shibboleth

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n shibboleth a manner of speaking that is distinctive of a particular group of people
    • n shibboleth a favorite saying of a sect or political group
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Shibboleth A word which was made the criterion by which to distinguish the Ephraimites from the Gileadites. The Ephraimites, not being able to pronounce sh, called the word sibboleth. See Judges xii. "Without reprieve, adjudged to death,
      For want of well pronouncing shibboleth ."
      "The th , with its twofold value, is . . . the shibboleth of foreigners."
    • Shibboleth Hence, the criterion, test, or watchword of a party; a party cry or pet phrase.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n shibboleth A Hebrew word, meaning ‘ear of corn’ or ‘stream,’ used by Jephthah, one of the judges of Israel, as a test-word by which to distinguish the fleeing Ephraimites (who could not pronounce the sh in shibboleth) from his own men, the Gileadites (Judges xii. 4–6); hence, a test-word, or the watchword or pet phrase of a party, sect, or school. Similarly, during the massacre of the Sicilian Vespers, the French be trayed their nationality by inability to pronounce correctly the Italian word ciceri.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Shibboleth shib′bō-leth (B.) a test-word used by the Gileadites under Jephthah to detect the fleeing Ephraimites, who could not pronounce the sh (Judges, xii. 4-6): the criterion or watchword of a party.
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Quotations

  • Edward Dahlberg
    Edward%20Dahlberg
    “Utility is our national shibboleth: the savior of the American businessman is fact and his uterine half-brother, statistics.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Heb. shibbōleth, an ear of corn, or a stream, a flood
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Heb., an ear of corn, or a stream.

Usage

In literature:

He stifles the convictions of conscience and shouts the shibboleth of party.
"Autobiography of Frank G. Allen, Minister of the Gospel" by Frank G. Allen
The old shibboleths of victory are proclaimed as living principles.
"Robert Toombs" by Pleasant A. Stovall
High warp and low warp are the terms so often used as to seem a shibboleth.
"The Tapestry Book" by Helen Churchill Candee
Was there no escape from the madness of the mart, no surcease from the frenzy of the factory or the shibboleth of the shop!
"An Anarchist Woman" by Hutchins Hapgood
And should we ever have been presented with that new shibboleth "unassimilable"?
"Appearances" by Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson
This shibboleth has indeed always been religious.
"Quaker Hill" by Warren H. Wilson
That word "genteel" had become the shibboleth of the Gordon family in the last four years.
"'Lizbeth of the Dale" by Marian Keith
Unluckily, there are far too many parties in France, far too many nicknames, badges, and shibboleths.
"Literary Tours in The Highlands and Islands of Scotland" by Daniel Turner Holmes
It is one of the shibboleths by which he may be known.
"The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Complete" by Thomas Paine
An oath is the shibboleth of their sinister fellowship.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. XXII (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
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In poetry:

What cares the unconventioned wood
For pass-words of the town?
The sound of fashion's shibboleth
The laughing waters drown.
"June On The Merrimac" by John Greenleaf Whittier
Still are God's dumb creatures tortured,
Racial hatreds never cease,
And man's greatest self-delusion
Is the shibboleth of "Peace."
"Discouragement" by John Lawson Stoddard
'Twasq I dictated all their laws
And made State Frights substantially
Their shibboleth; I marked the flaws,
What time they schemed financially.
"The Dictator" by C J Dennis

In news:

When even the people responsible for communicating clearly are full of gobbledygook, one has to wonder where the shameful shibboleth is coming from.
In the wake of a great battle, the Gileadites set up a blockade to catch escaping enemies and asked anyone passing by to pronounce the word "shibboleth".
One of the shibboleths tossed about by some Republicans is that we need to get back to self-reliance .
Chris Matthews and the Shibboleth of Civility.
Short-lived shibboleth of a moderate Egypt.
One of the shibboleths tossed about by some Republicans is that we need to get back to self-reliance.
One of the shibboleths tossed about by some Republicans is that we need to get back to self- reliance .
His little reflection on my piece is a small anthology of the president's foreign policy shibboleths.
When you're shooting down shibboleths, it seems you're not allowed to take aim with a fully loaded barrel.
Almost all the shibboleths of Washington conventional wisdom took a hit in Tuesday's elections.
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In science:

Example federations are national education and research federations based on Shibboleth (e.g.
The Identity Crisis. Security, Privacy and Usability Issues in Identity Management
Microsoft’s Geneva inter-operates with Shibboleth, and on a policy level, to let e.g. national research federations share resources6 .
The Identity Crisis. Security, Privacy and Usability Issues in Identity Management
An example is uApprove, an optional extension for Shibboleth. uApprove is not location dependent, but has its own limitations: it is optional, and the control over that tool and its data (e.g. stored user consents) still resides at the IdP. 14 M.
The Identity Crisis. Security, Privacy and Usability Issues in Identity Management
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