shibboleth

[ shib-uh-lith, ‐leth ]SEE DEFINITION OF shibboleth
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR SHIBBOLETH

The Shibboleth is always absurd and in a case like the present ruinous.

High warp and low warp are the terms so often used as to seem a shibboleth.

How tiresome the shibboleth which many clergymen talk in church is!

This does not mean that all ethics lies compact in the shibboleth, Be yourself.

He did not repudiate the sincerely pious, because they could not say his “Shibboleth.”

"And sold to——" became our slogan, our shibboleth and our most familiar sentence.

Progress, the white man's shibboleth, has no meaning for the Patagonian.

There is a crispness and sharpness about his tones—that shibboleth of militaryism.

A Frenchman might as well try to give the password of Shibboleth.

Its words were the touchstone of wills, the shibboleth of souls.

WORD ORIGIN

late 14c., the Hebrew word shibboleth, meaning "flood, stream," also "ear of corn;" in Judges xii:4-6. It was the password used by the Gileadites to distinguish their own men from fleeing Ephraimites, because Ephraimites could not pronounce the -sh- sound. Hence the figurative sense of "watchword" (first recorded 1630s), which evolved by 1862 to "outmoded slogan still adhered to." A similar test-word was cicera "chick pease," used by the Italians to identify the French (who could not pronounce it correctly) during the massacre called the Sicilian Vespers (1282).

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR SHIBBOLETH

byword

nounsaying
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.