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See also: Gypsy


Alternative forms[edit]


See Gypsy. The generic usage that refers to any itinerant person who is suspected of dishonest practices derives from traditional racist stereotypes of the Romani people.

Compare bohemian, from Bohemia.



gypsy ‎(plural gypsies)

  1. (sometimes offensive) Alternative form of Gypsy: a member of the Romani people.
  2. (offensive) An itinerant person or any person suspected of making a living from dishonest practices or theft; a member of a nomadic people, not necessarily Romani; a carny.
    • Shakespeare:
      Like a right gypsy, hath, at fast and loose, Beguiled me to the very heart of loss.
    • Borat:
      I will look on your treasures, gypsy. Is this understood?
  3. (sometimes offensive) A move in contra dancing in which two dancers walk in a circle around each other while maintaining eye contact (but not touching as in a swing). (Compare whole gyp, half gyp, and gypsy meltdown, in which this step precedes a swing.)

Usage notes[edit]

See the usage note about Gypsy.


Derived terms[edit]



gypsy ‎(not comparable)

  1. Alternative form of Gypsy: of or belonging to the Romani people or one of it sub-groups (Roma, Sinti, Romanichel, etc).
  2. (offensive) Of or having the qualities of an itinerant person or group with qualities traditionally ascribed to Romani people; making a living from dishonest practices or theft etc.
    If anyone questions them, they'll fold up faster than a gypsy roofing company.

Usage notes[edit]

See the notes about Gypsy.

Derived terms[edit]


gypsy ‎(third-person singular simple present gypsies, present participle gypsying, simple past and past participle gypsied)

  1. (intransitive) To roam around the country like a gypsy.
  2. To perform the gypsy step in contra dancing.
    • 1992 April 7,, contra-gypsies, in rec.folk-dancing, Usenet:
      Look at the person you're gypsying with, and convey the message that you notice them as a person and that you're glad that they're there, []
    • 1998, September 9, Jonathan Sivier, Contra Corners - followed by gypsy, in rec.folk-dancing, Usenet:
      The only one I know of is The Tease by Tom Hinds which starts with the actives gypsying and then swinging their neighbors and ends with contra []

See also[edit]