Talk:Gypsy/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2

Gypsy actually an old word meaning 'Egyptian'

I'd like to see the article say GYPSY - An old word that is short for Egytian. Often through history the word has been used mistakenly in connection with the Indian originating Romani people who when travelling into Europe were mistaken as being from Egypt.

Today the word is still sometimes used in connection with the Romani people. Very often the term can be misused with many different travelling groups around the world.

Gypsy may mistakenly refer to; —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:30, 16 October 2007 (UTC)

Any member of any nomadic people (derogatory)

The article currently says:

any member of any nomadic people (the term is sometimes considered derogatory), especially:
  • the Roma and Sinti, found worldwide but mainly in Europe;
  • Travellers found mainly in Great Britain, Ireland and the United States; and
  • Luli in Central Asia.
  • Luoli (Chinese name for Gypsy) inhabited China in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368)
  • Gitanos (called Spanish Gypsies) that speak Caló.

I think this needs a source because in British English Gypsy means Roma who still roam (or have only recently settled in one place). It is sometimes used for (Irish) Travellers as well, but only loosly (as in "there is an illegal Gypsy site down the road") and not usually if the person using the term is asked to clarify, as in "are they Gypsies?". It is never used for those from other English ethenic backgrounds who choose to take up a itinerant lifestyle (eg New age travellers etc).

A Google search for [Gypsy] "returns 109,000 English pages from for gypsy" So clearly the British government does not think it a derogatory term. Also the British Government makes a distiction between Gypsy and (Irish) travalers See for example the second document returned when doing the search. CIRCULAR 01/06: PLANNING FOR GYPSY AND TRAVELLER CARAVAN SITES

As Google search for [Gypsy Roma] "605 English pages from for gypsy Roma" all but one document in the first 20 make it clear that Roma and Gypsy are the same thing. As in this document Gypsies and Travellers: A strategy for the CRE, 2004-7. It is an interesting document because it highlights: "[Other EU Roma Gypsies and other Travellers] may have little in common with Britain’s indigenous Gypsy and Traveller populations, as most Roma Gypsies and Travellers from other EU countries are not nomadic."

This document entitled Frequently asked questions regarding Gypsy and Traveller Pupils Achievement is advise to schools on how to deal with nomads, It does not say that the term gypsy is "sometimes considered derogatory".

A Google search of [Gypsy] "10,300 English pages from for Gypsy". A Google search of [Gypsy Roma] returns "106 English pages from for Gypsy Roma". A Google seach on [-Gypsy Roma] returns "518 English pages from for [-Gypsy Roma", however once references to foreign Roma are removed [-Gypsy Roma -Europe -european -asylum -immigration] there are 28 pages of which only one was about UK indiginous Roma[1]

One of the pressure groups which represent traveling people and have represented Gypsies and Travelers in Parliamentty committes[2] are Gypsy & Traveller Law Reform Coalition if Gypsy were a derogatory term, why do they use it? If Travellers thought of themselves as Gypsys why have the two terms [3]? Trevor Phillips - Chair Commission for Racial Equality said

"The Commission for Racial Equality firmly supports the work of the Gypsy and Traveller Law Reform Coalition, which is playing a critical role in driving improvements for Gypsies and Travellers, and providing a powerful voice to lobby for change. There are clearly huge challenges ahead - and we hope to work closely with the coalition in taking this and our own Gypsy and Traveller strategy forward."[4]

I think the problem of if being considered an insult is probably to do with word in other languages being consided an insult, and as the word is translated into English as Gyspy native speakers of that language assume that it is also an insult in English. --Philip Baird Shearer 13:38, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


Sinti As the article says a group in Germany who are a subgroup of the Roma. The main reference to them on UK Government websites is as victimes of the Holocust. With a couple of links to contempory NGOs which mention the Sinti in Germany. So I am not sure how relevent this page is to the general meaning of Gypsy in British English. As they are a self defined subgroup of Roma and live in a none English speaking country, I suppose it is worth noting them in passing but it is not the major meaning of Gypsy in British English. --Philip Baird Shearer 13:38, 23 February 2006 (UTC)


On the question of whether the Luli in Central Asia are called Gypsys or not seems to depend on whether the term is bing used as a translation or not.:

A Google seach of [Luli gypsy site:uk] retuns "about 22 English pages for Luli gypsy site:uk" the best I could find of the 22 pages returned was:

Roma is the preferred name of their people by Gypsies themselves. The gypsy language is Romani (or Calo in Spain), although not all Roma speak it. Dialects sometimes vary so much that different groups cannot understand each other. The Gypsies were given names by the inhabitants of each country they visited, and linguists have generated many theories based upon these names: Luri (Baluchistan), Luli (Iraq), Karaki, Zangi (Persian), Kauli (Afghanistan), Cinghan�s or Tchingan�s (Syria and Turkey), and Katsiveloi, Tsiganos, or Atsincanoi (Greek).[5]

and this site Romanian history - Gypsy information gives the word used for Gypsy in a number of different languages.

A google search of all sites [Gypsy Luli] "about 690 English pages for Gypsy Luli".

This page states Anti-Gypsy Persecution in Russia - ROMEA - states "Luli is a common name for numerous groups of Gypsies from Tajikistan, or those associated with them, who came to Russia en masse after the economic crises and civil wars in the Asian Republics during the period from 1992 to 1997". It would seem to me that from this Luli is a Russian term for groups who nomads but not Gypsies -- like the use in English of the term "Irish travellers". --Philip Baird Shearer 13:38, 23 February 2006 (UTC)

Issues to be had with the listing of ethnic groups and whether or not the term is derogatory are all good and well (and helpful), but getting at the meaning of a word is much more helpful than the "Gypsies are seers" definition which replaced the list of groups which have been referred to as Gypsy. --SquidDNA 13:51, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

structure of the article

atm the article has headings: 'ethnic groups', 'and also', 'and and also'. I can't see what distinguishes the two 'and alsos'. Oddly Romani (language) is in there, and not at the top. So I've had a go at a partial revert to old headings and to restoring the old Roma sub-headings - my thinking there is they all have separate wiki articles so folks might want to link straight to them (?) Hakluyt bean 01:02, 7 December 2006 (UTC)


Gypsy (also gipsey, gypsey, gypsie) is a sometimes derogatory term for the following ethnic groups imo that's rather loaded. I don't think the intent is derogatory. It should be enough to say that gypsy is an English word that has been used for the following non-English speaking peoples, something like that.... Hakluyt bean 04:47, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

Pasted from the Roma people article:
"The English term gypsy (or gipsy), originates from the Greek word Αιγύπτοι (Aigyptoi), modern Greek γύφτοι (gyphtoi), in the erroneous belief that the Roma originated in Egypt, and were exiled as punishment for allegedly harboring the infant Jesus.[34] As described in Victor Hugo's novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the medieval French referred to the Rom as "egyptiens". This ethnonym is not used by the Roma to describe themselves, and is often considered pejorative (as is the term "gyp", meaning "to cheat", a reference to the suspicion the Roma engendered). However, the use of "gypsy" in English is now so pervasive that many Roma organizations use the word gypsy in their own names. In North America, the word "gypsy" is often misunderstood as a reference to lifestyle or fashion, and not to the Roma ethnicity. The Spanish term gitano and the French term gitan may have the same origin.[35]"
So, really, 'sometimes derogatory' fits it perfectly. MadMaxDog 04:57, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
considered derogatory fits better, imo. Derogatory conveys a degree of intent, the use of sometimes suggests that intent is sometimes exercised. I don't see that use in English today. Some may consider the term derogatory, but the article doesn't express it like that atm. Hakluyt bean 05:33, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
It is a disambig article. I think we are splitting hairs in trying to cover all possible bases here. But if you want to change it to 'sometimes considered derogatory', please do so. MadMaxDog 09:25, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

This a embarrasment to all people who have been called this name because by calling it this you are covering your own mistakes 22:18, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I have no clue what you are talking about. I certainly do not feel embarrassed. MadMaxDog 06:19, 24 April 2007 (UTC)

Particularly in the United Kingdom it is common to call gypsies, who live in caravans on fields and meadows, "pikeys". This is the derogatory term, I believe many gypsies choose to be called likewise because it is a widely known term to distinguish the race and culture. People in the UK tend not to think the term gypsy as derogatory, those who do use the term "traveller" but hit a snag when they realise not all gypsies live on the clementine.

Any member of any nomadic people...

I'd like to go back to that definition from an earlier version of the article. Atm the article has:
gypsy is a term for the following ethnic groups: ...... * Gypsy people not directly related to the Roma
- which is redundant. Gypsy isn't a term for gypsy. But it illustrates that we're unclear about terms. If gypsy doesn't mean Roma it most obviously seems to mean nomadic. However I think it'd be helpful to establish for example whether the Dom and Lom (Bosha) are Roma or not, it doesn't seem clear looking at their articles. They seem to be considered Gypsy and Roma-related (synonymously) through being nomadic and Indian in origin...
A definition of Gypsy seems to incorporate more than one characteristic. Something like: traditionally nomadic + one or more of: inhabitant of Europe, or the Middle East, or Asia; Indian in origin, other ethnic minority Hakluyt bean 05:17, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
Am I getting you right in that you want to remove the sub-separation of Roma gypsies and non-Roma gypsies (not quite sure if you mean that)? If you are of the opinion that some of the named people should be considered Roma, then why not move them to the other grouping? However, I think it makes sense to sub-separate. The grouping 'nomadic people' would be awfully large, especially because the term is used in unclear ways. MadMaxDog 09:30, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
I should have been clearer. I am happy with the distinction between Roma and non-Roma, but at the moment the article has a list (of non-Roma) under the heading 'gypsy' with no explanation of why they are considered to be gypsies. That heading used to be something like 'nomadic peoples traditionally known as gypsies'. That had the advantage of giving the reader an idea what a definition of gypsy might involve (ie nomadic lifestyle). I realise it's an imperfect definition, as there are nomadic peoples not called gypsies, for example Arab nomads, who are not called gypsies; so I was wondering what other definition there might be. Maybe there's no clear answer except conventional usage. Re Dom & Lom I am not personally of the opinion that they are Romany, although they are categorized Roma-related articles. I'm guessing this may be because they are Indian and traditionally nomadic. This also seems to be the reason why they are called gypsies. I really only remark on them re the question of can we shed light on the meaning of gypsy in this article? It may be we can't :) Hakluyt bean 03:15, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I think the distinction to nomads like Mongols or Arabs is that in these areas, the MAJORITY of the population (at least in traditional times) had this lifestyle. Whereas what we think of gypsies are people travelling mostly amongst settled folk. An original research definition, and much too clumsy for this disambig anyway... PS - how about using : tags in front of your answers to indent? (I allowed myself to edit your posts that way)? Makes reading of the discussion easier. MadMaxDog 06:00, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup tag

Some problems:

  1. Needs official headings and a {{tocright}}
  2. One link per line
  3. At last count, 182 pages link here, so this one's important

--Smack (talk) 06:58, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Took care of that. No multilinks there except where main link does not exist. MadMaxDog 07:18, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


The Yeniche are listed in the article as being not related to the Roma, but the Yeniche language article says their language is related to the Roma language. Perhaps they should be moved to the Roma section of the article, but not placed under the various Roma subgroups?--Hgebel 13:58, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

I do not think so. If they aren't related to the Roma, then they should not be in the same subgroup section. As a related example, the German language is related to Indogermanic languages, but Germans and Indians would not be lumped together in ethnic groupings either, except very tenously (as with Yeniche and Roma). I hope I do not drive some linguists/ethnographers nuts with that claim ;-)
So I think this should stay as it is. Regards, MadMaxDog 11:37, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

Opening Paragraph

There's too much ambiguity over the opening paragraph and too much talk about changing it (40% of this talk page), thus I decided to be bold and change it to: -

Gypsy (also Gipsey, Gispy, Gypsey, Gypsie, Gypo) is a term applied to most nomadic people in Europe and other continents. Whilst it may also refer to a wide variety of meanings, it is most commonly applied to specific ethnic groups.

The only reference to it being derogitory was 'gyp' as in to con, but that is a later derivision of the name 'gypsy'.

I disagree with you, and as you say, we had previous decisions before, where we decided that there was a derogatory element to it often enough to leave it in. I also disagree with the too-long extension of the opening para. Lets keep it simple, this is a disambig page, and no article.MadMaxDog 05:35, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

I have changed the word order of the opening paragraph so that the important information - the fact that it is an ethnic group - comes first. I have also stressed that the derogatory implications are culturally specific, since it has no derogatory implications in England and possibly elsewhere. And I removed gypo from the list since it is just one of several derivations, not an alternate spelling like the others in the list. If derivations are appropriate here then we need the full list not just one. Having just gypo is especially problamatic since it is derogatory in England.

Gypsy (also Gipsey, Gispy, Gypsey or Gypsie) is a term for certain ethnic and cultural groups, considered derogatory in some cultures. Agrestis 10:03, 15 April 2007 (UTC)

Not an article!

I just reverted a substantial, good-faith addition to this article, because Gypsy is a disambiguation article - meaning that it should NOT contain links to articles or subjects that do not (yet) exist on Wikipedia. It should therefore also not have stuff like footnotes, references or long explanations. This can get a bit lost here, as the list of disambiguated terms is so long, making some people believe it is an article...

I have therefore chosen to revert most of what was added by user:student7. Please do not take offense - instead produce articles for the subjects you added, and then come back to produce standard links from here to there.

You can access what you added from the history tab, simply check the earlier versions, for work on separate articles.

Cheers and happy editing. MadMaxDog 04:20, 14 April 2007 (UTC)


 Whatever way you spell it, it still means lights of egypt.  Yeah, so basically they are
people that have been hanging aroung eroupe since Rome fell.  Did you every notice their
are black people who are also gypsys.  Yeah same with the arabs since there are gypsys in
those cultures also it kind of make ya wonder what the egyptians actually looked like.  

Some modern opportunist place them as curved nose but that is just the chromosone ur. Sure some of them probible had curved noses but not likely all of them. But as this article pointed out so many people associate the word gypsy with something other than the lights of egypt probible in the same way a nazi disident was a jew. alot of nazi's were actually

christian jews and some of them gypsys, but they killed people in those demographicks?????? 

odd people some times.

Indeed. especially seeing that the above was written by a single person in one edit... MadMaxDog 11:51, 25 May 2007 (UTC)

Biased Racist Remark

"The Gypsies are a traveling pack of thieves and will steal anything they can get their grubby little hands on, most notably innocent farmers. Also, they are now know to have stolen the Lindbergh baby."

Thats biased and racist. I haven't been able to locate any info concerning Gypsies and the Lindbergh baby. In fact, there weren't even any Gypsy suspects in the case. Therefore, I have decided to edit that crap out until a veritable source can be defined for such info.

Too narrow

I feel that the application of the 'do not disambiguate to articles only partly named via the disambig's article title' rule really is way too narrow here. Deleting Time of the Gypsies when this article has a redirect from Gypsies is just such an example. Disambig pages are there to help people find things - applying WP:MOSDAB too strictly risks forgetting that, in a quest to follow the letter of the rule. Ingolfson 07:41, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

If someone were looking for "Time of the Gypsies", they would be unlikely to search for just "Gypsies". Disambig pages are there to help people find things they are looking for, not for browsing. Including everything with the word in it makes the list too long (and hinders people from finding things they are looking for). If you feel that one or two should be included, please include them in a See also section at the end of the list. -- JHunterJ 10:53, 9 August 2007 (UTC)

Some derogatory crap

In Mitteleuropa sind Zigeuner vor allem als kleinkriminelle Minderheit bekannt bzw. berüchtigt. Zu Zeiten meiner Großeltern gab es den Warnruf: "Leute nehmt die Wäsche ab die Zigeuner sind im Dorf". Heute geht man nicht mehr so plump vor, aber die kriminelle Energie ist immer noch vorhanden. -- 20:10, 15 August 2007 (UTC)

Just some German-language prejudices... Ingolfson 10:11, 19 August 2007 (UTC)

Please don't call us gypsies

I am from a Romani family and all my family, especially the older generation has always found the term gypsy an insult.

We are not gypsy as we are Romani. To say traveller is ok if we travel.

For all the different groups referred to as gypsy / gipsy please use traveller when referring to them as this is correct. When all travelling groups get branded as gypsy then they all get tied in with the Romani people as though they are connected to us. Not only does the term gypsy insult many Roms (Rom = Romani person (masculine)) but it also causes much mistaken identity of who the Romani people actually are. Doms are a travelling people, Irish travellers are a travelling people, Circus people are a travelling people, Fairground people are a travelling people so technically they are all "Travellers". To call them "Gypsies" is completely incorrect and is offensive. Roms / Roma are also a travelling people who were once mistaken as being Gypsies (Egyptians) which is recorded and often quoted in historical texts.

Pharaoh and those that built the pyramids are Gypsies as Gypsy is an old short variation of Egyptian. Due to Mediterranean trade and plus the common spread of the Bible texts, Europeans assumed Roms were Egyptian due to there dark Eastern appearance. Roms often agreed to be Egyptian as they got accepted easier. For years people have marveled at the Egyptians for the building of the pyramids. People saw ancient Egyptians with intigue and mysticism of a people with a past of great intelligent and power. Many Roms went along with the title as it made for them an easier life.

Thank you all who respect the Romani identity. God Bless. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:19, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

What is the relationship among these groups?

It would be useful to know on this page (if there is a relationship). If not, that would be interesting too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:33, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

This isn't an article though; it's a disambiguation page. Romani people can (and probably does) talk about the relationships among the groups. -- JHunterJ (talk) 11:59, 20 November 2007 (UTC)


Austerlitz -- (talk) 09:18, 20 December 2007 (UTC)
Austerlitz -- (talk) 09:24, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

I would like to put the lacking information to the main page, but: where to put it best?