semantic change: chutzpah

Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Fri Jul 9 16:13:25 UTC 2004

on Jul 8, 2004, at 10:41 AM, i wrote about oprah's Chutzpah Awards.
and then, in the same day's Palo Alto Daily News there's a Dear Abby
column headed "Taking uninvited kids [to a bar mitzvah] takes serious
chutzpah".  jeanne phillips, as Abby, introduces the word herself,
glossing it as "nerve or gall".

arnold (zwicky at, noting that some people (not Abby)
seem to be using "chutzpah" to cover the same territory as non-literal
"balls", so that "chutzpahdik" (mentioned by bernard kane) translates
as "ballsy"

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