List of English words of Romani origin

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These are words in the English language which come from Romani.

  • Bar - 'stone' in Romani, but colloquially used to mean a pound coin
  • Chav - a member of a youth subculture (from cha = "child")[1]
  • Chor - to steal, from the Romani word meaning the same
  • Cosh - a weapon, truncheon, baton (from the Romani word cosht = "stick")
  • Cushy - easy, good, fine (from the Romani word kusht or kushti)
  • Cushty - good (from the Romani word kusht or kushti)
  • Dinlo - idiot (either from the Romani word "dilo" meaning fool, or "dinilo" meaning crazy)
  • drag - to wear clothing carrying symbolic significance commonly associated with the opposite gender (possibly from indraka = "dress")
  • drag - a car, to race a car as in drag racing
  • Gadjo or Gadjie - a non-Romani
  • Jell - to go, from the Romani word "jall"
  • Lollipop - a type of candy, from the Romani "loli phabai", meaning red apple
  • Moosh - colloquial meaning a man, a bloke, from Romani moosh meaning man.
  • Nark - a police informer (from nāk, nose)
  • Pal - a friend, from the Romani word phral, meaning brother
  • Ratley - a female, from the Romani word "rakli" meaning the same
  • Romanipen - the spirit of being Romani, "Romani-ness"
  • Shiv - an improvised knife or similar weapon (possibly from chivomengro = "knife")
  • Skip (waste collecting container like on building sites) - from Romani word skip meaning basket
  • Togs - clothes (colloquial) from the Romani word togs meaning clothes[2]

See also[edit]

  • Polari - slang used by several British subcultures, which includes numerous terms from Romani


  1. ^ "UK | 'Asbo' and 'chav' make dictionary". BBC News. 8 June 2005. Retrieved 2011-08-13. 
  2. ^ Johns Hopkins University; JSTOR (Organization) (1934). Modern Language Notes. 49. Johns Hopkins Press. p. 99. Retrieved 9 December 2011.