Spencer Howson recalls getting complaints every time anyone on air called children…kids.: “Kids are baby goats!”

Should children be called kids? Spencer says “in recent times, I haven’t heard anyone saying that (about goats) and I’ve noticed both the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader use the word ‘kids’. Is it time I relaxed my stance and gave myself permission to say ‘kids’ on air?”

Share your thoughts in our comment box below.


I still call my “children” kids and one is 40 and the other 35. I caught up with younger son and his children at one of those indoor play set-ups where the parents are not allowed to leave the children unattended. I attempted to leave and was asked if I had any kids there. I replied “yes” and was told that I could not leave my kid there without a parent. I pointed to my son and said “I think he will be ok. He’s just turned 35.” At the end of the day, I guess you should take the safe option and try to please everyone. Bev Spletter, Ascot


@SpencerHowson, just saw bmag. ‘Kid’ first used to mean ‘child’ in the 1950s, I think I’m ready for us to relax the ‘only for goats’ rule. Nick Earls@nickearls


My father was an ABC radio announcer in the 1950s, when the announcers all sounded like educated Brits and had to wear dinner suits on the evening shift!  He got a severe lecture one morning when, having read the news, he said:  “Now, here’s something for the kiddies – Kindergarten of the Air!” He couldn’t have been in more trouble if he’d mispronounced the Queen’s name! Elizabeth Arden


I can’t believe that this “children/kids” pedantry still exists, when there is a much more important issue surrounding our language:  the insidious way our Australian language and heritage is being sold out to the Americans, wholesale. More and more our biscuits are becoming cookies; our tomato sauce is becoming ketchup; our paw paws are becoming papaya; our chips are becoming fries; our toilets are becoming bathrooms; and I am beginning to see diapers showing up in our supermarkets next to our nappies.  To agonise about whether our young should be called “children” or “kids”, while our language is under a sustained attack from another culture is a little like chasing pussy cats while there are tigers loose. Roman Masiarek, Acacia Ridge


Whilst I have referred to children as “kids” in family and friend occasions, I disagree with the term “kids” when used in news items, by politicians, etc. During the current election campaign I have almost screamed at the speakers on the television when they mention they are doing something for the “education of our kids”, or “cutting the kids’ allowance”.  It seems as though it is happening every day. In a similar analogy, we may refer to senior citizens as “oldies” when speaking in a social situation but, it would not be the correct way to refer to them in a more formal situation such as by politicians or in news items. I think, in formal situations, we should give children, seniors, or whatever group, the respect they deserve.  Joyce Hood, Eight Mile Plains