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Webster 1913 Edition


Gypsy

Gyp′sy

(jĭp′sy̆)
,
Noun.
;
pl.
Gypsies
(jĭp′sĭz)
.
[OE.
Gypcyan
, F.
égyptien
Egyptian, gypsy, L.
Aegyptius
. See
Egyptian
.]
[Also spelled
gipsy
and
gypsey
.]
1.
One of a vagabond race, whose tribes, coming originally from India, entered Europe in the 14th or 15th century, and are now scattered over Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Spain, England, etc., living by theft, fortune telling, horsejockeying, tinkering, etc. Cf.
Bohemian
,
Romany
.
Like a right
gypsy
, hath, at fast and loose,
Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.
Shakespeare
2.
The language used by the gypsies.
3.
A dark-complexioned person.
Shak.
4.
A cunning or crafty person.
[Colloq.]
Prior.

Gyp′sy

Adj.
Pertaining to, or suitable for, gypsies.
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 lever working up and down.

Gyp′sy

(jĭp′sy̆)
,
Verb.
I.
To play the gypsy; to picnic in the woods.
Mostly
,
Gyp′sy-ing
,
vb.
Noun.

Webster 1828 Edition


Gypsy

GYP'SY

,
Noun.
[See Gipsey.]

Definition 2023


Gypsy

Gypsy

See also: gypsy

English

Noun

Gypsy (plural Gypsies)

  1. (sometimes offensive) A member of the Romani people, or one of it sub-groups (Roma, Sinti, Romanichal, etc).
  2. A member of other nomadic peoples, not only of the Romani people; a traveller. Alternative spelling of gypsy

Usage notes

An exonym (external name) based on the mistaken belief that the Romani people came from Egypt, the term Gypsy is loaded with negative connotations.[1][2] Some dictionaries therefore either recommend avoiding the term entirely, or give it a negative or warning label.[3][4][5][6][7][8] Careful speakers and most international organizations typically use Romani, Roma (Rroma), or Rom (Rrom) as designations for the people, although narrowly speaking, the last two designate a subgroup. However, Gypsy is more common in informal speech than Romani, and is used by some British laws and court decisions, such as the Caravan Sites and Control of Development Act 1960 and the 1989 decision in the case of the Commission for Racial Equality v Dutton. This is because its offensiveness is not always understood by non-Romani, whose use of it is often not intended to cause offense. Further, some Romani organizations use "Gypsy" as a self-designation.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Proper noun

Gypsy

  1. (rare, sometimes offensive) The language Romani.

Usage notes

See the notes about the noun, above.

Translations

Adjective

Gypsy (not comparable)

  1. (sometimes offensive) Of or belonging to the Romani people or one of it sub-groups (Roma, Sinti, Romanichel, etc).

Usage notes

See the notes about the noun, above.

Translations

See also

References

  1. 1994, Jean-Pierre Liégeois, Roma, Gypsies, Travellers
  2. 1999, Arthur Kean Spears, Race and ideology: language, symbolism, and popular culture
  3. 2007, Tom Dalzell, editor, The new Partridge dictionary of slang and unconventional English, reprint edition, London [u.a.]: Routledge, ISBN 0415259371, page 943:
  4. 1998, Merriam-Webster's pocket guide to English usage, Springfield, MA: Merriam-Webster, ISBN 0877795142, page 178:
  5. 2009, Bryan A. Garner, Garner's modern American usage, 3rd edition edition, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195382757, page 405:
  6. 1973, [by] H.E. Wedeck with the assistance of Wade Baskin, Dictionary of gypsy life and lore, New York: Philosophical Library, ISBN 0806529857:
  7. (Can we date this quote?) A dictionary of modern legal usage, 3rd edition edition, New York: Oxford University Press, ISBN 0195384202, page 400:
  8. 2002, Guido Bolaffi, editor, Dictionary of race, ethnicity and culture, 1. publ., [Nachdr.]. edition, London: Sage, ISBN 0761969004, page 291:

gypsy

gypsy

See also: Gypsy

English

Alternative forms

Noun

gypsy (plural gypsies)

  1. (sometimes offensive) Alternative form of Gypsy: a member of the Romani people.
  2. (offensive) An itinerant person or any person suspected of making a living from dishonest practices or theft; a member of a nomadic people, not necessarily Romani; a carny.
    • Shakespeare:
      Like a right gypsy, hath, at fast and loose, Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.
    • Borat:
      I will look on your treasures, gypsy. Is this understood?
  3. (sometimes offensive) A move in contra dancing in which two dancers walk in a circle around each other while maintaining eye contact (but not touching as in a swing). (Compare whole gyp, half gyp, and gypsy meltdown, in which this step precedes a swing.)

Usage notes

See the usage note about Gypsy.

Synonyms

Derived terms

Translations

Adjective

gypsy (not comparable)

  1. Alternative form of Gypsy: of or belonging to the Romani people or one of it sub-groups (Roma, Sinti, Romanichel, etc).
  2. (offensive) Of or having the qualities of an itinerant person or group with qualities traditionally ascribed to Romani people; making a living from dishonest practices or theft etc.
    If anyone questions them, they'll fold up faster than a gypsy roofing company.

Usage notes

See the notes about Gypsy.

Derived terms

Verb

gypsy (third-person singular simple present gypsies, present participle gypsying, simple past and past participle gypsied)

  1. (intransitive) To roam around the country like a gypsy.
  2. To perform the gypsy step in contra dancing.
    • 1992 April 7, win...@ssrl01.slac.stanford.edu, contra-gypsies, in rec.folk-dancing, Usenet:
      Look at the person you're gypsying with, and convey the message that you notice them as a person and that you're glad that they're there, []
    • 1998, September 9, Jonathan Sivier, Contra Corners - followed by gypsy, in rec.folk-dancing, Usenet:
      The only one I know of is The Tease by Tom Hinds which starts with the actives gypsying and then swinging their neighbors and ends with contra []

See also

References