Gadjo (non-Romani)

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In Romani culture, a gadjo (feminine: gadji) is a person who has no Romanipen. This usually corresponds to not being an ethnic Romani, but it can also be an ethnic Romani who does not live within Romani culture. It is often used by Romanies to address or denote outsider neighbors living within or very near their community. Romanies of Western Europe and the Americas often interpret gadjos as "impure" because they consider that only those following Romani Code are "pure".


The exact origin of the word is not known. One theory considers that the word comes from the proto-Romani word for "peasant" and has the same root as the Romani word "gav" (a village). Romani ancestors were nomadic musicians and craftspeople; they did not live in villages[citation needed].


Gadgie or gadge is a term used for any man in the Scots language,[1][2] and in the English of Ulster and North East England.

Gadjo is also used as a slang word in French, notably in the south, where it means "man".

The Bulgarian word "гадже" (pronounced [ˈɡadʒɛ]) means "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" and until recently used to be the most widely used word with this meaning.

The Romanian nouns gagic and gagică mean "boyfriend" and "girlfriend", respectively, or also "guy" and "girl". Gagiu is sometime used to describe a guy who doesn't belong to a group or a gang.

After passing through Caló, Spanish derivatives gachó and gachí have come to mean "man, lover" and "woman, girl"; similarly, Portuguese slang uses gajo and gaja for "man" or "woman".

See also[edit]

  • Gadjo dilo ("The crazy gadjo") is a French-Romanian film about a Frenchman who travels to Romania after a Romani musician.
  • Romanipen


  1. ^ Robinson, Mairi, ed. (1987). The Concise Scots Dictionary. Aberdeen University Press. p. 221. ISBN 0-08-028492-2. 
  2. ^ "Dictionary of the Scots Language". Retrieved 6 September 2014. 


  • Lev Tcherenkov, Stephan Laederich "The Rroma"
  • Raymond Buckland "Gypsy Witchcraft & Magic"

External links[edit]