After numerous lockdowns and school closures, it may come as no surprise that the nation’s children voted ‘anxiety’ their Word of the Year.
Lexicographers at Oxford University Press used a survey of more than 8,000 pupils asked about words they use to discuss health, wellbeing and lockdowns.
More than one in five chose ‘anxiety’ as their number one word.
Researchers say the findings reveal the social impact Covid-19 and lockdowns have had on youngsters.
Last year’s children’s word was coronavirus, and in 2019 it was Brexit.
Anxiety’ was closely followed this year by ‘challenging’ (19 per cent) and ‘isolate’ (14 per cent).
For more than a decade, lexicographers, experts and academic researchers in the Children’s Language department at the OUP have analysed the changes in children’s vocabulary and self-expression.
The department will be updating their dictionaries and resources for schools to reflect the current usage of the words – such as bubble and lockdown – in relation to the pandemic.