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belief, principle, or practice which is commonly adhered to but which is thought by some people to be inappropriate or out of date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 classic literature ?
Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice, and we welcome "nerves" or any other shibboleth that will cloak our personal desire.
Thank God I have done with these people and their disgusting shibboleth of respectability."
This thing of using the common beggar's trick and the common beggar's shibboleth to put you on your liberality when you were expecting a simple straightforward commercial transaction, adds a little to your prospering sense of irritation.
instructions to let none pass who could not say Shibboleth. The
"The old shibboleth! What is this mission which is reserved for woman?
He is a shibboleth, a wrecker and a dangerous relic of the past with an unfortunate gift for alienating everyone around him.
"500 Words You Should Know" is an instructive reference for those who appreciate correct usage of the English language, and contains words we thought we knew (decimate, caveat, nemesis), words we should know (euphemism, diatribe, tautology), and just a few that we might want to know (peripatetic, shibboleth, callipygian).
But earlier he suggested the Brexit row over the border issue and the accord had been "played up" and he described the deal as a shibboleth, a Hebrew term used to describe an outdated custom.
Pontypridd Labour MP Owen Smith - who was sacked by Jeremy Corbyn last month as Shadow Northern Ireland Secretary after recommending a Brexit referendum and continued membership of the customs union and the single market - was alarmed when Shadow International Trade Secretary Barry Gardiner was heard to describe the Good Friday Agreement as a "shibboleth" - a Hebrew term used to describe a long-held custom that is outdated Mr Gardiner told an audience in Brussels that it was to "confuse cause and effect" to say that having a "normal border relationship when one party is no longer in the EU" would "bring back paramilitary activity".
According to a recording and transcript released last night by the Red Roar website, Mr Gardiner, a close ally of Jeremy Corbyn, described the Good Friday Agreement as a "shibboleth", a Hebrew term used to describe a long-held custom that is outdated.
Whatever happened to the threat that almost won him credit for nationalism remains a bubbling shibboleth coated in promising rhetoric.