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Tuesday, April 9, 2013

“Growing a Pair” as a Partial Synonym for Building Chutzpah

As discussed last week, I’ve been tracking chutzpah-related traffic online.  And I’ve found a lot of co-occurrence between “chutzpah” and “growing a pair”, or, as puts it, “Growing some @#$%ing balls”.

I’ve been wrestling with the idea – maybe I just have too much time to think – of what the difference is between chutzpah, at least the way I’ve been using it, and growing a pair.

I think I have an idea.

“Chutzpah” has to do with getting something you want regardless of what it takes.  Obviously, one thing it “takes” or might “take” is getting someone else out of the way.  But that’s not the point; the point is getting what you want.

“Growing a pair” puts the idea of besting the other person front and center.  Showing balls is specifically edging someone else out of the way, whether to get something you want or for some other purpose.

Close, but not exactly the same.