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Arrogance, impudence; a Talmudic word that made its way into Yiddish from which it was adopted into American slang and has now entered the English language and is recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary as an English word. It comes from a root meaning ‘to peel’ and hence ‘to be bare’; chutzpah means barefacedness, sheer cheek. The classical definition of chutzpah is given in the story of the boy who killed his parents and then threw himself on the mercy of the court on the grounds that he was an orphan.

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies.

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