Chutzpah (pronounced Hootspa) is a Jewish word meaning audacity or nerve.
I checked the Dictionary.com for the meaning of audacity. It gives the following:
Boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, conventional thought, or other restrictions
This is a Yiddish word for the confidence or courage that allows someone to do or say things that may seem shocking to others. In other words, it’s having the “gall” or “nerve”.
It can be used for both good and bad. Guy Kawasaki, who was the first marketing head for Steve Jobs, said calling up tech support to report a bug on pirated software is chutzpah.
Here are a few people who had Chutzpah (me think):
Nelson Mandela – Displayed audacity in his response to an oppressive regime in
. South Africa
Rosa Parks – Refused to sit in the back of the bus (where black people are supposed to sit).
Mahatma Gandhi – Attended the 1930 Round Table Conference in
and visited at the invitation
of the King without a shirt and wearing a garb. Buckingham
Mr. Atal Bihari Vajpayee – In 1999, when presenting the Stree Shakthi Puraskar award to Chinna Pillai, a village woman from Tamil Nadu, the much older Prime Minister bowed down in respect and touched her feet. That is chutzpah.
John Reid - 4th cricket test match
India vs. New
Zealand at Feroz Shah Kotla ground in which began on March 19, 1965. On
the last day, almost at the closing time, New Delhi started to bat for the second
needed 70 runs to win. After about a few overs, the drinks came on to the
field. This is a good chance for the New Zealanders to “waste” precious time
and thus end the test in a draw. Do you know what the New Zealand Captain John
Reid did? He told the drinks people not to come on to the field and continued
the match without a drinks break. India won by 7 wickets. I call that
chutzpah (sending back the drinks and giving the opponent a fair chance to win.) How many cricket captains will do that? India
When your bank sends you a nasty letter because you are one day late with your mortgage payment and at the end of the letter it says “We are your friendly banker and excellent customer satisfaction is our motto”. That is also chutzpah.
In Mumbai, the parents of my cousin arranged a bride for him. They were supposed to make a formal visit to the bride’s home on a Sunday. But my cousin was very curious to see how his future potential wife looks. He could not wait until the next Sunday. So, the previous Sunday, he goes to the bride’s home unannounced and tells the bride and her parents that he is the uncle of the groom. He said he will not be coming next week for the formal visit because he is going to
. The bride’s family took care of him well (SKC
- Sweet, Kaaram, Coffee) including the bride doing namaskaram (falling on his
Next Sunday he goes with his parents to the bride’s home. The bride and her parents were shocked to see this guy as the groom. When they asked him about this, my cousin said he came the previous week because he was curious to see how his future wife would look like. Posing as groom’s uncle the previous Sunday is Chutzpah. (They both got married and now live in a place called Chembur in Mumbai.)
Do you know anyone with chutzpah? Please tell me. Thanks.