In these trying days that bring us down, we must never forget how to laugh…. hopefully this will help…

Chutzpah is a Yiddish word meaning gall, brazen nerve,  effrontery, sheer guts plus arrogance;

It’s Yiddish and, as  Leo Rosten writes, no other word and no other language can do it justice.

This example is better than 1,000 words…


A little old lady sold pretzels on a street corner  for 25 cents each..

Every day a young man would leave his  office building at lunch time, and as he passed the pretzel  stand, he would leave her a quarter,
but never take a  pretzel.

This went on for more than 3 years.

The two of them never spoke.

One day, as the young man passed the old lady’s stand and left his quarter as usual,
the pretzel lady  spoke to him.

Without blinking an eye she said:

“They’re 35 cents now.”


  1. MTGradwell said,

    December 14, 2009 at 20:01

    … to which the young man replied “well, I suppose I’d better take the pretzels I’ve paid for, then”?

  2. siphon said,

    December 14, 2009 at 20:52

    Much better definition (courtesy of none other than Christopher Hitchens): A man saw a lady and her son walking near the surf. All of a sudden a huge waved touched shore and grabbed the boy and swept him to sea. The man, at great personal risk, braved the surf and rescued the boy, pulling him to shore. The woman ran over, hugged her son, then looked up at the stranger and said “He had a hat.”

  3. NavyBrat said,

    December 15, 2009 at 00:22

    or defecating on the door-step of a complete stranger – and then banging on the door, demanding toilet paper …

  4. katz said,

    December 15, 2009 at 02:52

    Naming your company “Urban Moving Systems” when you intend to implode an entire urban complex is chutzpah.

    Dominik Suter has chutzpah. He didn’t try to cover his tracks, he just made it back to Israel. Today, he is back in the USA. That’s even more chutzpah.

    Then again, staging this attack on a date like 911 is chutzpah. In your face chutzpah.

    What you guys don’t get is that chutzpah is not a joke.

  5. Tom Dennen said,

    December 15, 2009 at 08:59

    “Jewish Mother” gives her son a blue shirt and a red shirt for his birthday.

    He wears the red one.

    “You didn’t like the blue shirt?”

  6. gigi browning said,

    January 4, 2010 at 04:00

    I also like the example #2 submitted by “siphon said” in the “Comments” column.

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