caught in the middle

caught in the middle

In a position between two or more sides in an argument or contentious issue, often leaving one without a clear course of action to satisfy either side. When my friends broke up, I was often caught in the middle, as each one complained to me about the other.
See also: caught, middle

caught in the middle

Also, caught in the cross-fire. Between two opposing sides, as in The writers are often caught in the middle between editor and publisher, who are political opponents , or When parents don't get along, the children are often caught in the cross-fire. Long used in military situations, these terms began to be used figuratively in the second half of the 1800s.
See also: caught, middle
References in periodicals archive ?
And then there's the Forest Service, whose traditional-and continuing--emphasis has been to "get out the cut." Caught in the middle of the old-growth struggle, the agency quietly suffers the identity crisis of its 86-year-old life-ground up as it were in forest plans, environmental impact statements, public hearings, injunctions, lawsuits, appeals, spotted-owl protection provisions, revised plans, and so on ad infinitum.