Politics 23 November 2011 "Squeezed middle" named word of the year Ed Miliband's phrase beats "Arab spring" and "phone hacking" to the honour. Sign up for our weekly email * Print HTML It might have been relentlessly mocked by the Westminster village but Ed Miliband's phrase "squeezed middle" has beaten "Arab spring" and "phone hacking" to be named word of the year by the Oxford English Dictionary. It's testament to the quiet success of the phrase, first used by Miliband in a Sunday Telegraph article on 26 September 2010, the day after he was elected as Labour leader. Long before David Cameron and Nick Clegg, Miliband identified the fall in living standards as the defining issue of 2011. Oxford Dictionaries spokeswoman Susie Dent said: "The speed with which squeezed middle has taken root, and the likelihood of its endurance while anxieties deepen, made it a good candidate for word of the year." Precise definitions may vary (the best I've heard is those too poor to thrive in a market economy, but too rich to rely on state benefits) but no one denies that Miliband is onto something. As for David Cameron, he can console himself with the fact that he has already left his mark on the English language. "Big society" was named word of the year in 2010. › Trying to evict OccupyLSX George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman. Subscribe from just £1 per issue More Related articles This is the place: the poem Tony Walsh read at the Manchester attack vigil The problems with ending encryption to fight terrorism How long will general election campaigning be suspended after the Manchester attack?