The world’s most difficult word to translate has been identified as “ilunga” from the Tshiluba language spoken in south-eastern DR Congo. It means “a person who is ready to forgive any abuse for the first time, to tolerate it a second time, but never a third time”, and tops a list drawn up by 1000 linguists, seconded by the Yiddish word shlimazl, “a chronically unlucky person”. Chutzpah must be in there somewhere: in a Jewish law article about the word’s first appearance in a Supreme Court decision Jack Achiezer Guggenheim says:
A federal court in the Northern District of Illinois noted in a decision a couple of years ago that chutzpah means shameless audacity; impudence; brass. Leo Rosten’s The Joys of Yiddish defines chutzpah as a Yiddish idiom meaning “gall, brazen nerve, effrontery.” But neither English translation can do the word justice; neither definition can fully capture the audacity simultaneously bordering on insult and humor which the word chutzpah connotes. As a federal district court in the District of D.C. noted in 1992 that chutzpah is “presumption-plus-arrogance such as no other word, and no other language can do justice to.”
Perhaps the classic “legal” definition of chutzpah is the closest; a person who kills his parents and pleads for the court’s mercy on the ground of being an orphan.
First link via Bookninja.