Shibboleth – Word of the Day


Shibboleth  /ˈʃɪbəlɛθ/
noun – a custom, principle, or belief distinguishing a particular class or group of people, especially a long-standing one regarded as outmoded or no longer important.

also – a Tate Modern installation by Doris Salcedo

Origin: mid 17th century, from Hebrew šibbolet “ear of corn”, used as a test of nationality by its difficult pronunciation.

Example: “Free trade was a shibboleth on which Britain had built her immense prosperity.”


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