bellwether
Jamie: In my AP 12 English Class at Bishop Union High School, we were curious to know why bellwether was spelt the way it was, opposed to bellwhether or bellweather? We figured that bell came from bellow, the sound a sheep makes, but where does bell come from? Please E-mail me with the answer!:)
gmk: A wether is an old sheep; in this case, one who has "learned the routine", and acts in a predictable manner. The bell is just that, a bell worn by the wether. The other sheep will follow the bellwether (even to the slaughterhouse).


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