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- noun Alternative spelling of
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ORIGIN Greek, ‘retribution’, personified as the goddess of divine punishment. chutzpah 1892, from Yiddish khutspe "impudence, gall" from Heb. hutspah.
However, as a result of emulated polysemy, it has come, in English, to denote a positive quality, too (see the explanation of Jewish English khutspe on pp. 273-274 of "Words of Jewish Origin in English Dictionaries: The Case of farblondzhet,"