Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
9 July 2016

Word of the week: Atonyment

Each week The Staggers will pick a new word to describe our uncharted political and socioeconomic territory. 

By Julia Rampen

After the publication of the long-awaited Chilcot report, which documented some of the most shameful years of British foreign policy in minute detail, this week’s word, suggested by Anoosh Chakelian, is:

Atonyment (n)

The act of expressing deep sorrow and grief while wiping one’s hands of all responsibility. 

The word is primarily a shorthand for an emotion described by Tony Blair, when he said: “There is no inconsistency in expressing my sorrow for those who have lost their lives, my regret and still saying the decision is right.”

Usage: 

“He atonyed for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who died since 2003.”

“He atonyed for the lack of WMDs.”

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy

“Has David Cameron atonyed for Brexit?”

Articles to read if you are in a state of atonyment:

Do you have a suggestion for next week’s word? Share it in the form below.

 

Loading…