bellwether

KJ just used the term bellwether in our meeting. I’d never heard this term before and I liked the sound of it. I hopped on Wikipedia for clarity on the word’s meaning and to get some of the back story. I like to know where terms come from…the word’s etymology.

“A bellwether is any entity in a given arena that serves to create or influence trends or to presage future happenings.”

So that’s pretty clear. Now about the etymology.

bellwether_sheep_web_site_021310“The term is derived from the Middle English bellwether and refers to the practice of placing a bell around the neck of a castrated ram (a wether) leading his flock of sheep. The movements of the flock could be noted by hearing the bell before the flock was in sight.”

I can’t wait to find ways to use the word in my own conversations. How could you use this word today?

One thought on “bellwether

  1. antlike says:

    Ruth is considered a bellwether for profile pictures since everyone wants to follow her novel, funny, and self-depricating style (like a thumbface to match her expression).

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