Origin of shibboleth
Examples from the Web for shibboleth
Herzog was never just a novel; from the beginning it was a symbol, a crucible, a shibboleth.American Dreams: Saul Bellow’s Masterpiece of Lamentation|Nathaniel Rich|July 27, 2014|DAILY BEAST
This shibboleth is the logical result of the attitude mentioned.A Short History of Women's Rights|Eugene A. Hecker
With that he reeled away, looking over his shoulder and, still yelling his shibboleth of “Friend, friend!”Camp Fire Yarns of the Lost Legion|G. Hamilton-Browne
It is curious that Shibboleth should so long continue a criterion among nations!Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)|Maria Edgeworth
Word Origin for shibboleth
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).