Donald Trump is not just the main talking point in politics and the media, the US president appears to have also captured the imagination of schoolchildren.
‘Trump’ is children’s “word of the year”, according to research by the Oxford University Press (OUP). The US president’s name saw an 839% increase in usage across 130,000 stories submitted by schoolchildren for BBC Radio 2’s annual writing competition.
Other popular words were ‘Brexit’ and ‘fake news’ in the stories, written by children aged five to thirteen.
“Trump is mentioned in a wide variety of contexts, from the US elections and politics, to tales of space, aliens and superheroes, giving expression to children’s creativity, playfulness and humour,” the competition organisers said.
The stories feature a wide selection of Trumpian characters, including Boggle Trump, Snozzle Trump and Trumplestilskin. One 12-year-old boy imagined a dystopian future in his story in which all personal interactions, along with newspapers and books, were banned.
“Nowadays you were only allowed to communicate through tweeting alternative facts,” the boy wrote.
The organisers were impressed with the number of children who had used the word in a “sophisticated way” to “convey satire and humour”, such as the child who imitated Trump’s bravado and bombastic style in a tale about space travel which included the boast: “I am going to make the moon great again!”
In 2016 ‘refugees’ was children’s word of the year. ‘Hashtag’ was the most popular word among schoolchildren in 2015.
The winners of this year’s BBC story competition will be announced at a Tower of London ceremony presented by Chris Evans on Friday (16 June).
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