Coronation beaten to top spot as children pick their word of the year

Climate change has been named children's word of the year by Oxford University Press (OUP) - beating other common answers such as coronation.

More than 3,000 children aged between six and 14 were asked for their word of the year, and the three most common themes named were climate change, war and coronation.

Market research agency Opinium then polled 1,000 children and the term for global warming and ecological change won with 33% of the vote.

War was in second place, with 31%, while coronation landed 24% of the votes - with young voters remembering King Charles's big day in May.

Helen Freeman, director of Oxford Children's, said: "The choice of climate change not only demonstrates how attuned children are to the news and their environment, but the research also reveals their willingness to engage with meaningful change.

"Whether it's understanding how children use slang phrases or what word reflects the past year, it's imperative we continue to support children's language development so they have the means and vocabulary to express themselves."

Click to subscribe to ClimateCast wherever you get your podcasts

Reflecting on why they chose climate change, children told researchers about their fears for the future and said the word makes them feel "sad", "scared" or "worried".

Of the children who voted for war, 13% said the news influenced their decision and 23% referenced either the Israel-Hamas conflict or Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Amy Meek, chief executive and co-founder of charity Kids Against Plastic, has said the findings "demonstrate young people's desire for action".

"Young people not only recognise that climate change is an issue, but they're also seeing the importance of tackling it," she said. "No one will feel the negative effects of climate change more than the next generation - or the positive effects of the action we take against it now."

The OUP has also shared a shortlist of three colloquial words - bro, lol and slay - after a Childwise market research survey of 1,450 kids.

They said children use bro not just as a term for friends, but also as a way of showing solidarity when giving someone a warning.