Word(s) of the year

As the year draws to a close, the dictionaries teams at Oxford University Press announce what they consider to be the words or phrases of the year.In 2011, the teams have announced that their global word of the year is the phrase ‘squeezed middle'.  Referring to the section of society affected by a range of economic factors, including inflation and pay freezes, the phrase has resonance in both the US and the UK.The US shortlist of ten words or phrases provides a fascinating snapshot of world events and technological trends for 2011.  Joining the words ‘crowdfunding', ‘gamification' and ‘clicktivism' are ‘Arab Spring', ‘the 99 percent' and ‘Occupy'.  Also included is ‘bunga bunga' - a noun associated with parties hosted by Italian PM Berlusconi.Meanwhile, over in Germany the ‘youth word of the year' has just been announced.  ‘Swag' is used by German youth to describe a cool, charismatic persona.  The choice of the word is somewhat controversial because it has clear roots to an English word ‘swagger'.Other words shortlisted in Germany included the verb ‘Googeln'.  Which needs no translation.