Shibboleth

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Shibboleth

(shĭb`ōlĕth), in the Bible, test word that the Gileadites made the Ephraimites pronounce. As Ephraimites could not say sh but only s as in "Sibboleth," this was regarded as a test of an Ephraimite; 42,000 Ephraimites were thus detected.

shibboleth

word used by Gileadites to identify Ephraimites who could not pronounce sh. [O.T.: Judges 12:4–6]

shibboleth

by its pronunciation the Gileadites could identify Ephraimite fugitives. [O. T.: Judges 12:4-6]
References in periodicals archive ?
Thus the idea that the EU is a vile institution is a shibboleth with the right wing of the Tory party, or the idea that jockeys are always stopping the one they have backed is a shibboleth with moaning punters who always want to blame someone else.
The way to tell that "human error" has achieved the status of a risk management shibboleth is by the irrational way we all respond to these words.
I was more impressed by the response of the minister who was and has been robust in his demands to improve standards - a brave speech, which was not afraid to attack shibboleths.
His content is political and social, but his position is always to attack shibboleths."
Since then the STFU has been featured in Anthony Dunbar's neglected account of the religious radicals who challenged the shibboleths of the interwar south, Against the Grain (1981); Robert Martins 1991 biography of Howard Kester, a Christian socialist and STFU organizer; and Jack Temple Kirby's survey of the impact of modernization on the twentieth century South, Rural Worlds Lost (1987), among others.
But we are no longer living in that world, and the useful rallying cries of one era have become the dangerous shibboleths of another."
Rotello attacks these shibboleths with formidable logic, arguing that even as gay men strategize against the virus.
Crimp's essay, along with other critical shibboleths of the time, served this conversion in a remarkably efficacious way.
The revelation it holds for readers of today is how strenuously Friedan had to work to advance the radical idea that women were unsatisfied by lives that had no dimension beyond husband and children; what a crowd of shibboleths she was staring down, and how brave it was of her to do it.
She excels at portraying the determination of slaves to learn to read: by bribing free southerners to assist them; by picking up fragments of knowledge from street signs and scraps of paper; by learning alongside white children who were still unaware of or indifferent to their culture's shibboleths. Most movingly, Cornelius relates the exhilaration slaves felt when they first realized they could read, and argues that this experience was a doorway to a more liberated consciousness.