Children’s Word of the Year 2016: refugee
Our Children’s Dictionaries department have announced the Children’s Word of the Year for 2016: refugee.
The word was chosen after analysing the entries to the 2016 BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition, in which young people age 5-13 were invited to compose an original work of fiction on any subject or theme, using no more than 500 words. This year’s BBC Radio 2 500 WORDS competition received 123,436 entries, and – understandably, given the events of the past year – the word refugee featured heavily, with a 368% increase compared to 2015’s stories.
Shakespeare, Star Wars, and Santa Claus
Other topics that recurred in children’s stories include space, Shakespeare, coding, and Star Wars, as you can see in further infographics in Oxford Dictionaries for Children’s insights into the language used in competition entries. Or join Radio 2’s Chris Evans in this animated video to find out more about the choice of refugee as Children’s Word of the Year 2016, as well as other facts from the submitted stories – including the longest word any child used.
Which characters got mentioned the most? Santa Claus may not be seasonal, but he takes first place: he appears in 2439 stories, followed in second place by Zeus. The most popular real person was footballer Lionel Messi, while David Cameron beat Barack Obama into second place when it came to politicians.
You can discover more facts and figures in the Oxford Children’s Corpus Summary Report.
What kind of writer are you?
What kind of story would you have written? Take the quiz to find out…