandemic (after which you named overmused your Word of the Year 2021) we all strode into 2022 thinking things must surely be looking up. Well, that was then and this is now, and it’s fair to say the year hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.

At the start of 2022, we swapped a global pandemic for the threat of a nuclear war, and we’ve had little respite since. So perhaps this year it’s time for a perennial HH favourite to shine: kedophysis is a term from medicine and psychiatry defined by one 1958 medical dictionary as a person’s “inclination or proneness to worry.”



(adj.) desiring of change

Out with the old, in with the new. Against a backdrop of cultural shifts and game-changing demonstrations all over the world, rather than looking back on 2022, maybe you’re seeing out this year with your eyes fixed on 2023? Perhaps you’re more optimistically looking forward to a time when some of the unpleasantries of this past year are gone, and things have changed? Perhaps, then, you’re feeling novaturient—a long-overlooked adjective from the seventeenth century describing anyone who is longing for or desiring of change. 

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(v., adj.) exhausted by constant turmoil

Then again, perhaps you’re too worn out to think anything at all. The upheaval of 2021 hasn’t abated this year, it’s just come from a different source. Several different sources, in fact. War, politics, economic worries, climate crises, strikes, protests, Twitter takeovers—it was one thing after another. And now look, we’re hassling you to vote in this poll. So if you’re seeing out 2022 feeling exhausted by a year of turbulence, here’s the last word on our shortlist: weltered.


As a verb, to welter means either to toss and to turn, or else to be tossed and turned, subjected to upsets and misfortunes, and knocked, rolled, swayed, and agitated by constant motion and upheaval. Ultimately, if you’re feeling weltered at the end of 2022, you’re feeling the effects of near constant upset, unrest and turmoil. 



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