Jump to content

The word Gypsy


Stacey

Recommended Posts

I've been wondering something since I read a thread here the other day (can't remember which one it was though). Some one replied to a thread and had used the word gypsy, not derogatory or anything and another member replied that gypsy was an offensive term or insult to Romani. Forgive my ignorance but I was wondering why?

 

I do understand that in the past the word gypsy was used in a negative fashion and used to make gypsy and traveller clans feel 'less' than others but it seems now that there are a lot of books that are about gypsy magic, Romani and other. There are lifestyle programs on gypsy or traveller clans and so it made me think that the term 'gypsy' like 'witch' was now claimed by those who were and made into a powerful word instead of a negative term.

 

Anyways I was just curious so I thought I'd ask.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Elfyd

Sandy,

 

There are several people here on-site with a much better understanding of gypsy lore and history but it is my understanding that the origin of term started with exiled gnostics from ancient Egypt.

 

Gypsy is a generic term now, the Romani prefer to be know as "The Travellers", they refer to non-Romani as "Gorgio".

Romani are indeed fascinating people with a long history and rich customs, they even have three languages as well as a detailed sign-language.

 

FFFF

Elf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

someone correct me if I am wrong here. But I think the name Gypsy came from how people said they acted. As in they wold gyp you if you dealt with them in any type of financial or barter system. thus being gypped the Romani people became derogatorily referred to. So now when they are called gypsy they are being called untrustworthy, swindlers, etc...Sort of like when someone says they have been jewed down on an item.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest MissTree

The word Gypsy is a derivation of the word Egyptian. When the Roma people first began appearing in Europe,(sometime after the 13th century....I think. Someone correct if I got that wrong?) it was believed that they came from Egypt. They didn't, but the "nickname" stuck.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On my mother's side of the family, we are predominately Melungeon ("Black Dutch", Bantu African (from early 1700's, free not slave), and Native American, Iroquois and Blackfoot). The Roma would go to the hills of Kentucky as I understand around the late 1800's. They would trade herbal remedies for herbs that my family had knowledge of how to find or they grew them. I am not sure how the word "gypsy" came into our family, but my grandmother calls me a gypsy out of respect. In our family it has roots with the Roma, but has come to mean someone who travels, is independent, and isn't much concerned with the rules of mainstream society. I can't say about the origin or etymology of the word, but that is how it is used in my family.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh thanks for the link MissyTree, will read this a few times, no doubt. Their lore is facinating.

 

Regards,

Gypsy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh where to begin...

 

The term gypsy came from the notion that Romani travellers were egyptian in origin.

 

The term gypped came from gypsy. Not the other way round - and yes that is insulting.

 

The Romani are the Romani, they prefer to be known as Roma unless they make it known their particular line (Rom, Dom, Lom, etc)

 

"Travellers" is an umbrella term for what was once known as gypsy. This covers Romany, Travellers (Pavees, though that is a term to be only used by themselves) and new age nomads.

 

Non-Roma are gorgio. Not-People.

 

Gypsy as a 'reclaimed' term is generally adopted by the nouveau Roma and the popularity surge in minority cultures. It's only recently that the holocaust against the Rom surfaced and the resentment helf against them for so long has ingrained much hatred in the term. The 'new found' gypsies generally have less of a trace on their roots with the generations upon generations still revile the term for the acts performed against gypsies for "the greater good"

 

Unless someone has adopted gypsy as a term themselves and uses it with you, use Traveller, Roma or Romani if you *must* but don't expect kudos, particularly if you're wrong in an instance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh where to begin...

 

 

The term gypped came from gypsy. Not the other way round - and yes that is insulting.

 

 

 

earlier today I re-read my post, and thought I bet I have the etymology wrong. That the term gypped came from gypsy. Thanks for clearing all of this up!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest MissTree

Oh thanks for the link MissyTree, will read this a few times, no doubt. Their lore is facinating.

 

Regards,

Gypsy

 

:chakrahearts:

 

It sure is. :-) Glad I could find a good link. (even if it did prove me wrong on the dates, lol)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Found an interesting article on gypsies. It looks to be well researched.

http://www.gypsyadvi.../gypsy_lore.htm

 

thanks for this Miss Tree - and to the other posters, I intend to get through these links and follow up on the info given once I get a chance (life is hectic at the mo!). i have done a wee bit of research but hope to do more.

 

My mum is from a long line of Scottish travellers, and there is Romani blood mixed in there, which is very evident as many of them have the skin, eye and hair colour of Romani and mum confirmed this.

 

I would add that my mum kept her upbringing a secret from us all until recently, she didn't want us to experience the stigma or verbal abuse which she had in the past, We have no pictures of when she was young, as she burned them when she thought she might be discovered by my fathers family members. Such a shame,

 

Some of the older family members still travel and I hope to persuade her to let me get to know more of her past before the last of this travelling family passes away.

 

So thanks again for the thread. :chakrahearts:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...