According to etymonline, the noun chutzpah came into English from Yiddish, with the term originally coming from Hebrew. I am wondering if the term has also entered German. I found the term chutzpadik in this German dictionary and Chuzpe in this one. Could I expect a well-educated native German speaker (not of Jewish descent) to understand the terms chutzpah or chutzpadik, or is it an uncommon word?
I am a historian and I had never encountered chutzpadik in German sources. I have found the word, however, in a Jüdisches Lexikon published in Berlin in 1927:
Ein chuzef, auch chuzpenik oder chuzpedig = frecher Mensch
and also in the 1903 issue of the Jewish magazine from Berlin Ost und West:
Gotteslästerer ... chuzpedige Lümmel
the latter passage being from a German translation of a Yiddish theatre piece.
I’ve never heard or seen the word chutzpadik in German. Chuzpe, on the other hand, is well-known. It’s not a word that the average German is using in everyday speech, but it occurs occasionally, say, in newspaper articles, sometimes with, sometimes without explanation.
I’m a native speaker and I have never heard that word.
Perhaps it is a bit more common in other regions then the one where I have grown up and live. There are local differences concerning the vocabulary of the spoken language. But I don’t think so in this case.
I think I’ve read chuzpe in a magazine once.
But long story short: Chutzpadik is not a common word in German.
Native speaker (Rhineland) here. I know and understand
- jmd. hat Chuzpe (allgemein gehalten)
- jmd. hat die Chuzpe, etwas zu tun (auf einen speziellen Fall bezogen)
and I know that other native speakers, at least those of higher education, should understand.
The word "Chutzpadik", as "freche Menschen", is unknown in modern German. Before Shoa, more Yiddish/Hebrew terms were known to everyday Germans than now.
The -dik ending is Yiddish, meaning "having this characteristic" and generally used to make an adjective from a noun.
Chutzpah is something one can have, a noun. Chutzpadik is an adjective meaning "having chutzpah." (Example: That answer was really chutzpadik.)
-dik does not come from Hebrew, and may come from the archaic high German from which Yiddish is also derived. But in any case, it's not modern German.