belwether (bellwether)

teatom

Senior Member
German, fluent in English and Spanish
Any body heard about this expression: Telmex ist the belwether of the Mexican Stock exchange. Must be something like Champion or: Positve Sign. Thanx.
 
  • Szkot

    Senior Member
    UK English
    Try bellwether - One that serves as a leader or as a leading indicator of future trends - (The American Heritage® Dictionary)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    The word is in our dictionary with two L's: bellwether. It is an indicator of the future or a leading indicator, much like harbinger. It can be good news or bad news. :) It is not always a positive sign.

    As a side note, a "wether" is a male sheep. Traditionally, the sheep that leads the others wears a bell. He is the "bellwether".
     
    Last edited:

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The word is in our dictionary with two L's: bellwether. It is an indicator of the future or a leading indicator, much like harbinger. It can be good news or bad news. :) It is not always a positive sign.

    As a side note, a "wether" is a male sheep. Traditionally, the sheep that leads the others wears a bell. He is the "bellwether".
    Just a tiny point, James. In BE, a wether is certainly a male sheep, but one which has been castrated. A male sheep which is 'complete', in dog breeders' argot, is a ram.

    Castration in sheep, as in some other animals, has the effect of rendering the animal more docile and tractable, less given to panic, which is, I understand, why a wether is given the bell, to be the leader, and calming influence, as you describe.
     
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