|Shibboleth originally meant ear of corn in Ancient Hebrew. Today, because of a story in the bible, we use the word like this:
|Sounds like: SHIB-uh-lith (IPA: /’ʃɪbələθ/)|
The Gileadites vs. the Ephraimites
The Gileadites are the first on record, but human linguistic diversity makes similar tests easy to construct, and language-based shibboleths have been used throughout the gruesome history of human conflict; see here for a detailed listing.
- Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper, n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2013. <http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0>.
- The Oxford English Dictionary by Simpson, J. A and Weiner, E. S. C
1989, 2nd ed, ISBN 9780198611868, 20 v.
- “The New International Version (NIV) Bible.” New International Version (NIV) Bible. Biblica, n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2013. <http://www.biblica.com/niv/>.