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Gypsy Meaning That Nobody Is Talking About

Gypsy Meaning That Nobody Is Talking About

There are many myths about gypsies and gypsy culture. 

Myths often lead to misunderstandings and even fear. 

Some facts about these fascinating people can eliminate myths, and lead to understanding and acceptance.

What Is A Gypsy?

Gypsies originated in northern India. 

They were Caucasians with dark skin and dark hair. 

Gypsy groups left India at least 1000 years ago, migrating throughout Europe and eventually worldwide.

A long-ago myth that gypsies came from Egypt is the reason for their name:  gypsy meaning “Egyptian.” 

They are Europe’s largest ethnic minority group, although they also live in North America and throughout Asia.

There are different types of gypsies. 

While the word generally refers to Roma gypsies, it is also used to describe Irish Travelers. 

These two groups have different ethnic backgrounds but share a similar nomadic lifestyle. 

Romanichal gypsies are also known as English Travelers. 

They are a sub-group of Roma, living mainly in the United Kingdom and other English-speaking countries. 

Bohemian gypsies migrated to Bohemia. 

Many were killed during the Holocaust.

What Is The History and Culture of Roma Gypsies?

As the most well-known group, the Romani people began to migrate after the 6th century. 

As part of the genocide during World War II, many Roma gypsies were killed on sight, or sent to concentration camps. 

They were considered a racially inferior group. 

After the war, Romani women underwent forced sterilization in Czechoslovakia. 

This forced sterilization continued for decades in various European countries.

There are approximately one million members of this ethnic group in the United States. 

The first were sent as slaves to this continent in 1492.

While some Romani people retained the Hindu faith, and some became Muslim or developed their own religions, most Roma gypsies are Christian. 

They tended to adopt the main religion of their new country. 

In the United States, most Roma gypsies are Protestant Christians or Roman Catholics.

Traditionally, the extended family is the highest priority, and a community often consists of an extended family. 

Both genders usually marry at a young age, and marriages are often arranged

A married woman becomes part of her husband’s family. 

Her role is to take care of her husband, children, and in-laws. 

Growing older, and having children, both improve the status of a woman. 

Families are very close, and the oldest man has the most authority.

Families and individuals are expected to obey the Romani Code. 

The Code covers relationships within the community, behaviors, customs, and everyday life. 

While some rules vary from group to group, others are common in all Romani groups.  The Code is passed on orally.

The conflict resolution court is known as the Kris. 

It is only used to resolve issues involving Romanies, and only if the issues cannot be settled in an informal gathering.

Regardless of one’s religion, Hindu purity laws still apply. 

The lower body, childbirth, death, and certain animals are all considered impure. 

Roma gypsies do not believe in cremation.  When someone dies, he or she must be buried.

The word “Roma” means “people,” and it is the term most prefer. 

Their nomadic lifestyle began by necessity.  As they faced discrimination and were often enslaved, continuously moving was a way to survive. 

Because of this lifestyle and their closed culture, they were treated as outsiders.

During World War II, they were considered inferior, particularly by the Germans.  Roma dwarves and twins were used in experiments by Dr. Josef Mengele.  Approximately 220,000 lost their lives during this period.

In the Romani culture, it is considered appropriate to display one’s good fortune. 

Women enjoy brightly colored clothing and gold jewelry.  Homes have silver or gold ornaments, fresh flowers, and religious icons.

It is also considered appropriate to share one’s good fortune with others.  Guests are often given gifts as well as food. 

The Romani people are generous and realize the importance of good social relations.

Most Roma gypsies are bilingual. 

They speak a Romani dialect, and the language of the country where they reside. 

They also borrow words from the country’s language and incorporate it into Romani.

In the past, Roma gypies travelled and set up camps. 

They primarily interacted with the rural population in the area. 

Men engaged in trades that fit the nomadic lifestyle, such as dealing horses and coppersmithing. 

Women begged or engaged in fortune-telling.  Eventually, fortune-telling was almost entirely limited to the gypsies.

In the present, marginalization, exclusion, and discrimination still exist. 

These issues are mainly based on old myths that have no basis in fact. 

Rumors continue to claim gypsies are thieves, dishonest, and that they even steal children. 

While there are modern gypsies who do engage in fortune-telling, most have the same types of jobs as other Americans. 

Instead of finding Roma gypsies in caravans and camps, they can be found in their own homes and apartments. 

Even gypsies who continue to practice their old traditions are not different from anyone else.

What Is The History and Culture of The Romanichal Gypsy?

It is believed the Romanichal gypsies migrated to the old Kingdom of England during the 16th century. 

Most of this group continued to reside in England, but some lived in Scotland and Southern Wales. 

Some emigrated to other English-speaking countries, and many descendants of the original Romanichal gypsies now live in the United States. 

Some speak a creole language, as well as English.

Like other ethnic minorities, the Romanichal people endured racism and persecution. 

England started deporting these individuals in the mid-1500s. 

They were transported from country to country and were eventually transported to the Americas and Australia. 

However, a law appeared in 1562.  Individuals could become English subjects if they were born in Wales or England. 

The catch was they were required to assimilate into the general population where they lived. 

As this proved to be impossible, 106 individuals were eventually condemned to death, and 9 of the individuals were executed. 

Discrimination against Romanichal gypsies continued, from both the authorities and the general public. 

During the 17th century, they were shipped to Southern plantations in America to work as slaves. 

Some were even owned by former black slaves who had achieved their own freedom.

Free Romanichal gypsies travelled in horse-drawn carts or on foot. 

They travelled to find work and set up camps. 

They primarily did agricultural work, but also sold services or goods. 

In the modern era, Romanichal people have worked in tree surgery, dealing scrap metal, dealing horses, paving asphalt, fortune-telling, and setting up travelling amusement fairs. 

More recently, descendants of Romanichal gypsies can be found in a wide variety of professions. 

Examples include boxers, British footballers, journalists, and nurses.

In the present, most families have houses or live in apartments.  Some still live in caravans, or trailers.  Traveler sites rarely have indoor bathrooms.  Showers, sinks, and toilets are in outdoor utility areas, as the lower body and bathing are considered unclean. 

As it is also considered unclean to do laundry indoors, there are usually washing machines in these utility blocks. 

Traditional Romanichal people who live in trailers have double walls to separate their bathrooms from their living areas.

While the nomadic lifestyle is not as common as it was in the past, purity traditions have not been abandoned. 

Traditional Romanichal gypsies also do not share utensils, plates, or cups with another person.  This type of sharing does not occur even within families. 

Running water is used to wash each item, after which it is soaked in boiling water, and dried with a special towel. 

The towel can only be used for that one particular purpose. 

Each item must be washed again before it is reused. 

This tradition is also related to the stagnant water and dust that were common during the travelling era. 

It protects against illness and disease.

Pregnancy and childbirth are viewed with superstition. 

The woman cannot have physical contact with anyone and cannot resume relations with her own husband until after the child has been christened. 

Her husband takes over the household chores during this period. 

Her blood is considered powerful.  The newborn has a red string tied on his ankle until he reaches his first birthday. 

The string symbolizes the baby’s tie to his mother’s blood.  When the new mother speaks, her words are considered powerful, too. 

While “jumping the broom” is a custom that is often attributed to other ethnic groups, it has its origins with the English Romanichal gypsies.  It was mainly practiced by couples who eloped. 

The custom varied depending on location, but it was also practiced by couples who married by verbal agreement rather than a legal contract.

Unlike dark-skinned Roma gypsies, Romanichal gypsies often have light skin, blue eyes, and blonde hair. 

This is because intermarriage between the gypsies and white Europeans was acceptable and common. 

Due to their light features, many were able to avoid discrimination and genocide. 

In Great Britain, though, racism against this group is still prevalent. 

There is said to be more racism and discrimination against Romanichal gypsies than against any other ethnic group. 

There are currently more Romanichals in the United States than in the United Kingdom.

History and Culture of The Bohemian Gypsy

Gypsies who migrated to France by way of Bohemia were known as Bohemians

Originally, Bohemia was in Moravia, which later became part of the Czech Republic.

World War II took a toll on gypsies, including Bohemian gypsies. 

The gypsies who lived in France were not safe, either. 

Between 3,000 and 6,000 were sent to some of the most infamous concentration camps. 

While most people know this period as the Holocaust, gypsies refer to it as ” Porajmos,” or “devouring.” 

However, deportation to the camps was not the first step in eliminating the gypsies. 

They had been forced to carry I.D. cards bearing their photographs and fingerprints since 1912.

Myths and misinformation led the general population to care little about the fate of this minority group. 

They were portrayed as spies, criminals, and individuals who practiced black magic. 

French authorities played a role in removing gypsies. 

Harassment and other restrictive measures intensified, and thousands of gypsies were interned by French police. 

Some were sent to concentration camps in Germany.

Bohemian gypsies spoke the Bohemian Romani dialect. 

The dialect ceased to exist after World War II. 

This was because there were few Bohemian gypsies left after the Holocaust. 

Of all the Roma people living in Europe at the time, it is estimated that approximately 25% were killed. 

Decades ago, the word “Bohemian” came to mean a nomadic lifestyle.  When the term became a part of pop culture, it was not connected to the Bohemian gypsies. 

Instead, it was simply a new way of life for young people who were not interested in traditional values and a traditional way of living.

What Is Gypsy Life and Culture in the 21st Century?

Prejudice and discrimination are not all in the past.  In England, for example, media reports that there is more discrimination against gypsies than against any other group. 

They have a high suicide rate, and a low life-expectancy. 

In Hungary, Roma men, women, and children have been subjected to hate crimes. 

They are discriminated against in countries around the world, although they are Europe’s largest minority group. 

In the United States, most gypsies have assimilated.  In most cases, it is impossible to know who a member of this ethnic group is. 

Still, most individuals who share this ancestry rarely talk about it. 

They continue to experience prejudice and discrimination in schools, in the workplace, and even in their personal lives.

These issues continue because myths and rumors continue. 

Rumors are still passed that gypsies steal from everyone, kill chickens, and take away other people’s children. 

Instead of embracing diversity, too many people pass rumors down from generation to generation.

The term Antiziganism- or Antigypsyism- describes the racism, prejudice, hostility, and discrimination directed at this one ethnic minority. 

In the United States, the Elsie Paroubek case in 1911 was an example. 

When the five-year-old girl disappeared and was later found dead, rumors spread through the Czech-American community in Chicago that she had been stolen and killed by the gypsies. 

As anti-gypsy prejudices were common in Czech society, even her father believed it. 

In the present, popular culture and even Halloween costumes portray gypsies as different from other people, and to be feared, ridiculed, or hated. 

It is estimated up to a million individuals in the United States share this ancestry. 

While most are not full-blooded Romani, their accomplishments are impressive. 

Americans of Romani descent include musicians, actors, fashion designers, and writers.  They do not only engage in fortune-telling and palm-reading.

There have been many famous people of Romani descent. 

Actor Michael Caine, Elvis Presley, Yul Brynner, Charlie Chaplin, and Pablo Picasso were all descended from the Romani people. 

Perhaps it is time to eliminate myths and focus on accomplishments. 

Perhaps it is time to celebrate diversity so individuals can proudly claim their heritage and practice their traditions without fear of discrimination.

What is The Future Of The Gypsy Practice?

Historians learned the Gypsies aka Roma people originated from India when they traced Gypsy history for some time. At first, many believed they came from Egypt. Gypsies are wandering people, they are that way due to oppression and inequality that their people have experienced for centuries. They have been across all parts of the world maintaining their traditions and close family connections. Gypsies were always regarded with suspicion and they are always unwanted that causes them to fear rejection. Thus, they became nomadic people.

Initially portrayed as cunning, mysterious, and steals. The word gypped (swindle, to defraud) must have come from the word Gypsy, as others believed.


  • DRESSES IN BRIGHT-COLORED CLOTHING. To them, that is how dressing should be, not white or any dull color. Should be proud, exuberant, and lively.
  • THEY WEAR LOTS OF TRINKETS. Gypsies love to wear gold, which in a way is also to gain recognition as it is also a status symbol to them.
  • PRACTICES FORTUNE-TELLING. Gypsies use it as a way of livelihood, but they only practice fortune-telling with outsiders but not to their people.
  • ENTERTAINERS. Known to be good entertainers, and can dance, sing, and play musical instruments.
  • TRADERS OF METALLURGY. Gypsies trade precious metals such as gold and other less valuable metals such as platinum, silver, copper, and palladium.
  • ISOLATES THEMSELVES. They protect their unit and they also enforced laws on their own. It is to be followed by anyone who wishes to stay with the community.
  • PRACTICES ANIMAL HUSBANDRY. They breed and care for farm animals.
  • DO NOT PRACTICE OR BELIEVE IN A SINGLE FAITH. They adopt the religion of whatever country they live in.
  • THEY TRAVEL IN CARAVANS. Previously they travel in a colorful wagon with lots of painted flower decors and hanging ornaments, and it is pulled by a heavy horse. Now they have caravans to help them travel anywhere, the caravans likewise, are colorful.


  • THEY ARE STILL COINED AS OUTSIDERS. Once authority or other people get a whiff of their roots, they still get suspicious. Sometimes when Gypsies try to live peacefully, their history follows them anywhere they go. If they travel and try to take roots in one place, there will also be the authorities who will apprehend them.
  • STILL HAVE THEIR COMMUNITY. Gypsies still maintain being a highly familial and close-knit group. They will always protect their community from anyone who will try to do something undesirable to their community. They also live in houses and apartments now, but they are a quiet community and don’t want to be discriminated against. They will only show or tell about their roots to other Gypsies.

  • MAINTAINS ITS SOCIAL DISTANCE. Having to protect themselves from the discrimination, they try to be as peaceful as possible but once others learned of their origin they were met with suspicion and probing looks.

  • STILL TRAVELS. Because of their wandering nature, Gypsies still travel as much as they can. They will change their roots if it is already needed. They now use cars and RV’s getting from one place to another, horses and wagons are a thing of the past for them.

  • THEY EARN A DIFFERENT LIVING NOW. Though there was a prior trial of employment of Gypsies it didn’t stand for long. Now, they are focusing more on weaving furniture, brick making, reselling clothes and other goods, they even trade horses just to get by.


  • Elimination of discrimination. There are now over 12 European countries that have signed to commit not to discriminate Gypsies (Roma). They are given their right to education, employment, health, and housing. The signing also focuses on issues such as poverty, gender equality, and of course, discrimination.
  • Christians are trying their best to raise the issues against discrimination where clergy addresses the subject of racism. They told about the racism made to traveling communities such as the Gypsies that they should be given the same respect, the same right to have their place in a community, and land should be made available to them. It was believed that all forms of racism whether to Gypsies, Jews, Greek, freemen, or slaves are evil and must be stopped. Saying that it is an actual affront not just to men but to God.
  • Large numbers of Gypsies shown their belief in Christ identifying themselves as what was written in the bible about people getting estranged and thrown away from their lands.

But sadly, according to the Roma Support Group, despite the many initiatives, Gypsies continue to face discrimination everywhere they go. The lack of implementation of the human rights of Gypsies just makes the situation worse. There is still hate speech being made everywhere, there are slurs of many forms. Harassment is also not unusual to them as it somehow becomes a part of their lives. Violence is also not far behind.

  • Today, Gypsies or Roma are mostly living in Europe since there are estimated more than thirteen million Gypsies living there are facing fear not just with the discrimination but with the humanitarian disaster we are facing now. Most of them don’t have sanitation, no access to water or even electricity. Most of them are living in shanties or what they call shantytowns where everything is improvised, it would not be impossible for any of them to get the dreaded disease since they live near each other and there is no social distancing that is practiced. They also have limited access to doctors because they are not prioritized for such admittance.

  • The Gypsies don’t have work, no food, and no decent living spaces. They don’t know if they will endure this pandemic and the future doesn’t look bright either. Discrimination hasn’t been answered or given any solution yet and is still one of the top concerns Gypsies is facing, yet, here is another problem that they need to survive.

  • The foreseeable future is bleak for the Gypsies and as always will have to rely on their smart, self-reliance, and their traditional practices to hurdle another difficulty.

What Does it Mean to Be a Gypsy?

The term Gypsy refers to people who live on the road or travel by caravan. They are a traditional itinerant people, originally from N India. Today, the term ‘Gypsy’ is used to describe individuals who live permanently in a community in different countries. The word ‘Gypsy’ is not related to Romani, or the ancient Greeks, but may be related to Sanskrit words.

The term “Gypsy” is commonly used to refer to a member of the Roma ethnic group. This term has negative connotations and is often misused by non-Roma. In the United States, there are over two million gypsy items and costumes available on eBay. Unfortunately, this trend only reinforces racist stereotypes of Romani women. While the gypsy name may not be as offensive in some countries, it is still the most widespread and commonly used term in the Western World.

Traditionally, the term “Gypsy” has negative connotations, and is also used to refer to Roma who don’t speak their language. As a result, many Roma were forced to integrate into local cultures in order to survive, and many of them migrated to the US in the 1800s. In the US, many of them settled in the southern and western parts of the country. However, the discrimination continued. In addition to not being recognized by the majority of the population, the language and culture of the Roma are very secretive, and the outside world is very suspicious of Roma.

The term “Gypsy” is an euphemism, and many Roma refer to themselves as such. The word Gadje, which has a pejorative connotation, means “bumpkin”, yokel, or barbarian. In the past, the term “Gypsy” was used as an insult against Roma. The word is often used as a racial slur to describe a group, but it is still an unacceptable one.

Some Roma consider themselves to be a Romani. The word is considered to have pejorative connotations. It can mean bumpkin, yokel, or barbarian, depending on the context. While there are no universally accepted Gypsy terms, many Gypsies refer to themselves as “Roma.” The term is also used by a variety of other names in the Middle East and North Africa.

The Roma were often enslaved, and their language was suppressed. In the 15th century, German nobles and Hungarians enslaved them, and the German government ordered citizens to murder them. During the 1800s, many Roma migrated to the US, settling in western and southern regions. Professor Ian Hancock explains that the discrimination continued even in America. The term “gypsy” is a racial slur, and the word ‘gypsy’ has become a negative term for the people of this community.

In addition to its negative connotations, the word ‘Gypsy’ is used to describe Roma in North America. This term is often used in a pejorative way, but it is not as derogatory as the name suggests. The Romani word “Aegyptian” is also used in some regions. The people in this region are generally referred to as “Roma.”

The term “gypsy” has many negative connotations, as it is not a racial group. It refers to a subgroup of Roma who are categorized as Aegyptian. The word is sometimes used pejoratively, but it is also a term for a group of Roma who mainly live in the United States. The word can be derogatory or a racial, as well as a symbol of racism.

Although the term is generally considered a negative term, it does not reflect the true meaning of the term. It refers to people who are not Roma. In contrast, the term Gadje is a common, generic name that has no connotations. Despite the negative connotations of the term, the word Gypsy does not have an exact meaning in English. It simply means a person who lives and travels in this category.

As a racial minority, Romani people are often discriminated against. The word Gypsy is a noun. It is derived from the Greek gypcien, which means ‘gypsy.’ The Spanish word gitano is a form of the word gitano. While both terms refer to a person who is a Gypsy, “gypsy” is often associated with a female bandit.

What Makes a Person a Gypsy?

The term ‘Gypsy’ has multiple meanings. A gypsy is a person who is nomadic, itinerant, or unconventional. It may refer to a part-time college professor, a singer in a chorus line, or an independent, non-unionized operator. It can also refer to anyone who does not fit into any one category. The definition of gypsy is not regulated by dictionaries, so the usage of this word varies widely.

The word ‘Gypsy’ is not a purely ethnic category. It describes people who live as Travelers, or who have no particular connection to the Roma. Some dictionaries use it to describe people of any ethnicity. It is a common term in the English-speaking world and is used in everyday speech. However, the word Gypsy has become a derogatory term, which is why many people don’t like it.

What makes a person a Gypsy? The term is derived from the Middle English word gypcian, which means ‘egyptian.’ There are also Spanish and French versions of the term, which are similar in etymology. The word ‘gypsy’ is a derivative of the Greek and Latin words ‘gitan’, which mean ‘itinerant Egyptian.’ In addition to these meanings, modern Gypsy people are often considered to be nomads and don’t live in a traditional settlement.

Although Gypsy cultures have been largely eradicated by modern societies, the term has endured. Some of the oldest traditions are still alive and well among Gypsies, and they still retain some of their traditions, customs, and beliefs. A recent TLC documentary, “The Gypsy Sisters,” a reality show based on the history of the Romani people, confirms the persecution they faced. In fact, over one million people were killed by Nazis during World War II. The word “Traveller” also has a long history in this culture, with their origins in India and the Middle East.

The Gypsy culture has a unique identity, and there is no one definition of a Gypsy. The answer is Romanian, Greek, and Yugoslavian are common names. The people who live as Gypsies are not ashamed of their past and do not hide their identity. It is not a myth to be a Gypsy – they are not ashamed of it! There are many differences and similarities, and a person’s background is important to their ability to identify a Gypsy.

The Gypsy culture is unique in the United States. It is little-known in the US and is poorly represented on census forms. Its stereotypes harm modern perceptions of Gypsies. But the modern society has taken on this culture. The culture has become a linguist of sorts. The linguists of the community are very well-educated. They speak a variety of languages and dialects.

Generally speaking, a Gypsy is a member of the Romani ethnic group. Their ethnic roots can be traced back to India and have lived in different parts of Europe and America. TLC’s Gypsy primer confirms that they were persecuted by the Nazis and were killed over 1 million people during WWII. Some Gypsy groups also identify themselves as “Travellers” and ‘Romanichal’.

The Gypsy way of life differs from that of most other cultures. For one thing, Gypsies reject borders and are deeply suspicious of international borders. They have a very different attitude towards formal public schools and have never formally attended one. Until their first pregnancy, a Gypsy daughter in law is not considered a true woman until she gives birth to her first child. By then, she is a full-fledged Gypsy.

The term Gypsy refers to a group of people who have migrated from ancient India to modern Europe and America. The term ‘Gypsy’ comes from the Greek word ‘gypse’, which means “gypsy.” In fact, the word “Gypsy” has a double meaning. In some cases, it simply means a Romani-speaking group.