Queen Elizabeth II during a reception in the Ballroom of Sandringham House (Picture: PA)
‘Queen’ has been voted Children’s Word for 2022 after the death of Britain’s longest-serving monarch.
Last year saw the celebration of the late monarch’s Platinum Jubilee and then the country’s mourning following her death.
The outpour of national grief in the months that followed appears to have made a long-lasting impact on youngsters.
More than 4,000 children aged between six and 14 were asked for words they felt had been important during 2022.
Based on the top themes, three – ‘Queen’, ‘happy’ and ‘chaos’ – were shortlisted.
A separate poll, of a further 1,000 children by Opinium, was carried out to decide the Word of the Year 2022 from the shortlist of three.
A young child looks at flowers left outside Buckingham Palace after the death of Her Majesty (Picture: PA)
A toddler holding a heart shaped balloon for the Queen (Picture: AFP)
The Oxford University Press (OUP) said the findings highlight that the news has an impact on children and they absorb the language around current events.
Nearly half (46%) of children chose ‘Queen’ as their number one word followed by ‘happy’ (36%) and ‘chaos’ (14%).
More than half (52%) of girls questioned chose the word ‘Queen’, this was lower for boys at 39%.
The OUP report suggests the difference between the sexes could be because Her Majesty provided ‘an important female role model’ for girls.
Helen Freeman, director of Oxford Children’s Books, said: ‘It comes as no surprise that Queen is Children’s Word of the Year for 2022.
‘This not only reflects Her Majesty’s 70 years of incredible service, but over the past decade our research consistently reveals how attuned children are to the news and the impact current affairs have on their language.
‘It’s vital we continue to invest in language development and ensure children have access to a wide range of vocabulary in order to feel equipped to process and discuss the news.’
Last year’s Children’s Word of the Year was anxiety, and in 2020 it was coronavirus.
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