And the Word of the Year is …

For the first time, the Oxford English Dictionaries in the U.S. and U.K. chose the same word—phrase, really—for its annual honor. Hint: It has to do with belt-tightening.

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That’s right, the dictionary.

The dictionaries team at Oxford University Press chose the phrase “squeezed middle” as its Word of the Year for 2011. The term refers to the financial pinch of the middle class.

“The speed with which squeezed middle has taken root, and the likelihood of its endurance while anxieties deepen, made it a good global candidate for Word of the Year,” Oxford Dictionaries spokeswoman Susie Dent said in a blog post.

This year marks the first time the same word (or phrase in this case) has won the honor in both the U.S. and U.K.

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