Words at Play : Favorite Words From Foreign Languages

#3: Chutzpah

Language of Origin:

Yiddish

About the Word:

Chutzpah comes from the Yiddish khutspe, meaning "impudence."

In American English, chutzpah describes a particular kind of nerve, or gall. It refers to the supreme self-confidence that allows a person to do or say things that may seem shocking to others.

In one classic illustration of the concept, a man convicted of killing his parents asks the court for mercy because he's an orphan. That's chutzpah!

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March 28, 2015
persiflage Hear it
Frivolous bantering talk
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