The Lighter Side of the Oxford Children’s Word of the Year

Primary school students wrote about some serious topics in the 2018 Oxford Australian Children’s Word of the Year writing competition, from bullying to depression, fear and loneliness.

However, there was also a lighter side to many of the stories.

In the competition, students from Foundation to Grade 6 were asked to nominate and write about a word that was important to them.

In order to create a shortlist, Oxford University Press read through every entry, and the team enjoyed the sense of humour evident in many pieces of writing.

Three children wrote about supercalifragilisticexpialodocious (perhaps inspired by a recent viewing of Mary Poppins?), one wrote about a stink bomb, another chose slime as their word of the year, while many had a lot to say about the quirks of their brothers and sisters.

There was some toilet humour, with one student admitting they sometimes laughed so hard they wet themselves, while another wrote an imaginative (and surprising!) piece about getting trapped on a toilet that became a rollercoaster.

Enjoy some of our favourite quotes from the Oxford Australian Children’s Word of the Year writing competition.


“I strongly believe that slime is squishingly awesome because it is great to fiddle with, can be made at home and it is perfect for if you are bored or just chilling. So get on board and start discovering the amazingly awesome slime!”

Funny families

“Brother: annoying little brat. All he cares about is me getting in trouble and his iPad. He would throw a banana on the floor and ‘slip on it’ to get me in trouble.”

“One person in a family is heaven, no other children to share the love with. Two people in a family is ok with less competition but there is extreme danger! With another two children to share the attention with is very risky business.”

Being clumsy

“Hi my name is Joe and I’m very clumsy especially on motorbikes. When I first started riding I crashed into a ute while I was starting it. To be honest though I think it was just dad as a bad teacher but he thinks I’m just clumsy.”

“Ouch! Keira just got out of her warm comfortable bed and she stepped on a pile of Lego! You might be thinking how unlucky Keira is right now, but this is just the start of her clumsy day.”


“Allow me to define my life … well it’s a complete DISASTER! For example, let me tell you about yesterday. I got out of bed and I stepped on a dirty tissue, DISASTER! Then, as I limped towards the kitchen I slipped on some oatmeal. Only it wasn’t oatmeal – it was my sister’s puke, DISASTER! I had to eat breakfast between gags, even after I found a fly in it. Can you see what I mean about my life being a DISASTER?”


“In my daily life there are a lot of gross events. For example, this morning I got up and stepped in a puddle of my dog’s fresh wee (how delightful!). Then after cleaning up the pee on the floor I went into the kitchen to get breakfast when I found maggots crawling around in my cereal (how deliciously gross!).

Enter the 2019 Oxford Australian Children’s Word of the Year writing competition.

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