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Many people object to the informal use of the word 'kid' to denote children, claiming that kids are baby goats and not humans, but this informal usage has been with us a long time! The first record of the word 'kid' being used to refer to children dates back to 1599 and by the middle of the 19th Century, the word had entered common everyday usage.
The Internet gives us a useful barometer to compare the use of 'children' and 'kids', and we quickly find that the term 'kids' is far more widespread in the Internet age than old fashioned 'children'! Looking at the frequency of internet searches, we discover that searches for 'kids' related terms outweigh 'children' related terms by a significant order of magnitude:-
Childrens Toys vs. Kids Toys: 1:3
Childrens Party Games vs. Kids Party Games: 1:9
Childrens Books vs. Kids Books: 2:3
We also find a strong bias towards American English which suggests that the term 'kids' is much more heavily used in the USA than in Britain. Indeed, when we search for terms more commonly associated with traditional English, we find that searches are split equally, as opposed to American English terms where kids continue to dominate:-
Childrens Movies vs. Kids Movies: 1:16
Children Films vs. Kids Films: 1:1
Childrens Behaviour vs Kids Behaviour: 1:1
Childrens Behavior vs. Kids Behavior: 1:6
These findings aren't scientific by any means, but our straw poll does show that 'kids' are here to stay. So if you've always been one of those pedantic people insisting that kids are animals, it looks like the world disagrees with you!