See if you can work this one into the next conversation you have.

shibboleth (shib·bo·leth): / SHIB uh lith /

(1) a unique word, phrase, or custom used to identify members of a particular party, sect, class, etc., especially when such a thing is used intentionally to discern outsiders from members
(2) a catchword, motto, or slogan, especially one used or held by members of a particular group and considered by outsiders to be unimportant, meaningless, or misguided
(3) a common saying widely used or common belief widely held that has little current meaning or truth, especially when such a saying or belief interferes with a person’s ability to think or speak without preconceptions; truism; platitude

[From Hebrew shibboleth, a word found in Judges 12:4-6 that was used by the Gileadites as a test to detect the fleeing Ephraimites, who could not pronounce the ‘sh’ sound.  Ultimately from Hebrew šibbolet meaning “stream or torrent of water.”]

Usage: Much of the world’s anti-gay sentiment derives from outdated religious shibboleths perpetuated by childhood indoctrination and uncritical thinking.

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