Boys and girls, not children or kids

In English, the word for young human beings is kids informally and children formally.

However, in a school context the expression used is almost always boys and girls. It’s practically the only option when speaking to them, and it seems also to be the preferred lexical item when talking about them to parents. Even parents use them in sentences such as this: “Did you have good fun playing with the other boys and girls today?”

There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but I have a sneaking suspicion that most bilingual dictionaries won’t have included boys and girls as a translation.

It’s also one of the words that shows that I’ve been away from Denmark for a long time now: I’m not really sure which term Danish teachers use to address the boys and girls… “Godmorgen, børn!”? “Godmorgen, drenge og piger!”? “Godmorgen, alle sammen!”?


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