Shibboleth

Shibboleth (shĭbˈōlĕth) [key], 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.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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