In the early days, Brexit supporters talked of making Britain a "colossal success" and forging the country's own path in the world while keeping a "deep and special partnership" with Europe.
But now, as the reality of Brexit becomes clearer, the rhetoric has been dialed back.
Newly installed as Prime Minister in July 2016, Theresa May struck a bullish tone, promising that "Brexit means Brexit." At first, the slogan appeared decisive -- but in the absence of more concrete definition, it became quickly mocked.
Amid much talk of a "hard Brexit" or a "soft Brexit," May then promised a "red, white and blue Brexit," which sounded patriotic but again gave little in the way of detail. But she remained positive, insisting Britain would be leaving the European Union, rather than leaving Europe, while repeatedly advocating that "deep and special partnership" with the EU.
Her decision to hold a snap election in June last year brought lexical complications. Instead of receiving her desired strengthened mandate, May's vote collapsed and she was forced instead into a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland to prop up her government.
That deal brought a whole new raft of problems, especially the thorny issue of the Northern Irish border. Pressured for answers over the rights of European citizens, the Brexit divorce bill and Northern Ireland, May's go-to phrase became the apparently reassuring, "nothing is agreed until everything is agreed."