The Good Friday agreement is a ‘shibboleth’? What’s a shibboleth?

The shadow trade secretary has apologised for his misuse of the word. But what does it mean? An ear of corn? A stream in flood? A way of identifying enemies?

It was reported this week that the shadow trade secretary, Barry Gardiner, had called the Good Friday agreement a “shibboleth”. Critics pounced on social media, complaining that Gardiner didn’t know what the word meant. But did anyone?

Since the 1930s, 'shibboleth' has meant simply an outdated view

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