gypsies


gypsies
Gypsies are a people scattered through many countries. The name gypsy comes from the word ‘Egyptian’ because gypsies were once thought to have come from Egypt. Some people now believe that they originally came from India. In the US gypsies are called Roma, and in Britain they are known as Romanies or travellers, although the name travellers is more often used for Irish travellers, a group in Britain who, like gypsies, do not live in settled communities but travel about from place to place living in caravans. The traditional language of the gypsies is Romany, and new words are made up from Romany elements rather than borrowed from English.
  Roma or Romanies, like many other minority groups, have a strong sense of pride in their identity. In Britain, they are sometimes treated with fear and suspicion by the rest of the population and are often forced to move on from places where they stop.
  Gypsies usually make money by selling new and second-hand goods. Some collect and sell scrap metal, while others do agricultural work. A few make a living from entertainment and singing. The women are known for selling clothes pegs, ‘lucky’ white heather or bunches of flowers. Many meet each year at the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria.
  Gypsies have always been associated with fortune-telling. They can be found at fairgrounds predicting people’s future by reading their palms (= examining their hands) or looking into a crystal ball. Because of the mystery associated with their origins and their magical powers, gypsies have a popular romantic image that conflicts with the reality of families living on dirty caravan sites and being moved on by council officials or the police. Americans have little contact with gypsies and think of the Roma only as exciting, mysterious people who wear brightly coloured clothes and gold jewellery and have unusual powers. The romantic image was taken up by the US striptease artist, Rose Havoc, who called herself Gypsy Rose Lee on stage. In Britain a character called Mystic Meg used to appear on television each week, dressed in strange clothes and with an extravagant air of mystery, to predict the winners of the National Lottery.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gypsies — est une émission de télévision québécoise diffusée en 2000. Synopsis Cette section est vide, insuffisamment détaillée ou incomplète. Votre aide est la bienvenue ! Distribution Marcel Sabourin Emmanuel Bilodeau Benoît Brière Louis Philippe… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Gypsies — (Verstümmelung aus Egyptians), englische Bezeichnung für Zigeuner …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Gypsies —    The Gypsies, or Roma, entered Europe during the Middle Ages from Northern India. The fact that the Roma had migrated to Europe from the ostensible home of the “Aryan race” did not prevent the Nazis from portraying them as an inferior people… …   Historical dictionary of the Holocaust

  • Gypsies —    Since the Romantic period, Gypsies have had a glamorous image for writers and artists outside their communities, evoking ideas of freedom, exotic passion, mystery, and a life close to nature. In folk tradition, however, the stereotyping is… …   A Dictionary of English folklore

  • Gypsies — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gypsies — noun Shortened form of gypsies kiss rhyming with piss …   Wiktionary

  • GYPSIES —    a race of people of wandering habits, presumed to be of Indian origin, found scattered over Europe, Asia, and Africa, and even in America, who appear to have begun to migrate westward from the valley of the Indus about A.D. 1000, and to have… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Gypsies —    See Roma …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

  • Gypsies —    See Roma people …   Encyclopedia of Protestantism

  • gypsies — gyp·sy || dʒɪpsɪ n. member of a nomadic people originally from India …   English contemporary dictionary


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