'Trump' children's word of the year

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Donald Trump is now part of the playground zeitgeist, says a study of children’s writing

His name is never out of the headlines, and “Trump” now seems to have taken over the playground too – as it is named children’s “word of the year”.

The Oxford University Press analysed more than 130,000 children’s stories submitted for BBC Radio 2’s annual story-writing competition 500 Words.

The US president’s name came up more than any other – suggesting he has fired British children’s imaginations.

Other political terms mentioned in stories were “fake news” and “Brexit”.


The final of 500 Words is being presented by Chris Evans from the Tower of London on Friday, when the overall winners will be revealed in the categories for writers aged five to nine and those aged 10 to 13.

The young writers have certainly been creative with their use of President Trump in their stories. Although some include him as a regular protagonist in their tales, many others have just used his name to create a range of different characters – such as Boggle Trump, Snozzle Trump, Trumplestilskin and Trumpyness.

The short stories, written by five- to 13-year-olds, also display a satirical ear for President Trump’s own use language.

A Trump-related tale of space travel includes the boast: “I am going to make the Moon great again!”

Perhaps reflecting the wave of elections and votes, the word “politics” has itself become more commonly used by children, according to the analysis, with stories working in references to fake news and the Brexit debate.

Social media networks such as Snapchat and Instagram are also frequently mentioned.

Another widely used term was “super”, whether it was characters who were “super-excited” or “super-happy” or many variants of “superhero”.

The language of old-fashioned superheroes also seems to have survived.

In the tradition of Batman, there are still sounds of “ka-pow!” and “arrrghhh!” But so far, no signs of “bigly.”

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