Friday 22 March 2013

The Rise and Fall of Middle England

As usual after a budget, there has been much talk of Middle England. However, this exotic place didn't exist, according to the OED, until 1982. The adjective middle had, of course, been yoked to the noun englandular before, but only geographically. It meant the Midlands.

Then in the 80s Middle England and the Middle Englander emerged (there had been occasional 70s references to Middle Britain). The whole idea seems to have been imported from Middle America.

Anyway, I went off to google ngrams to see what they made of the concept, and it's really rather striking. In 1993, Middle England suddenly took off. It rocketed. It exploded. It careered upwards until 2002, when it suddenly started falling away.

This blog does not do political analysis. But I suggest you take a look at the graph yourself by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. I first met "Middle England" in a mid-90s cartoon in The Spectator where it apparently meant nice, upstanding, square-jawed chaps like us who played rugger at school, as opposed to stunted oiks who play foopball and have tea instead of dinner.