8 FEBRUARY 2010
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Chutzpah is a Yiddish word meaning gall, brazen nerve, effrontery, sheer guts plus arrogance. Yiddish itself was the language of eastern European Jewry which still struggles on and has found its way into the idiom via North America.
This little tale sums up chutzpah better than one thousand words.
THE ESSENCE OF CHUTZPAH...
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 three 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!"
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