In this dictionary, Gypsy is used as a synonym for Romany except in articles on the Middle East and Asia. There the term applies to industrial nomads (peripatetics), mainly of Indian origin. The word is derived from "Egyptian" because, when the Romanies first came to western Europe, it was wrongly thought they had come from Egypt. Alternatively, some authors suggest that the name may come from a place called Gyppe in Greece. Early English laws and authors such as William Shakespeare used Egyptian (e.g., in the play Othello). The Spanish word gitano and the French gitan are of the same derivation.
   Gypsy is not a Gypsy word, and there is no single word for Gypsy in all Romani dialects. Rom (plural Rom or Roma) is a noun meaning "a man belonging to our ethnic group" but not all Gypsies call themselves Roma. The Sinti, the Manouche, and the Kaale of Finland use the word Rom only in the meaning of "husband." There is, on the other hand, a universal word for non-Gypsy, Gajo.
   In the western European image of a Gypsy, the idea of nomadism and self-employment is predominant. So we find, for example, a site on the World Wide Web proclaiming: "We are Cyber Gypsies - we roam the Net." A leading tennis player or international footballer is described in the media as leading a "Gypsy way of life." In eastern Europe, on the other hand, nomadism is not seen as a fundamental meaning of the equivalent of the word Gypsy (usually Tsigan) in eastern European languages. We find other paradoxes in their stereotype, with the Gypsies considered lazy but also as taking on the dirtiest work, foolish and at the same time cunning.
   In British planning law (cf. Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's Department Circular 1/2006), the term Gypsy does not apply to an ethnic group but rather to anyone traveling or who has traveled in a caravan for an economic purpose. With regard to race relations legislation, however, Gypsy is considered to be a synonym for the ethnic term Romany.

Historical dictionary of the Gypsies . .


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gypsy — (sometimes spelled Gipsy , Gipsey ) is a word used to name, as a blanket term, various unrelated ethnic groups or persons fitting the Gypsy stereotypes. It is usually intended to refer to members of the Roma people.EtymologyThe Oxford English… …   Wikipedia

  • Gypsy — (engl. für „Zigeuner“) bezeichnet neben dieser Bedeutung folgendes: eine Unterart des Jazz, siehe Gypsy Jazz ein Musical, siehe Gypsy (Musical) einen darauf basierenden Film aus dem Jahr 1962, siehe Gypsy (Film) einen Motorradclub, siehe Gypsy MC …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Gypsy — [jip′sē] n. pl. Gypsies [earlier gypcien, short for Egipcien, Egyptian: orig. thought to have come from Egypt] 1. [also g ] a member of a nomadic Caucasoid people with dark skin and black hair, found throughout the world and believed to have… …   English World dictionary

  • Gypsy — Gyp sy a. Pertaining to, or suitable for, gypsies. [1913 Webster] {Gypsy hat}, a woman s or child s broad brimmed hat, usually of straw or felt. {Gypsy winch}, a small winch, which may be operated by a crank, or by a ratchet and pawl through a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gypsy — Gyp sy (j[i^]p s[y^]), n.; pl. {Gypsies} (j[i^]p s[i^]z). [OE. Gypcyan, F. [ e]gyptien Egyptian, gypsy, L. Aegyptius. See {Egyptian}.] [Also spelled {gipsy} and {gypsey}.] 1. One of a vagabond race, whose tribes, coming originally from India,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gypsy — Gypsy, Gipsy The term has both ethnic and general reference: either to a member of dark skinned nomadic people of Hindu origin and associated with Egypt (hence the name) or a person who adopts the same mode of life. The OED gave priority to gipsy …   Modern English usage

  • Gypsy — Gyp sy (j[i^]p s[y^]), v. i. To play the gypsy; to picnic in the woods. Mostly, {Gyp sy*ing}, vb. n. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gypsy — also gipsy, c.1600, alteration of gypcian, a worn down M.E. dialectal form of egypcien Egyptian, from the supposed origin of these people. As an adjective, from 1620s. Cognate with Sp. Gitano and close in sense to Turkish and Arabic Kipti gypsy,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • gypsy — index migrant Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • gypsy — [ʒipsi] adj. et n. ⇒ Gipsy …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • gypsy — (also gipsy) ► NOUN (pl. gypsies) ▪ a member of a travelling people with dark skin and hair, speaking the Romany language. DERIVATIVES gypsyish adjective. ORIGIN originally gipcyan, short for EGYPTIAN(Cf. ↑Egyptian) (because gypsies were believed …   English terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”