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Etymology 1[edit]

Probably from the term gypsy (Roma), due to a stereotype of the Roma as swindlers. Compare jew (defraud), from Jew, and welsh (swindle by defaulting on a debt), from Welsh.[1]

Alternative forms[edit]

  • gip, jip (eye dialect spellings)


gyp (plural gyps)

  1. (pejorative, sometimes offensive) A cheat or swindle; a rip-off.
    Why do we have to buy this new edition of the textbook when there’s almost no difference between it and the previous one? What a gyp!
  2. Synonym of gypsy (contra dance step)
Usage notes[edit]

Because this term is often considered to derive[1] from the problematic exonymic term Gypsy and represent a racist stereotype of the Romani, it may be offensive. See the usage note about gypsy.



gyp (third-person singular simple present gyps, present participle gypping, simple past and past participle gypped)

  1. (pejorative, sometimes offensive) To cheat or swindle someone or something inappropriately.
    The cab driver gypped me out of ten bucks by taking the longer route.
    You better watch out; they'll try to gyp you if you don't know what you're doing.
Usage notes[edit]

See the notes about the noun, above.

See also[edit]


  1. 1.0 1.1 gyp” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary, 2001–2017.

Etymology 2[edit]

Perhaps the same as Etymology 1.


gyp (plural gyps)

  1. (Cambridge and Durham, England) A college servant.
  2. (Cambridge and Durham, England) The room in which such college servants work.
  3. (Cambridge and Durham, England) A small kitchen for use by college students.

Etymology 3[edit]



gyp (plural gyps)

  1. Gypsophila.

Etymology 4[edit]

Perhaps from gee up.


gyp (plural gyps)

  1. Pain or discomfort.
    My back's giving me gyp.