shibboleth

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shib·bo·leth

 (shĭb′ə-lĭth, -lĕth′)
n.
1. A word or pronunciation that distinguishes people of one group or class from those of another.
2.
a. A word or phrase identified with a particular group or cause; a catchword.
b. A commonplace saying or idea.
3. A custom or practice that betrays one as an outsider.

[Ultimately from Hebrew šibbōlet, torrent of water, from the use of this word to distinguish one tribe from another that pronounced it sibbōlet (Judges 12:4-6).]

shibboleth

(ˈʃɪbəˌlɛθ)
n
1. a belief, principle, or practice which is commonly adhered to but which is thought by some people to be inappropriate or out of date
2. a custom, phrase, or use of language that acts as a test of belonging to, or as a stumbling block to becoming a member of, a particular social class, profession, etc
[C14: from Hebrew, literally: ear of grain; the word is used in the Old Testament by the Gileadites as a test word for the Ephraimites, who could not pronounce the sound sh]

shib•bo•leth

(ˈʃɪb ə lɪθ, -ˌlɛθ)

n.
1. a peculiarity of pronunciation, usage, or behavior that distinguishes a particular group.
2. a slogan; catchword.
3. a common saying or belief with little current meaning or truth.
[< Hebrew shibbōleth literally, freshet, a word used by the Gileadites as a test to detect the fleeing Ephraimites, who could not pronounce the sound sh (Judges 12:4–6)]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.shibboleth - a favorite saying of a sect or political groupshibboleth - a favorite saying of a sect or political group
locution, saying, expression - a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations; "pardon the expression"
catch phrase, catchphrase - a phrase that has become a catchword
mantra - a commonly repeated word or phrase; "she repeated `So pleased with how its going' at intervals like a mantra"
rallying cry, war cry, watchword, battle cry, cry - a slogan used to rally support for a cause; "a cry to arms"; "our watchword will be `democracy'"
2.shibboleth - a manner of speaking that is distinctive of a particular group of people
manner of speaking, delivery, speech - your characteristic style or manner of expressing yourself orally; "his manner of speaking was quite abrupt"; "her speech was barren of southernisms"; "I detected a slight accent in his speech"
Translations

shibboleth

[ˈʃɪbəleθ] N (Bible) → lema m, santo m y seña (fig) → dogma m hoy desacreditado, doctrina f que ha quedado anticuada

shibboleth

n (= custom)Gepflogenheit f, → Konvention f; (= catchword)Losung f, → Parole f, → Schibboleth nt (rare, liter)
References in periodicals archive ?
Despite all this, the comprehensive system became a shibolleth for sections of the political class, untouchable and immune to criticism.