By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Romano Lavo-Lil: Word Book of the Romany; Or, English Gypsy Language
 - With Specimens of Gypsy Poetry, and an Account of Certain Gypsyries or Places Inhabited by Them, and of Various Things Relating to Gypsy Life in England
Author: Borrow, George
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Romano Lavo-Lil: Word Book of the Romany; Or, English Gypsy Language
 - With Specimens of Gypsy Poetry, and an Account of Certain Gypsyries or Places Inhabited by Them, and of Various Things Relating to Gypsy Life in England" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.

Transcribed from the 1905 John Murray edition by David Price, email

                          [Picture: Book cover]

    “Can you rokra Romany?
    Can you play the bosh?
    Can you jal adrey the staripen?
    Can you chin the cost?”

    “Can you speak the Roman tongue?
    Can you play the fiddle?
    Can you eat the prison-loaf?
    Can you cut and whittle?”

                             ROMANO LAVO-LIL

                         WORD-BOOK OF THE ROMANY
                      PLACES INHABITED BY THEM, AND
                      OF VARIOUS THINGS RELATING TO
                          GYPSY LIFE IN ENGLAND

                             BY GEORGE BORROW

                                * * * * *

                    JOHN MURRAY, ALBEMARLE STREET, W.

                                * * * * *

                                PRINTED BY
                      HAZELL, WATSON AND VINEY, LD.,
                          LONDON AND AYLESBURY.

                                * * * * *

THE Author of the present work wishes to state that the Vocabulary, which
forms part of it, has existed in manuscript for many years.  It is one of
several vocabularies of various dialects of the Gypsy tongue, made by him
in different countries.  The most considerable—that of the dialect of the
Zincali or Rumijelies (Romany Chals) of Spain—was published in the year
1841.  Amongst those which remain unpublished is one of the Transylvanian
Gypsy, made principally at Kolosvār in the year 1844.

_December_ 1, 1873.


THE ENGLISH GYPSY LANGUAGE                                           3
ROMANO LAVO-LIL: WORD-BOOK OF THE ROMANY                            15
RHYMED LIST OF GYPSY VERBS                                          71
BETIE ROKRAPENES: LITTLE SAYINGS                                    76
THOMAS ROSSAR-MESCRO, OR THOMAS HERNE                              118
KOKKODUS ARTARUS                                                   129
MANG, PRALA: BEG ON, BROTHER                                       132
  WELLING KATTANEY: THE GYPSY MEETING                              132
  LELLING CAPPI: MAKING A FORTUNE                                  136
  THE DUI CHALOR: THE TWO GYPSIES                                  138
  MIRO ROMANY CHI: MY ROMAN LASS                                   142
  AVA, CHI: YES, MY GIRL                                           146
  THE TEMESKOE RYE: THE YOUTHFUL EARL                              146
  CAMO-GILLIE: LOVE-SONG                                           148
  TUGNIS AMANDE: WOE IS ME                                         150
  THE RYE AND THE RAWNE: THE SQUIRE AND LADY                       152
  ROMANY SUTTUR GILLIE: GYPSY LULLABY                              154
  SHARRAFI KRALYISSA: OUR BLESSED QUEEN                            156
  PLASTRA LESTI: RUN FOR IT!                                       156
  THE ROMANY SONGSTRESS                                            161
  L’ERAJAI: THE FRAIR                                              162
  MALBRUN: MALBROUK                                                164
  TUGNEY BESHOR: SORROWFUL YEARS                                   172
  THEIR HISTORY                                                    174
GYPSY NAMES                                                        185
FORTUNE-TELLING                                                    197
  THE HUKNI                                                        201
  CAURING                                                          202
  WANDSWORTH                                                       207
  THE POTTERIES                                                    228
  THE MOUNT                                                        235
RYLEY BOSVIL                                                       241
KIRK YETHOLM                                                       253


THE Gypsies of England call their language, as the Gypsies of many other
countries call theirs, _Romany_ or _Romanes_, a word either derived from
the Indian _Ram_ or _Rama_, which signifies a husband, or from the town
Rome, which took its name either from the Indian _Ram_, or from the
Gaulic word, _Rom_, which is nearly tantamount to husband or man, for as
the Indian _Ram_ means a husband or man, so does the Gaulic _Pom_ signify
that which constitutes a man and enables him to become a husband.

Before entering on the subject of the English Gypsy, I may perhaps be
expected to say something about the original Gypsy tongue.  It is,
however, very difficult to say with certainty anything on the subject.
There can be no doubt that a veritable Gypsy tongue at one time existed,
but that it at present exists there is great doubt indeed.  The
probability is that the Gypsy at present exists only in dialects more or
less like the language originally spoken by the Gypsy or Zingaro race.
Several dialects of the Gypsy are to be found which still preserve along
with a considerable number of seemingly original words certain curious
grammatical forms, quite distinct from those of any other speech.  Others
are little more than jargons, in which a certain number of Gypsy words
are accommodated to the grammatical forms of the languages of particular
countries.  In the foremost class of the purer Gypsy dialects, I have no
hesitation in placing those of Russia, Wallachia, Bulgaria, and
Transylvania.  They are so alike, that he who speaks one of them can make
himself very well understood by those who speak any of the rest; from
whence it may reasonably be inferred that none of them can differ much
from the original Gypsy speech; so that when speaking of Gypsy language,
any one of these may be taken as a standard.  One of them—I shall not
mention which—I have selected for that purpose, more from fancy than any
particular reason.

The Gypsy language, then, or what with some qualification I may call
such, may consist of some three thousand words, the greater part of which
are decidedly of Indian origin, being connected with the Sanscrit or some
other Indian dialect; the rest consist of words picked up by the Gypsies
from various languages in their wanderings from the East.  It has two
genders, masculine and feminine; _o_ represents the masculine and _i_ the
feminine: for example, _boro rye_, a great gentleman; _bori rani_, a
great lady.  There is properly no indefinite article: _gajo_ or _gorgio_,
a man or gentile; _o gajo_, the man.  The noun has two numbers, the
singular and the plural.  It has various cases formed by postpositions,
but has, strictly speaking, no genitive.  It has prepositions as well as
postpositions; sometimes the preposition is used with the noun and
sometimes the postposition: for example, _cad o gav_, from the town;
_chungale mannochendar_, evil men from, _i.e._ from evil men.  The verb
has no infinitive; in lieu thereof, the conjunction ‘that’ is placed
before some person of some tense.  ‘I wish to go’ is expressed in Gypsy
by _camov te jaw_, literally, I wish that I go; thou wishest to go,
_caumes te jas_, thou wishest that thou goest; _caumen te jallan_, they
wish that they go.  Necessity is expressed by the impersonal verb and the
conjunction ‘that’: _hom te jay_, I must go; lit. I am that I go; _shan
te jallan_, they are that they go; and so on.  There are words to denote
the numbers from one up to a thousand.  For the number nine there are two
words, _nu_ and _ennyo_.  Almost all the Gypsy numbers are decidedly
connected with the Sanscrit.

After these observations on what may be called the best preserved kind of
Gypsy, I proceed to a lower kind, that of England.  The English Gypsy
speech is very scanty, amounting probably to not more than fourteen
hundred words, the greater part of which seem to be of Indian origin.
The rest form a strange medley taken by the Gypsies from various Eastern
and Western languages: some few are Arabic, many are Persian; some are
Sclavo-Wallachian, others genuine Sclavonian.  Here and there a Modern
Greek or Hungarian word is discoverable; but in the whole English Gypsy
tongue I have never noted but one French word—namely, _tass_ or _dass_,
by which some of the very old Gypsies occasionally call a cup.

Their vocabulary being so limited, the Gypsies have of course words of
their own only for the most common objects and ideas; as soon as they
wish to express something beyond these they must have recourse to
English, and even to express some very common objects, ideas, and
feelings, they are quite at a loss in their own tongue, and must either
employ English words or very vague terms indeed.  They have words for the
sun and the moon, but they have no word for the stars, and when they wish
to name them in Gypsy, they use a word answering to ‘lights.’  They have
a word for a horse and for a mare, but they have no word for a colt,
which in some other dialects of the Gypsy is called _kuro_; and to
express a colt they make use of the words _tawno gry_, a little horse,
which after all may mean a pony.  They have words for black, white, and
red, but none for the less positive colours—none for grey, green, and
yellow.  They have no definite word either for hare or rabbit; _shoshoi_,
by which they generally designate a rabbit, signifies a hare as well, and
_kaun-engro_, a word invented to distinguish a hare, and which signifies
ear-fellow, is no more applicable to a hare than to a rabbit, as both
have long ears.  They have no certain word either for to-morrow or
yesterday, _collico_ signifying both indifferently.  A remarkable
coincidence must here be mentioned, as it serves to show how closely
related are Sanscrit and Gypsy.  _Shoshoi_ and _collico_ are nearly of
the same sound as the Sanscrit _sasa_ and _kalya_, and exactly of the
same import; for as the Gypsy _shoshoi_ signifies both hare and rabbit,
and _collico_ to-morrow as well as yesterday, so does the Sanscrit _sasa_
signify both hare and rabbit, and _kalya_ to-morrow as well as yesterday.

The poverty of their language in nouns the Gypsies endeavour to remedy by
the frequent use of the word _engro_.  This word affixed to a noun or
verb turns it into something figurative, by which they designate, seldom
very appropriately, some object for which they have no positive name.
_Engro_ properly means a fellow, and _engri_, which is the feminine or
neuter modification, a thing.  When the noun or verb terminates in a
vowel, _engro_ is turned into _mengro_, and _engri_ into _mengri_.  I
have already shown how, by affixing _engro_ to _kaun_, the Gypsies have
invented a word to express a hare.  In like manner, by affixing _engro_
to _pov_, earth, they have coined a word for a potato, which they call
_pov-engro_ or _pov-engri_, earth-fellow or thing; and by adding _engro_
to _rukh_, or _mengro_ to _rooko_, they have really a very pretty
figurative name for a squirrel, which they call _rukh-engro_ or
_rooko-mengro_, literally a fellow of the tree.  _Poggra-mengri_, a
breaking thing, and _pea-mengri_, a drinking thing, by which they
express, respectively, a mill and a teapot, will serve as examples of the
manner by which they turn verbs into substantives.  This method of
finding names for objects, for which there are properly no terms in
Gypsy, might be carried to a great length—much farther, indeed, than the
Gypsies are in the habit of carrying it: a slack-rope dancer might be
termed _bittitardranoshellokellimengro_, or slightly-drawn-rope-dancing
fellow; a drum, _duicoshtcurenomengri_, or a thing beaten by two sticks;
a tambourine, _angustrecurenimengri_, or a thing beaten by the fingers;
and a fife, _muipudenimengri_, or thing blown by the mouth.  All these
compound words, however, would be more or less indefinite, and far beyond
the comprehension of the Gypsies in general.

The verbs are very few, and with two or three exceptions expressive only
of that which springs from what is physical and bodily, totally
unconnected with the mind, for which, indeed, the English Gypsy has no
word; the term used for mind, _zi_—which is a modification of the
Hungarian _sziv_—meaning heart.  There are such verbs in this dialect as
to eat, drink, walk, run, hear, see, live, die; but there are no such
verbs as to hope, mean, hinder, prove, forbid, teaze, soothe.  There is
the verb _apasavello_, I believe; but that word, which is Wallachian,
properly means being trusted, and was incorporated in the Gypsy language
from the Gypsies obtaining goods on trust from the Wallachians, which
they never intended to pay for.  There is the verb for love, _camova_;
but that word is expressive of physical desire, and is connected with the
Sanscrit _Cama_, or Cupid.  Here, however, the English must not triumph
over the Gypsies, as their own verb ‘love’ is connected with a Sanscrit
word signifying ‘lust.’  One pure and abstract metaphysical verb the
English Gypsy must be allowed to possess—namely, _penchava_, I think, a
word of illustrious origin, being derived from the Persian _pendashtan_.

The English Gypsies can count up to six, and have the numerals for ten
and twenty, but with those for seven, eight, and nine, perhaps not three
Gypsies in England are acquainted.  When they wish to express those
numerals in their own language, they have recourse to very uncouth and
roundabout methods, saying for seven, _dui trins ta yeck_, two threes and
one; for eight, _dui stors_, or two fours; and for nine, _desh sore but
yeck_, or ten all but one.  Yet at one time the English Gypsies possessed
all the numerals as their Transylvanian, Wallachian, and Russian brethren
still do; even within the last fifty years there were Gypsies who could
count up to a hundred.  These were _tatchey Romany_, real Gypsies, of the
old sacred black race, who never slept in a house, never entered a
church, and who, on their death-beds, used to threaten their children
with a curse, provided they buried them in a churchyard.  The two last of
them rest, it is believed, some six feet deep beneath the moss of a wild,
hilly heath,—called in Gypsy the _Heviskey Tan_, or place of holes; in
English, Mousehold,—near an ancient city, which the Gentiles call
Norwich, and the Romans the _Chong Gav_, or the town of the hill.

With respect to Grammar, the English Gypsy is perhaps in a worse
condition than with respect to words.  Attention is seldom paid to
gender; _boro rye_ and _boro rawnie_ being said, though as _rawnie_ is
feminine, _bori_ and not _boro_ should be employed.  The proper Gypsy
plural terminations are retained in nouns, but in declension prepositions
are generally substituted for postpositions, and those prepositions
English.  The proper way of conjugating verbs is seldom or never
observed, and the English method is followed.  They say, I _dick_, I see,
instead of _dico_; I _dick’d_, I saw, instead of _dikiom_; if I had
_dick’d_, instead of _dikiomis_.  Some of the peculiar features of Gypsy
grammar yet retained by the English Gypsies will be found noted in the

I have dwelt at some length on the deficiencies and shattered condition
of the English Gypsy tongue; justice, however, compels me to say that it
is far purer and less deficient than several of the continental Gypsy
dialects.  It preserves far more of original Gypsy peculiarities than the
French, Italian, and Spanish dialects, and its words retain more of the
original Gypsy form than the words of those three; moreover, however
scanty it may be, it is far more copious than the French or the Italian
Gypsy, though it must be owned that in respect to copiousness it is
inferior to the Spanish Gypsy, which is probably the richest in words of
all the Gypsy dialects in the world, having names for very many of the
various beasts, birds, and creeping things, for most of the plants and
fruits, for all the days of the week, and all the months in the year;
whereas most other Gypsy dialects, the English amongst them, have names
for only a few common animals and insects, for a few common fruits and
natural productions, none for the months, and only a name for a single
day—the Sabbath—which name is a modification of the Modern Greek

Though the English Gypsy is generally spoken with a considerable alloy of
English words and English grammatical forms, enough of its proper words
and features remain to form genuine Gypsy sentences, which shall be
understood not only by the Gypsies of England, but by those of Russia,
Hungary, Wallachia, and even of Turkey; for example:—

    Kek man camov te jib bolli-mengreskoenæs,
    Man camov te jib weshenjugalogonæs.

    I do not wish to live like a baptized person.  {11a}
    I wish to live like a dog of the wood.  {11b}

It is clear-sounding and melodious, and well adapted to the purposes of
poetry.  Let him who doubts peruse attentively the following lines:—

    Coin si deya, coin se dado?
    Pukker mande drey Romanes,
    Ta mande pukkeravava tute.

    Rossar-mescri minri deya!
    Wardo-mescro minro dado!
    Coin se dado, coin si deya?
    Mande’s pukker’d tute drey Romanes;
    Knau pukker tute mande.

    Petulengro minro dado,
    Purana minri deya!
    Tatchey Romany si men—
    Mande’s pukker’d tute drey Romanes,
    Ta tute’s pukker’d mande.

The first three lines of the above ballad are perhaps the oldest specimen
of English Gypsy at present extant, and perhaps the purest.  They are at
least as old as the time of Elizabeth, and can pass among the Zigany in
the heart of Russia for Ziganskie.  The other lines are not so ancient.
The piece is composed in a metre something like that of the ancient
Sclavonian songs, and contains the questions which two strange Gypsies,
who suddenly meet, put to each other, and the answers which they return.


In using the following Vocabulary the Continental manner of pronouncing
certain vowels will have to be observed: thus _ava_ must be pronounced
like _auva_, according to the English style; _ker_ like _kare_, _miro_
like _meero_, _zi_ like _zee_, and _puro_ as if it were written _pooro._


ABRI, _ad. prep._  Out, not within, abroad: soving abri, sleeping abroad,
not in a house.  _Celtic_, Aber (the mouth or outlet of a river).

Acai / Acoi, _ad._  Here.

Adje, _v. n._  To stay, stop.  _See_ Atch, az.

Adrey, _prep._  Into.

Ajaw, _ad._  So.  _Wallachian_, Asha.

Aladge, _a._  Ashamed.  _Sans._  Latch, laj.

Aley, _ad._  Down: soving aley, lying down; to kin aley, to buy off,
ransom.  _Hun._  Ala, alat.

Amande, _pro. pers. dat._  To me.

An, _v. a. imp._  Bring: an lis opré, bring it up.

Ana, _v._ a.  Bring.  _Sans._  Ani.

Ando, _prep._  In.

Anglo, _prep._  Before.

Apasavello, _v. n._  I believe.

Apopli, _ad._  Again.  _Spanish Gypsy_, Apala (after).  _Wal._ Apoi
(then, afterwards).

Apré, _ad. prep._  Up: kair lis apré, do it up.  _Vid._ Opré.

Aranya / Araunya, _s._  Lady.  _Hungarian Gypsy_, Aranya.  _See_ Rawnie.

Artav / Artavello, _v. a._  To pardon, forgive.  _Wal._ Ierta.  _Span.
Gyp._  Estomar.

Artapen, _s._  Pardon, forgiveness.

Artáros.  Arthur.

Asā / Asau, _ad._  Also, likewise, too: meero pal asau, my brother also.

Asarlas, _ad._  At all, in no manner.

Asa.  An affix used in forming the second person singular of the present
tense; _e.g._ camasa, thou lovest.

Astis, _a._  Possible, it is possible: astis mangué, I can; astis lengué,
they can.

Ashā / Ashaw, _ad._  So: ashaw sorlo, so early.  _Wal._ Asha.  _See_

Atch, _v. n._  To stay, stop.

Atch opré.  Keep up.

Atraish, _a. part._  Afraid.  _Sans._  Tras (to fear), atrāsït
(frightened).  _See_ Traish.

Av, _imperat._ of Ava, to come: av abri, come out.

Ava, _ad._  Yes.  _Sans._  Eva.

Ava, _v. a._  To come.

Avata acoi.  Come thou here.

Avali, _ad._  Yes.  _Wal._ Aieva (really).

Avava.  An affix by which the future tense of a verb is formed, _e.g._
mor-avava, I will kill.  _See_ Vava.

Aukko, _ad._  Here.

Az, _v. n._  To stay.


BAL, _s._  Hair.  _Tibetian_, Bal (wool).  _Sans._  Bala (hair).

Baleneskoe, _a._  Hairy.

Balormengro.  A hairy fellow; Hearne, the name of a Gypsy tribe.

Balanser, _s._  The coin called a sovereign.

Ballivas, _s._  Bacon.  _Span. Gyp._  Balibá.

Bangalo, _a._  Devilish.  _See_ Beng, bengako.

Bango, _a._  Left, sinister, wrong, false: bango wast, the left hand; to
saulohaul bango, like a plastra-mengro, to swear bodily like a Bow-street
runner.  _Sans._  Pangu (lame).  _Hun._  Pang, pangó (stiff, lazy,

Bar, _s._  A stone, a stoneweight, a pound sterling.  _Span. Gyp._ Bar.
_Hun. Gyp._ Bar.  _Hindustani_, Puthur.  _Wal._ Piatre.  _Fr._  Pierre.
_Gr. βάρος_ (weight).

Bareskey, _a._  Stony.

Bark, _s._  Breast, woman’s breast.

Bas / Base, _s._  Pound sterling.  _Wal._ Pes (a weight, burden).

Bas-engro, _s._  A shepherd.  _Run._  Bacso.

Bashadi, _s._  A fiddle.

Bata, _s._  A bee.  _Sans._  Pata.

Bau, _s._  Fellow, comrade.  _See_ Baw.

Baul, _s._  Snail.  _See_ Bowle.

Baulo, _s._  Pig, swine.  The proper meaning of this word is anything
swollen, anything big or bulky.  It is connected with the English bowle
or bole, the trunk of a tree; also with bowl, boll, and belly; also with
whale, the largest of fish, and wale, a tumour; also with the Welsh
_bol_, a belly, and _bala_, a place of springs and eruptions.  It is
worthy of remark that the English word pig, besides denoting the same
animal as _baulo_, is of the same original import, being clearly derived
from the same root as big, that which is bulky, and the Turkish _buyuk_,
great, huge, vast.

Baulie-mas, _s._  Pork, swine’s flesh.

Bavano.  Windy, broken-winded.

Bavol, _s._  Wind, air.  _Sans._  Pavana.  _See_ Beval.

Bavol-engro, _s._  A wind-fellow; figurative name for a ghost.

Baw, bau, _s._  Fellow, comrade: probably the same as the English
country-word baw, bor.  _Ger._  Bauer.  Av acoi, baw, Come here, fellow.
Boer, in Wallachian, signifies a boyard or lord.

Beano, _part. pass._  Born.

Beano abri.  Born out of doors, like a Gypsy or vagrant.

Bebee, _s._  Aunt.  _Rus._ Baba (grandmother, old woman, hag); Baba Yagā,
the female demon of the Steppes.

Beng / Bengui, _s._  Devil.  _Sans._  Pangka (mud).  According to the
Hindu mythology, there is a hell of mud; the bengues of the Gypsies seem
to be its tenants.

Bengako tan, _s._  Hell.  Lit. place belonging to devils.

Bengeskoe potan.  Devil’s tinder, sulphur.

Bengeskoe / Benglo, _a._  Devilish.

Bengree, _s._  Waistcoat.  _Span. Gyp._ Blani.  _Wal._ (Blāni fur).

Berro, béro, _s._  A ship, a hulk for convicts.  _Span. Gyp._ Bero, las
galeras, the galleys; presidio, convict garrison.

Ber-engro, _s._  A sailor.

Bero-rukh, _s._  A mast.

Bersh / Besh, _s._  A year.  _Sans._ Varsha.  He could cour drey his
besh, he could fight in his time.

Bershor, _pl._  Years.

Besh, _v. n._  To sit: beshel, he sits.

Beshaley / Beshly, Gypsy name of the Stanley tribe.

Besh-engri, _s._  A chair.  _See_ Skammen.

Beti, _a._  Little, small.

Beval, _s._  Wind.  _See_ Bavol.

Bi, _prep._  Without: bi luvvu, without money.

Bicunyie, _a._  Alone, undone: meklis _or_ mukalis bicunyie, let it

Bikhin / Bin _v. a._  To sell.  _Hin._  Bikna.

Bikhnipen, _s._  Sale.

Birk, _s._  Woman’s breast.  _See_ Bark.

Bis, _a._  Twenty.

Bisheni, _s._  The ague.

Bitch / Bitcha, _v. a._  To send.  _Sans._  Bis, bisa.

Bitched / Bitcheno, _part. pass._  Sent

Bitcheno pawdel.  Sent across, transported.

Bitti, _s. a._  Small, piece, a little.  This word is not true Gypsy.

Bloen / Blowing, A cant word, but of Gypsy origin, signifying a sister in
debauchery, as Pal denotes a brother in villainy.  It is the Plani and
Beluñi of the Spanish Gypsies, by whom sometimes Beluñi is made to
signify queen; _e.g._ Beluñi de o tarpe (tem opré), the Queen of Heaven,
the Virgin.  Blower is used by Lord Byron, in his ‘Don Juan.’  Speaking
of the highwayman whom the Don shoots in the vicinity of London, he says
that he used to go to such-and-such places of public resort with—his

Bob, _s._  A bean.  _Wal._ Bob: _pl._ bobbis, bobs.

Boccalo, _a._  Hungry: boccalé pers, hungry bellies.

Bokht, _s._  Luck, fortune: kosko bokht, good luck.  _Sans._ Bhãgya.
_Pers._ Bakht.

Bokra, _s._  A sheep.  _Hun._ Birka.

Bokra-choring.  Sheep-stealing.

Bokkar-engro, _s._  A shepherd: bokkar-engro drey, the dude, man in the

Bokkari-gueri, _s._  Shepherdess.

Bokkeriskoe, _a._  Sheepish, belonging to a sheep: bokkeriskey piré,
sheep’s feet.

Bolla, _v. a._  To baptize.

Bonnek, _s._  Hold: lel bonnek, to take hold.

Booko, _s._  Liver.  _See_ Bucca.

Bolleskoe divvus.  Christmas-day; _query_, baptismal day.  _Wal._ Botez

Bollimengreskoenaes.  After the manner of a Christian.

Boogones, _s._  Smallpox, pimples.  _See_ Bugnior.

Bor, _s._  A hedge.

Boona, _a._  Good.  _Lat._ Bonus.  _Wal._ Boun.

Booty, _s._  Work.

Bori, _a. fem._  Big with child, enceinte.

Booty, _v. a._  To work, labour.

Boro, _a._  Great, big.  _Hin._ Bura.  _Mod. Gr. βαρὺς_ (heavy).

Borobeshemeskeguero, _s._  Judge, _great-sitting-fellow_.

Boro Gav.  London, big city.  _See_ Lundra.

Boronashemeskrutan.  Epsom race-course.

Bosh, _s._  Fiddle.  _Pers._ [Persian which cannot be reproduced] Bazee,
baz (play, joke), whence the English cant word ‘bosh.’  _See_ Bashadi.

Boshomengro, _s._  Fiddler.

Bosno / Boshno, _s._  A cock, male-bird.  _Sans._ Puchchin.  _Wal._ Bosh
(testicle).  _Gaelic_, Baois (libidinousness).

Boshta, _s._  A saddle.

Bostaris, _s._  A bastard.

Bovalo, _a._  Rich.  _Sans._ Bala (strong).

Bowle, _s._  Snail.  _See_ Baul.

Brishen / Brisheno, _s._  Rain.  _Hun. Gyp._ Breshino.  _Sans._ Vrish.
_Mod. Gr. βρέξιμον_.

Brisheneskey, _a._  Rainy: brisheneskey rarde, a rainy night;
brisheneskey chiros, a time of rain.  _Mod. Gr. καιρὸς βροχερός_.

Bucca, _s._  Liver.  _Sans._ Bucca (heart).  _Wal._ Phikat.

Bucca naflipen, _s._  Liver-complaint.

Buchee, _s._  Work, labour.  _See_ Butsi.

Buddigur, _s._  A shop.  _Span._  Bodega.

Buddikur divvus, _s._  Shopping-day: Wednesday, Saturday.

Bugnes / Bugnior, _s. pl._  Smallpox, blisters.  _Gael._ Boc (a pimple),
bolg (a blister), bolgach (small-pox).  _Wal._ Mougour (a bud).  _Fr._

Buklo, _a._  Hungry: buklo tan, hungry spot, a common.  _Hun. Gyp._ Buklo
tan (a wilderness).

Bul, _s._  Rump, buttock.

Bungshoror / Bungyoror, _s. pl._  Corks.

Busnis / Busnior, _s. pl._  Spurs, prickles.  _Mod. Gr. βάσανοω_ (pain,

Buroder, _ad._  More: _ad._ ne buroder, no more.

Bute, _a. ad._  Much, very.  _Hin._  Būt.

Butsi / Buty, _s._  Work, labour.

Butying.  Working.


CAEN / Cane, _v. n._  To stink.

Caenipen / Canipen, _s_.  A stench.

Caeninaflipen, _s._  Stinking sickness, the plague, gaol-fever.  The old
cant word Canihen, signifying the gaol-fever, is derived from this Gypsy

Candelo / Cannelo, _a._  Stinking: cannelo mas, stinking meat.  _Sans._
Gandha (smell).

Callico / Collico, _s._  To-morrow, also yesterday: collico sorlo,
to-morrow morning.  _Sans._ Kalya.  _Hin._ Kal (to-morrow, yesterday).

Cana, _ad._  Now: cana sig, now soon.  _See_ Kanau, knau.

Cam, _s._  The sun.  _Hin._  Khan.  _Heb._ Khama (the sun), kham (heat).

Cam.  To wish, desire, love.

Cam / Camello / Camo, _v. a._  To love.  _Sans._  Cama (love).  Cupid;
from which Sanscrit word the Latin Amor is derived.

Cambori / Cambri, _a._  Pregnant, big with child.

Camlo / Caumlo, Lovel, name of a Gypsy tribe.  Lit. amiable.  With this
word the English “comely” is connected.

Camo-mescro, _s._  A lover; likewise the name Lovel.

Can, _s._  The sun.

Can, _s._  An ear.  _See_ Kaun.

Cana, _ad._  Now: cana sig, now soon.  _See_ Kanau.

Canáfi / Canapli, Turnip.

Canairis.  A Gypsy name.

Canior / Caunor, _s. pl._  Pease.

Canni.  A hen.  _Span. Gyp._ Cañi.  _Hun. Gyp._ Cackni.  _Gael._ Cearc.

Cannis.  Hens.

Cappi, _s._  Booty, gain, fortune: to lel cappi, to acquire booty, make a
capital, a fortune.

Cas, _s._  Hay: cas-stiggur, haystack; cas kairing, hay-making.

Cas, _s._  Cheese.  _Lat._ Caseus.  This word is used by the pikers or
tramps, as well as by the Gypsies.  _See_ Kael.

Catches / Catsau, _s. pl._ Scissors.  _Hun._  Kasza.  _Wal._ Kositsie
(sickle).  _Mod._ _Gr. κόσα_.  _Rus._ Kosa.

Cato, _prep._  To; more properly From.  _Hun. Gyp._ Cado.  _Wal._ Katre

Cavo, _pron. dem._  This.

Cavocoi.  This here.

Cavocoiskoenoes.  In this manner.

Caur, _v. a._  To filch, steal in an artful manner by bending down.
_Heb._ [Hebrew which cannot be reproduced] Cara, incurvavit se.  _Eng._

Cayes, _s._  Silk.  _Pers_. [Persian which cannot be reproduced]  _Span.
Gyp._ Quequesa.  _Sans._ Kauseya.

Chal, _s._  Lad, boy, son, fellow.  Connected with this word is the
Scottish Chiel, the Old English Childe, and the Russian Chelovik.  _See_
Romani chal.

Cháro, _s._  Plate, dish.

Chavali, _s.f._  Girl, damsel.

Chavi, _s.f._  Child, girl, daughter.

Cham, _s._  Leather: chameskie rokunies, leather breeches.  _Sans._
Charma (skin).

Chavo, _s. m._  Child, son: _pl._ chaves.  Cheaus is an old French
hunting term for the young ones of a fox.

Charos / Cheros, _s._  Heaven.  _Wal._ Cher.

Chauvo, _s._  _See_ Chavo.

Chaw, _s._  Grass.

Chawhoktamengro, _s._  Grasshopper.  _See_ Hokta.

Chee, _a._  No, none: chee butsi, no work.  _See_ Chi, chichi.

Chericlo, _s._  Bird.  _See_ Chiriclo.

Chiricleskey tan, _s._  Aviary, birdcage.

Chi, _s.f._  Child, daughter, girl: Romany chi, Gypsy girl.

Chi / Chichi / Chiti, _s._  Nothing.

Chin, _v. a._  To cut: chin lis tuley, cut it down.  _Sans._ Chun (to cut
off).  _Hin._ Chink.  _Gaelic_, Sgian (a knife).

Chin the cost.  To cut the stick; to cut skewers for butchers and pegs
for linen-lines, a grand employment of the Gypsy fellows in the
neighbourhood of London.

China-mengri, _s.f._  A letter; a thing incised, marked, written in.

China-mengro, _s._  Hatchet.  Lit. cutting-thing.

Chinipen, _s._  A cut.

Ching / Chingaro, _v. a._  To fight, quarrel.

Chinga-guero, _s._  A warrior.

Chingaripen, _s._  War, strife.  _Sans._ Sangara.

Chingring, _part. pres._  Fighting, quarrelling.

Chik, _s._  Earth, dirt.  _Span. Gyp._ Chique.  _Hin._ Chikkar.

Chiklo, _a._  Dirty.

Chiriclo, _s. m._  Bird.  _Hin._ Chiriya.

Chiricli, _s.f._  Hen-bird.

Chiros, _s._  Time.  _Mod. Gr. καιρὸς_.

Chiv / Chiva / Chuva, _v. a._  To cast, fling, throw, place, put: chiv
lis tuley, fling it down; chiv oprey, put up.  _Rus._ Kyio (to forge,
cast iron).  _Sans._ Kship.

Chiving tulipen prey the chokkars.  Greasing the shoes.

Chofa, _s.f._  Petticoat.

Chohawni, _s._  Witch.  _See_ Chovahano.

Chohawno, _s._  Wizard.

Chok, _s._  Watch, watching.

Chok-engro, _s._  Watchman.

Chok, _s._  Shoe: chokkor, chokkors, shoes.  _Hun._ Czókó (wooden shoe).

Choko-mengro.  Shoemaker.

Choka, _s._  Coat.

Chokni / Chukni, _s._  Whip.  _Wal._ Chokini (a strap, leather).  _Hun._
Csakany (a mace, sledge hammer).  _Hun. Gyp._ Chokano (a staff).  _Wal._
Chokan, chokinel (a hammer).

Chukni wast, _s._  The whip-hand, the mastery.

Chollo, _a. s._  Whole.

Chomany, _s._  Something.  _Span. Gyp._ Cormuñi (some); chimoni
(anything).  _Wal._ Chineba (some one).  For every chomany there’s a lav
in Romany: there’s a name in Gypsy for everything.

Chong, _s._  Knee.  _Hun._ Czomb.  _Sans._ Chanu.  _Lat._ Genu.

Chongor, _pl._  Knees.

Choom / Choomava, _v. a._  To kiss.  _Sans._ Chumb.  Choomande, kiss me.
_Span. Gyp._ Chupendi (a kiss), a corruption of Choomande.

Choomia, _s._  A kiss.

Choomo-mengro, one of the tribe Boswell.

Choon, _s._  Moon.  _Hun. Gyp._ Chemut.  _Sans._ Chandra.

Choot, _s._  Vinegar.  _See_ Chute.

Chore, _v. a._  To steal.  _Sans._ Chur.

Chore, _s._  Thief.  _Hin._ Chor.

Chories, _pl_.  Thieves.

Chor-dudee-mengri, _s. Κλεφτοφάναρον_ (thieves’ lantern, dark lantern).

Choredo, a.  Poor, poverty stricken.  _Sans._ Dāridra.

Choredi, _fem_. of Choredo.

Choriness, _s._  Poverty.

Choro, _a._  Poor.  _Span. Gyp._ Chororo.  _Hin._ Shor.

Chovahan, _v. a._  To bewitch.

Chovahani / Chowián, _s.f._  Witch.

Chovahano, _s._  Wizard.

Choveno, _a._  Poor, needy, starved.  Perhaps derived from the Russian
Tchernoe (black, dirty, wretched); or from the Hungarian Csunya (hateful,
frightful); whence the Chungalo of the Hungarian, and also of the Spanish

Choveni, _fem_. of Choveno.

Choveno ker, _s._  Workhouse, poorhouse.

Chukkal, _s._  Dog.  _Span. Gyp._ Chuquel.  _Sans._ Kukkura.  _Basque_,
Chacurra.  _See_ Juggal.

Chumba, _s._  Bank, hill.  _Russ._ Xolm (a hill).

Chungarava / Chungra, _v. a._  To spit.  _Wal._ Ckouina.  _Hun. Gyp._
Chudel (he spits).

Churi, _s._  Knife.  _Sans._ Chhuri.  _Hin._ Churi.

Churi-mengro, _s._  Knife-grinder, cutler.

Churo-mengro, _s._  A soldier, swordsman.

Chute, _s._  Vinegar.  _Mod. Gr. ζύδι_.  _Wal._ Otset.

Chute-pavi, _s._  Cyder; perhaps a crab-apple.  Lit. vinegar-apple.

Chuvvenhan, _s._  Witch.  _See_ Chovahani.

Cinerella.  Female Gypsy name.

Cocal, _s._  Bone.  _Mod. Gr. κοκκαλον_,

Cocalor, _pl._  Bones.

Coco / Cocodus, _s._  Uncle.  _Hin._ Caucau.

Cocoro / Cocoros, _a. pro._  Alone, self: tu cocoro, thyself.

Coin, _pro. interrog._  Who?  _Hin._ Kaun.

Collor, _s. pl._  Shillings: dui collor a crookos, two shillings a week.
In Spanish Germania or cant, two ochavos, or farthings, are called: dui

Comorrus, _s._  A room, hall.  _Hun._ Kamara.  _Hin._ Cumra.  _Ger._

Cong, congl, _v. a._  To comb.

Congli / Congro, _s.f._  A comb.  _Sans._ Kanagata.

Congri, _s.f._  A church.

Coor / Coorava, _v. a._  To fight.  _Irish_, Comhrac [courac].  _Welsh_,
Curaw (to beat).

Coorapen, _s._  Fight, a beating: I shall lel a curapen, I shall get a

Cooroboshno, _s._  A fighting cock.

Cooromengro, _s._  Fighter, boxer, soldier.

Coppur, _s._  Blanket.  _Rus._ Kovér (a carpet).  _Wal._ Kovor, _id._

Corauni / Corooni, _s._  A crown: mekrauliskie corauni, royal crown.
_Wal._ Coroan.

Cori, _s._  Thorn.  Membrum virile.  _Span._ Carajo [caraco].  _Gascon_,

Coro / Coru, _s._  Pot, pitcher, cup: coru levinor, cup of ale; boro
coro, a quart.  _Span. Gyp._ Coro.  _Hin._ Gharã.

Coro-mengro, _s._  Potter.

Coro-mengreskey tem.  Staffordshire.

Corredo, _a._  Blind.  _Span. Gyp._ Corroro.  _Pers._ کور  _Wal._ Kior

Cosht / Cost, _s._  Stick.  _Sans._  Kāshtha.

Cost-engres, _s. pl._  Branch-fellows, people of the New Forest,

Coshtno, _a._  Wooden.

Covar / Covo, _s._  Thing: covars, things; covar-bikhning-vardo, a
caravan in which goods are carried about for sale.

Crafni, _s._  Button.  _Ger._ Knopf.

Crafni-mengro, _s._  Buttonmaker.

Creeor, _s. pl._  Ants, pismires.  _Span. Gyp._ Ocrianse (the ant),
quiria (ant).

Cricni / Crookey / Crookauros / Crookos, _s._  Week.  _See_ Curco.

Cuesni, _s._  Basket.  _See_ Cushnee.

Culvato (Gypsy name).  Claude.

Curaken, _s._  Fighting.  _See_ Coorapen.

Curepen, _s._  Trouble, affliction: curepenis, afflictions.

Curkey / Curko, _s._  Week, Sunday.  _Mod. Gr. κυριακὴ_.

Curlo, _s._  Throat.  _Pers._ گلو Chin his curlo, cut his throat.

Curlo-mengri, _s._  A ruff, likewise a pillow; anything belonging to the
throat or neck.

Cushnee / Cushni / Cusnee, _s._  Basket.  _Wal._ Koshnitse.

Cuttor, _s._  A piece, a guinea-piece: dui cuttor, two guineas; will you
lel a cuttor, will you take a bit? sore in cuttors, all in rags.


DAD, _s._  Father.  _Welsh_, Tâd.  _Wal._ Tat.  _Rus. Gyp._  Dad.

Dado, _s._  Father.  _Rus. Gyp._ Dado.

Dand, _s._  Tooth.  _Sans._ Danta.

Danior, _pl._  Teeth.

Dand, _v. a._  To bite.

Daya / Dieya, _s._  Mother, properly nurse.  _Sans._ Dhayas (fostering).
_Pers._ [Persian which cannot be reproduced]  Daya.  _Mod. Gr. θεῖα_.
_Rus. Gyp._ Daia.  _Wal._ Doika.

Deav, _v. a._  Give.  _Sans._ Dā.  _Wal._ Da.

Del.  He gives.

Del-engro, _s._  A kicking-horse.

Del-oprey, _v. a._  To read.

Denne, _ad._  Than.

Der.  An _affix_, by which the _comparative_ is formed; _e.g._ Wafodu,
bad: wafodúder than dovor, worse than they.

Desch, _a._  Ten.  _Sans._ Dasan.  _Wal._ Zetche.

Desh ta yeck.  Eleven.

Desh ta dui.  Twelve.

Desh ta trin.  Thirteen.

Desh ta store.  Fourteen.

Desh ta pansch.  Fifteen.

Desh ta sho.  Sixteen.

Desh ta eft.  Seventeen.

Deshko.  Eighteen (?): deshko hori, eighteenpence; properly, Desh ta octo

Devel, _s._  God.  _Sans._ Deva.  _Lith._ Dēwas.  _Lat._ Deus.  _See_
Dibble, Dovvel, Dubbel.

Develeskoe, _s._  Holy, divine.  _Sans._ Deva.

Deyed, _pret._ of Deav.  He gave.

Dibble, _s._  God.  _See_ Devel.

Dic / Dico, _v. n._  To look: dic tuley, look down; dicking misto,
looking well.  _Sans._ Iksh (to see, look).  _Gaelic_, Dearcam (to see);
dearc (eye).

Dickimengro, _s._  Overlooker, overseer.

Dicking hev, _s._  A window, seeing-hole.

Die, _s._  Mother.  _Rus. Gyp._ Die.  _See_ Daya.

Dikkipen, _s._  Look, image.  _Sans._ Driksha (aspect).  _Welsh_, Drych

Diklo, _s._  Cloth, sheet, shift.

Dinnelo, _s._  A fool, one possessed by the devil.  _Wal._ Diniele (of
the devil); louat diniele (possessed by the devil).

Dinneleskoe, _a._  Foolish.

Dinneleskoenoes.  Like a fool.

Dinnelipénes, _s. pl._  Follies, nonsense.

Diverous.  A Gypsy name.

Diviou, _a._  Mad: jawing diviou, going mad.  _Sans._ Déva (a god, a

Diviou-ker, _s._  Madhouse.

Diviou kokkodus Artáros.  Mad Uncle Arthur.

Divvus, _s._  Day.  _Sans._ Divasa.

Divveskoe / Divvuskoe, _a._  Daily: divvuskoe morro, daily bread.

Diximengro, _s._  Overseer.  _See_ Dickimengro.

Dook, _v. a._  To hurt, bewitch: dook the gry, bewitch the horse.  _Wal._
Deokira (to fascinate, bewitch).  _See_ Duke, dukker.

Dooriya / Dooya, _s._  Sea.  _Pers._ دریا  _Irish_, Deire (the deep).
_Welsh_, Dwr (water).  _Old Irish_, Dobhar.

_Dooriya durril_, _s._  Currant, plum.  Lit. Sea-berry.

Dooriya durrileskie guyi, _s._  Plum pudding.

Dori, _s._  Thread, lace: kaulo dori, black lace.  _Hin._ Dora.

Dosch / Dosh, _s._  Evil, harm: kek dosh, no harm.  _Sans._ Dush (bad).

Dosta, _s._   Enough.  _Wal._ Destoul.  _Rus._  Dostaet (it is
sufficient).  _See_ Dusta.

Dou, _imp._  Give: dou mande, give me.  _See_ Deav.

Dou dass.  Cup and saucer.  _See_ Dui das.

Dovo, _pro. dem._  That: dovó si, that’s it.

Dovor.  Those, they: wafodúder than dovor, worse than they.

Dov-odoy / Dovoy-oduvva, _ad._  Yonder.

Dov-odoyskoenaes.  In that manner.

Doovel, _s._  God.  _See_ Duvvel.

Drab / Drav, _s._  Medicine, poison.  _Pers_. [Persian which cannot be
reproduced] Daru.  _Wal._ Otrav.

Drab-engro / Drav-engro, _s._  A pothecary, poison-monger.

Drab, _v. a._  To poison.  _Wal_. Otribi.

Drey, _prep._  In.

Dubble, _s._  God: my dearie Dubbleskey, for my dear God’s sake.

Dude, _s._  The moon.

Dudee, _s._  A light, a star.  _Sans._ Dyuti.

Dude-bar, _s._  Diamond, light-stone.

Drom, _s._  Road.  _Wal._ Drom.  _Mod. Gr. δρόμος_.

Drom-luring, _s._  Highway robbery.

Dui, _a._  Two.

Duito, _s._  Second.

Duito divvus, _s._  Tuesday.  Lit.  Second day.

Dui das / Dui tas, _s._  Cup and saucer.

Duke, _v. a._  To hurt, bewitch.  _Sans._ Duhkha (pain).  _Heb._ Dui
(languor, deadly faintness).

Dukker, _v. a._  To bewitch, tell fortunes.  _Wal._ Deokiea (to
fascinate, enchant).

Dukker drey my vast.  Tell my fortune by my hand.

Dukkering, _s._  Fortune-telling.  _Wal._ Deokiere (fascination).  _Mod.
Gr. τύχη_ (fortune).

Dukkipen, _s._  Fortune-telling.

Dukker, _v. n._  To ache: my sherro dukkers, my head aches.  _See_ Duke,

Dum / Dumo, _s._  Black.  _Pers._ [Persian which cannot be reproduced]

Dur, _ad._  Far.  _Sans._ Dur.  _Pers._ دور

Dur-dicki mengri, _s._  Telescope.  Lit. far-seeing-thing.

Durro, _ad._  Far.

Durro-der, _ad._  Farther.

Durriken, _s._  Fortune-telling.

Durril, _s._  Any kind of berry, a gooseberry in particular.

Durrilau / Durilyor, _pl._  Berries.

Durrileskie guyi, _s._  Gooseberry pudding.

Dusta, _a. s._  Enough, plenty: dusta foky, plenty of people.  _See_

Duvvel, _s._  God.


EANGE, _s._  Itch.

Ebyok, _s._  The sea.  _Sans._ Aapa (water).  _Wal._ Ape.

Eft, _a._  Seven.  Few of the English Gypsies are acquainted with this
word; consequently, the generality, when they wish to express the number
seven, without being understood by the Gorgios or Gentiles, say Dui trins
ta yeck, two threes and one.

En.  A kind of _genitive particle_ used in compound words, being placed
between a noun and the particle ‘gro’ or ‘guero,’ which signifies a
possessor, or that which governs a thing or has to do with it: _e.g._
lav-en-gro, a linguist or man of words, lit. word-of-fellow; wesh-en-gro,
a forester, or one who governs the wood; gurush-en-gre, things costing a
groat, lit. groat-of-things.

Engri.  A _neuter affix_, composed of the particles ‘en’ and ‘gro,’ much
used in the formation of figurative terms for things for which there are
no positive names in English Gypsy: for example, yag-engri, a fire-thing,
which denotes a gun; poggra-mengri, a breaking-thing or mill; ‘engri’ is
changed into ‘mengri’ when the preceding word terminates in a vowel.

Engro.  A _masculine affix_, used in the formation of figurative names;
for example, kaun-engro, an ear-fellow, or creature with ears, serving to
denote a hare; ruk-engro, or ruko-mengro, a tree-fellow, denoting a
squirrel; it is also occasionally used in names for inanimate objects, as
pov-engro, an earth-thing or potato.  _See_ Guero.

Escunyo, _s._  A wooden skewer, a pin.  _Span. Gyp._ Chingabar (a pin).

Escunyes, _pl._  Skewers.

Escunye-mengro, _s._  A maker of skewers.

Eskoe, _fem._ Eskie.  A particle which affixed to a noun turns it into an
adjective: _e.g._ Duvel, God; duveleskoe, divine.  It seems to be derived
from the _Wal._ Esk, Easkie.

Eskey.  An _affix_ or _postposition_, signifying, for the sake of: _e.g._
Mi-dubble-eskey, for God’s sake.

Ever-komi, _ad._  Evermore.


FAKE, _v. a._  To work, in a dishonest sense; to steal, pick pockets.

Fakement, _s._  A robbery, any kind of work: a pretty fakement that, a
pretty piece of work.  A scoundrel—you ratfelo fakement, you precious
scoundrel; a man of any kind—he’s no bad fakement after all; a girl, St.
Paul’s Cathedral—what a rinkeny fakement, what a pretty girl, what a
noble church.

Fashono, _a._  False, fashioned, made up.  _Wal._ Fatche (to make); fatze
(face, surface).

Fashono wangustis.  Pretended gold rings, made in reality of brass or

Fashono wangust engre.  Makers of false rings.

Fenella.  A female Gypsy name.

Ferreder, _a._  Better, more.  _Gaelic_, Feairde.

Fetér, _ad._  Better.  _Pers._ بهتر  _Span. Gyp._ Fetér.

Figis, _s._  Fig.

Figis-rookh, _s._  Fig-tree.

Filisen, _s._  Country-seat.

Fino, _a._  Fine.  This word is not pure Gypsy: fino covar, a fine thing.

Floure, _s._  Flower; a female Gypsy name.

Fordel, _v. a._  Forgive; generally used for Artav, or Artavello, _q.v._,
and composed of the English ‘for’ and the Gypsy ‘del.’

Fordias / Fordios, _part. pass._  Forgiven.

Foros, _s._  City.  _See_ Vauros.

Ful, _s._  Dung: ful-vardo, muck cart.

Fuzyanri, _s._  Fern.  _Hun._ Füz (willow), fácska (a shrub), füszár (a


GAD, _s._  A shirt: pauno gad, a clean shirt.

Gare, _v. n._, _v. a._  To take care, beware; to hide, conceal.  _Sans._
Ghar, to cover.

Garridan.  You hid: luvvu sor garridan, the money which you hid.

Garrivava, _v. a._  I hide or shall hide, take care: to gare his
nangipen, to hide his nakedness.

Gav, _s._  A town, village.  _Pers._ [Persian which cannot be reproduced]

Gav-engro, _s._  A constable, village officer, beadle, citizen.

Gillie, _s._  A song.  _Sans._ Khëli.

Gillies.  Songs.  Sometimes used to denote newspapers; because these last
serve, as songs did in the old time, to give the world information of
remarkable events, such as battles, murders, and robberies.

Gilyava.  I sing, or shall sing.  _Hin._ Guywuya.  _Mod. Gr. κοιλαδῶ_.

Gin, _v. a._  To count, reckon.  _Sans._ Gan.  _Hin._ Ginna.

Ginnipen, _s._  A reckoning.

Giv, _s._  Wheat.  _Sans._ Yava (barley).  _See_ Jobis.

Giv-engro, _s._  Wheat-fellow, figurative name for farmer.

Giv-engro ker, _s._  Farmhouse.

Giv-engro puv, _s._  Farm.

Godli, _s._  A warrant, perhaps hue and cry.  _See_ Gudlie.  _Span. Gyp._
Gola (order).

Gono, _s._  A sack.  _Hin._ Gon.

Gorgio, _s._  A Gentile, a person who is not a Gypsy; one who lives in a
house and not in a tent.  It is a modification of the Persian word
[Persian which cannot be reproduced] Cojia, which signifies a gentleman,
a doctor, a merchant, etc.  _Span. Gyp._ Gacho.

Gorgiken rat.  Of Gentile blood.

Gorgie, _s._  A female Gentile or Englishwoman.

Gorgikonaes, _ad._  After the manner of the Gentiles.

Gooee, _s._  Pudding.  _See_ Guyi.

Gran, _s._  A barn: I sov’d yeck rarde drey a gran, I slept one night
within a barn (Gypsy song).

Gran-wuddur, _s._  A barn door.

Gran-wuddur-chiriclo.  Barn-door fowl.

Grasni / Grasnakkur, _s._  Mare, outrageous woman: what a grasni shan tu,
what a mare you are!  Grasnakkur is sometimes applied to the _mayor_ of a

Grestur / Gristur, _s._  A horse.  _Span. Gyp._ Gras, graste.

Gry, _s._  A horse.  _Sans._ Kharu.  _Hin._ Ghora.  _Irish_ and _Scottish
Gaelic_, Greadh.

Gry-choring, _s._  Horse-stealing.

Gry-engro, _s._  Horse-dealer.

Gry-nashing.  Horse-racing.

Gudlee / Godli, _s._  Cry, noise, shout.  _Hin._ Ghooloo.  _Irish_, Gúl.
_Rus._ Gyl=gool (shout); Gólos (voice).

Grommena / Grovena / Grubbena, _s._ and _v._ Thunder, to thunder.
_Sans._ Garjana.  _Rus._ Groin (thunder).  _Heb._ Ream, raemah.
_Gaelic_, Gairm (a cry).

Gudlo, _a._, _s._  Sweet; honey, sugar.

Gudlo-pishen, _s._  Honey-insect, bee.  _See_ Bata.

Gué.  An _affix_, by which the dative case is formed: _e.g._ Man, I;
mangué, to me.

Guero, _s._  A person, fellow, that which governs, operates.  _Sans._
Kãra (a maker).  _Pers._ [Persian which cannot be reproduced]  _Welsh_,
Gwr (a man).  In the Spanish cant language, Guro signifies an alguazil, a
kind of civil officer.  _See_ Engro.

Gueri, _s.f._  Female person, virgin: Mideveleskey gueri Mary, Holy
Virgin Mary.

Gush / Gurush / Gurushi, _a._  Groat: gurushengri, a groat’s worth.

Guveni, _s._  Cow.  _Sans._ Go.

Guveni-bugnior, _s._  Cow-pox.

Guveno, _s._  A bull.  _Sans._ Gavaya.  _Gaelic_, Gavuin, gowain
(year-old calf).

Guyi, _s._  Pudding, black pudding.  _Hin._ Gulgul.  _Span. Gyp._ Golli.

Guyi-mengreskie tan, _s._  Yorkshire.  Lit. pudding-eaters’ country; in
allusion to the puddings for which Yorkshire is celebrated.


HA / Haw, _v. a._  To eat.

Habben, _s._  Food, victuals.

Hal, _v. a._  To eat: mande can’t hal lis, I can’t eat it.  _Sans._ Gala.

Hanlo, _s._  A landlord, innkeeper.  _Span. Gyp._ Anglanó.

Hatch, _v. a._  To burn, light a fire.

Hatchipen, _s._  A burning.

Hatch, _v. n._  To stay, stop.  _See_ Adje, atch, az.

Hatchi-witchu, _s._  A hedgehog.  This is a compound word from the _Wal._
Aritche, a hedgehog, and the Persian Besha, a wood, and signifies
properly the prickly thing of the wood.  In Spanish Gypsy, one of the
words for a pig or hog is Eriche, evidently the Wallachian Aritche, a

Hekta, _s._  Haste: kair hekta, make haste; likewise a leap.  _See_
Hokta.  _Sans._ Hat’ha (to leap).

Heres / Heris, _s. pl._  Legs.  _Span. Gyp._ Jerias.  Coshtni herri (a
wooden leg).

Hetavava, _v. a._  To slay, beat, hit, carry off, plunder: if I can lel
bonnek of tute hetavava tute, if I can lay hold of you I will slay you.
_Heb._ Khataf (rapuit).  _Sans._ Hat’ha (to ill-use, rapere).

Hev, _s._  Hole: pawnugo hev, a water hole, a well; hev, a window;
hevior, windows.  _Sans._ Avata.

Heviskey, _a._  Full of holes: heviskey tan, a place full of holes.

Hin, _s._  Dirt, ordure.  _Mod. Gr. χυτὸν_.  _Wal._ Gounoiou.  _Irish_,
Gaineamh (sand).

Hin, _v. a._  To void ordure.  _Sans._ Hanna.  _Mod. Gr. χύνω_.

Hindity-mengré / Hindity-mescré, _s. pl._  Irish.  Dirty, sordid fellows.

Hoffeno, _s._  A liar.

Hok-hornie-mush, s.  A policeman.  Partly a cant word.

Hokka, _v. n._  To lie, tell a falsehood: hokka tute mande, if you tell
me a falsehood.

Hokkano, _s._  A lie.  _Sans._ Kuhanã (hypocrisy).

Hokta, _v. a._  To leap, jump.  _See_ Hekta.

Hokta-mengro, _s._  Leaper, jumper.

Hoofa, _s._  A cap.

Hor / Horo, _s._  A penny.  _Span. Gyp._ Corio an ochavo (or farthing).

Horry, _s. pl._  Pence: shohorry, showhawry, sixpence.

Horsworth, _s._  Pennyworth.

Horkipen, _s._  Copper.  _Hun. Gyp._ Harko.

Huffeno, _s._  A liar.  _See_ Hoffeno.

Hukni, _s._  Ringing the changes, the fraudulent changing of one thing
for another.


I, _pro._  She, it.

I.  A _feminine_ and _neuter termination_: _e.g._ Yag engr_i_, a
fire-thing or gun; coin _si_, who is she? so _si_, what is it?

Inna / Inner, _prep._  In, within: inner Lundra, in London.  _Span. Gyp._

Iouzia, _s._  A flower.

Is, _conj._  If; it is affixed to the verb—e.g. Dikiomis, if I had seen.

Iv, _s._  Snow.  _Hun. Gyp._ Yiv.  _Span. Gyp._ Give.

Iv-engri / Ivi-mengri, _s._  Snow-thing, snowball.

Iuziou, _a._  Clean.  _Mod. Gr. ὑγιὴς_ (sound, healthy).  _See_ Roujio.


JAL.  To go, walk, journey.  This verb is allied to various words in
different languages signifying movement, course or journey:—to the
Sanscrit Il, ila, to go; to the Russian Gulliat, to stroll, to walk
about; to the Turkish Iel, a journey; to the Jol of the Norse, and the
Yule of the Anglo-Saxons, terms applied to Christmas-tide, but which
properly mean the circular journey which the sun has completed at that
season: for what are Jol and Yule but the Ygul of the Hebrews? who call
the zodiac ‘Ygul ha mazaluth,’ or the circle of the signs.  It is,
moreover, related to the German Jahr and the English Year, radically the
same words as Jol, Yule, and Ygul, and of the same meaning—namely, the
circle travelled by the sun through the signs.

Já, _v. imp._  Go thou!

Jal amande.  I shall go.

Jal te booty.  Go to work.

Jalno / Java / Jaw, v.a.  I go.  _Sans._ Chara.

Jas, jasa.  Thou goest: tute is jasing, thou art going.

Jal, 3_rd pers. pres._  He goes.

Jalla, _f._  She goes.

Jalno ando pawni, _v. a._  I swim.  Lit. I go in water.

Jaw, _ad._  So: jaw si, so it is.  _See_ Ajaw, asá, ashá.

Jib, _s._  Tongue.  _Sans._ Jihva.

Jib, _v. n._  To live, to exist.  _Sans._ Jiv.  _Rus._ Jit.
_Lithuanian_, Gywenu.

Jibben, _s._  Life, livelihood.  _Sans._ Jivata (life), Jivika
(livelihood).  _Rus._ Jivot, Tchivot.

Jivvel, _v. n._  He lives: kai jivvel o, where does he live?

Jin / Jinava, _v. n._  To know.  _Sans._ Jna.

Jinnepen, _s._  Wisdom, knowledge.  _Sans._ Jnapti (understanding).

Jinney-mengro, _s._  A knowing fellow, a deep card, a Grecian, a wise
man, a philosopher.

Jinney-mengreskey rokrapénes.  Sayings of the wise: the tatcho drom to be
a jinney-mengro is to dick and rig in zi, the true way to be a wise man
is to see and bear in mind.

Jongar, _v. n._  To awake.  _Sans._ Jagri.  _Hin._ Jugana.

Jôbis, _s._  Oats.  _Sans._ Java (barley).  _Wal._ Obia.  _See_ Giv.

Joddakaye, _s._  Apron; anything tied round the middle or hips.  _Sans._
Kata (the hip, the loins), Kataka (a girdle).

Ju, _s._  A louse.  _Sans._ Yuka.

Juvalo, _a._  Lousy.

Juvior, _s. pl._  Lice.

Juggal / Jukkal, _s._  Dog.  _Sans._ Srigãla (jackal).

Jukkalor.  Dogs.

Jukkaelsti cosht, _s._  Dog-wood; a hard wood used for making skewers.

Juva / Juvali, Woman, wife.

Juvli, _s._  Girl.  _See_ Chavali.


KAEL, _s._  Cheese.

Kaes, _s._  Cheese.

Kah / Kai, _ad._  Where: kai tiro ker, where’s your house? kai si the
churi, where is the knife?  _Sans._ Kva.

Kair, _v. a._  To do.  _Sans._ Kri, to do; kara (doing).

Kair misto.  To make well, cure, comfort.

Kairipen, _s._  Work, labour.  _Sans._ Karman.

Kakkaratchi, _s._  Magpie; properly a raven.  _Mod. Gr. κορακαζ_.

Kanau / Knau, _ad._  Now.

Karring.  Crying out, hawking goods.  _Span. Gyp._ Acarar (to call).
_See_ Koring.

Kaulo, _a._  Black.  _Sans._ Kãla.  _Arab._ [Arabic which cannot be

Kaulo chiriclo, _s._  A blackbird.

Kaulo cori, _s._  A blackthorn.

Kaulo durril, _s._  Blackberry.

Kaulo Gav, _s._  Black-town, Birmingham.

Kaulo guero, _s._  A black, negro.

Kaulo guereskey tem, _s._  Negroland, Africa.

Kaulo-mengro, _s._  A blacksmith.

Kaulo ratti.  Black blood, Gypsy blood: kaulo ratti adrey leste, he has
Gypsy blood in his veins.

Kaun, _s._  An ear.  _Sans._ Karna.

Kaun-engro, _s._  An ear-fellow, thing with long ears; a figurative name
for a hare.

Ke, _prep._  Unto.  Likewise a _postposition_—_e.g._ lenké, to them.

Keir / Ker, _s._  A house.  _Sans._ Griha.

Ker / Kerey / Ken, _ad._  Home, homeward: java keri, I will go home.

Keir-poggring.  House-breaking.

Keir-rakli, _s._  A housemaid.

Kek, _ad. a._  No, none, not: kek tatcho, it is not true.

Kekkeno, _a._  None, not any: kekkeni pawni, no water.

Kekkeno mushe’s poov, _s._  No man’s land; a common.

Kekkauvi, _s.f._  Kettle.  _Mod. Gr. κακκάβη_.

Kekkauviskey saster, _s._  Kettle-iron; the hook by which the kettle is
suspended over the fire.

Kekko, _ad._  No, it is not, not it, not he.

Kekkomi.  No more.  _See_ Komi, Ever-komi.

Kek-cushti.  Of no use; no good.  _See_ Koshto.

Kem, _s._  The sun.  _See_ Cam.

Ken.  A _particle_ affixed in English Gypsy to the name of a place
terminating in a vowel, in order to form a genitive; _e.g._ Eli_ken_ bori
congri, the great church of Ely.  _See_ En.

Ken, _s._  A house, properly a nest.  _Heb._ [Hebrew which cannot be
reproduced] Kin.

Kenyor, _s. pl._  Ears.  _See_ Kaun.

Ker  / Kerava _v. a._  To do; make: kair yag, make a fire.  _Sans._ Kri.
_Pers._ [Persian which cannot be reproduced]  _Gaelic_, Ceaird (a trade),
ceard (a tinker).  _Lat._ Cerdo (a smith).  English, Char, chare (to work
by the day).

Kerdo.  He did.

Kedast, 2_nd pers. pret._  Thou didst.

Kedo, _part. pass._  Done.

Kerri-mengro, _s._  Workman.

Kerrimus, s.  Doing, deed: mi-Doovel’s kerrimus, the Lord’s doing.
_Sans._ Karman (work).

Kerrit, _p. pass._  Cooked, boiled.  Anglo-Indian word, Curried.  _Fr._
Cuire.  _Gaelic_, Greidh (to cook victuals).

Kettaney, _ad._  Together.  _Wal._ Ketziba (many).  _See_ Kisi.

Kidda, _v. a._  To pluck.

Kil, _v. a._  To dance, play.  _Hin._ Kelná.  _Sans._ Kshvel.

Killi-mengro, _s._  A dancer, player.

Kil, _s._  Butter.

Kin, _v. a._  To buy: kinning and bikkning, buying and selling.  _Heb._
Kana (he bought).

Kin aley.  To ransom, redeem, buy off.

Kinnipen, _s._  A purchase.

Kinnipen-divvus, _s._  Purchasing-day, Saturday.

Kindo, _a._  Wet.

Kipsi, _s._  Basket.  _Span. Gyp._ Quicia.

Kinyo.  Tired.  _Span. Gyp._ Quiñao.

Kisaiya.  A female Gypsy name.

Kisi, _ad._  How much, to what degree: kisi puro shan tu, how old are
you?  _Wal._ Kitze.  _Span. Gyp._ Quichi.  _Sans._ Kati (how many?)

Kisseh / Kissi, _s._  A purse.  _Sans._ Kosa.  _Pers._ [Persian which
cannot be reproduced]

Kistur, _v. a._  To ride.  _Wal._ Keleri.

Kistri-mengro / Kistro-mengro, _s._  Rider, horseman.

Kitchema, _s._  Public-house, inn.  _Hun._ Korcsma.  _Wal._ Keirtchumie.

Kitchema-mengro, _s._  Innkeeper.

Klism / Klisn, _s._  A key.  _Rus._ Cliotche.  _Mod. Gr. κλείσμα_
(shutting up).

Klism-engri, _s._  A lock.  Lit. key-thing.

Klism-hev, _s._  A keyhole.

Klop, _s._  A gate, seemingly a cant word; perhaps a bell.  _Wal._

Kokkodus.  Uncle: kokkodus Artáros, Uncle Arthur.

Komi, _adv._  More: ever-komi, evermore.

Koosho, _a._  Good: kooshi gillie, a good song.  _Sans._ Kusala.

Kora / Kore, _v. a._  To riot.  _Wal._ Kiorei (to cry out, bawl, make a
tumult).  _Heb._ Kara (he convoked, cried out).

Koring, _part. pres._  Rioting.  _Heb._ Kirivah (proclamation).

Kora-mengro, _s._  A rioter.

Kore, _v. a._  To hawk goods about, to cry out, to proclaim.

Koring lil, _s._  Hawking-licence.

Koring chiriclo, _s._  The cuckoo.

Koshto, _a._  Good.  _Pers._ خوب

Koshtipen, _s._  Goodness, advantage, profit: kek koshtipen in dukkering
knau, it is of no use to tell fortunes now.

Kosko, _a._  Good.

Koskipen, _s._  Goodness.

Krallis, _s._  King.  _Rus._ Korol.  _Hun._ Király.  _Wal._ Kraiu.

Kushto, _a._  Good: kushto si for mangui, I am content.


LA, _pro. pers._  Her; accusative of ‘i’ or ‘ yoi,’ she.

Laki, _pro. poss._  Her: laki die, her mother.

Lasa / Lasar, With her; instrumental case of ‘i.’

Later.  From her; ablative of ‘i.’

Lati.  Genitive of ‘i’; frequently used as the accusative—e.g. cams tu
lati, do you love her?

Lang / Lango, a.  Lame.  _Sans._ Lang.  _Pers._  [Persian which cannot be
reproduced] Lenk.

Lashi / Lasho, Louis.  _Hungarian_, Lajos, Lazlo.  Scotch, Lesley.

Latch, _v. a._  To find.  _Wal._ Aphla.

Lav, _s._  Word.  _Sans_. Lapa (to speak).  _Eng._ Lip.

Lavior, _pl._  Words.

Lav-chingaripen, _s._  Dispute, word-war.

Lav-engro, _s._  Word-master, linguist.

Len, _pro. pers. pl._  To them: se len, there is to them, the have.

Lendar, _ablative_.  From them.

Lende / Lunde, _gen. and acc._  Of them, them.

Lensar.  With them.

Lengué, _pro. poss._  Their: lengue tan, their tent.

Les, _pro. pers._  To him; dative of ‘yo,’ he: pawno stadj se les, he has
a white hat.

Lescro, _pro. poss._  His, belonging to him: lescro prala, his brother.

Leste.  Of him, _likewise_ him; genitive and accusative of ‘yo.’

Lester.  From him.

Leste’s.  His: leste’s wast, his hand; properly, lescro wast.

Lesti.  Her _or_ it: pukker zi te lesti, tell her your mind; he can’t
rokkra lesti, he can’t speak it.

Leav / Ley, _v. a._  To take.  _Wal._ Loua.

Lel.  He takes.

Lel cappi.  Get booty, profit, capital.

Lennor, _s._  Summer, spring.

Levinor, _s._  Ale; drinks in which there is wormwood.  _Heb._ Laenah
(wormwood).  _Irish_, Lion (ale).

Levinor-ker, _s._  Alehouse.

Levinor-engri.  Hop.  Lit. ale-thing.

Levinor-engriken tem.  Kent.  Lit. hop-country.

Li, _pron._  It: dovo se li, that’s it.

Lidan, _v. a._  You took; 2_nd pers. pret._ of Ley.

Lil, _s._  Book; a letter or pass.  _Hun._ Level.  _Sans._ Likh (to
write).  _Hindustani_, Likhan (to write).

Lillai, _s._  Summer.  _Hun. Gyp._ Nilei.

Linnow, _part. pass._  Taken, apprehended.

Lis, _pro. dat._  To it: adrey lis, in it.

Lollo / Lullo, _a._  Red.  _Pers._ [Persian which cannot be reproduced]

Lolle bengres, _s. pl._  Red waistcoats, Bow Street runners.

Lollo matcho, _s._  Red herring.  Lit. red fish.

Lolli plaishta, _s._  A red cloak.

Lolli, _s._  A farthing.

Lon / Lun, _s._  Salt.  _Sans._ Lavana.  _Hin._ Lon.

Lou, _pro._  It: oprey-lou, upon it.  _Wal._ Lou.

Loure, _v. a._  To steal.  _See_ Luripen.

Lubbeny, _s._  Harlot.  _Rus._ Liabodieitza (adultress), liobodeinoe
(adulterous).  _Sans._ Lúbha (to inflame with lust, to desire).  The
English word Love is derived from this Sanscrit root.

Lubbenipen, _s._  Harlotry.

Lubbenified.  Become a harlot.

Lundra.  London.  _Mod. Gr. Λόνδρα_.

Luripen, _s._  Robbery, a booty.  Lit. a seizure.  _Wal._ Luare (seizure,
capture), Louarea Parizouloui (the capture of Paris).

Lutherum, _s._  Sleep, repose, slumber.

Luvvo, _s._  Money, currency.  _Rus._ Lóvok (convenient, handy, quick,
agile).  In Spanish Gypsy, a real (small coin) is called Quelati, a thing
which dances, from Quelar, to dance.

Luvvo-mengro, _s._  Money-changer, banker.

Luvvo-mengro-ker, _s._  Banker’s house, bank.


MÁ, _ad._  Not; only used before the imperative: má muk, let not.
_Sans._ Mã.  _Pers._ [Persian which cannot be reproduced]

Maas, _s._  _Sans._ Mansa Mans.  _Rus._ Maso.  _See_ Mas.

Maas-engro / Maaso-mengro, _s._  Butcher.

Mailla, _s._  Ass, donkey.  _Wal._ Megaroul.  _Sans._ Baluya.

Mailla and posh.  Ass and foal.

Malleco, _a._  False.

Malúno / Maloney, _s._  Lightning.  _Rus._ Mólnïya.

Mam, _s._  Mother.  _Wal._ Moume.  _Welsh_, Mam.  _Irish and Scottish
Gaelic_, Muime (a nurse).

Man, _pron. pers._  I; very seldom used.  _Hin._ Muen.

Mande, _pron. pers. oblique_ of Man; generally used instead of the
nominative Man.

Mander.  Ablative of Man, from me: jã mander, go from me.

Mande’s.  My.  Mande’s wast, my hand; used improperly for miro.

Mangue.  Dative of Man, to me; sometimes used instead of the nominative.

Mansa.  With me.

Mang, _v. a._  To beg.  _Hin._ Mangna.  _Sans._ Mãrg.

Mango-mengro, _s._  A beggar.

Mangipen, _s._  The trade of begging.  _Sans._ Mãrgana (begging).

Manricley, _s._  A cake.  _Span. Gyp._ Manricli.

Manush, _s._  Man.  _Sans._ Mãnasha.  _Span. Gyp._ Manus.  _See_ Monish.

Manushi, _s._  Woman, wife.  _Sans._ Manushi.

Maricli, _s._  A cake.  _See_ Maricley.

Mash, _s._  Umbrella.  A cant word.

Matcho, _s._  A fish.  _Sans._ Matsya.  _Hin._ Muchee.

Matcheneskoe Gav.  Yarmouth.  Lit. the fishy town.

Matcheneskoe guero, _s._  A fisherman.

Matchka, _s.f._  A cat.  _Hun._ Macska.

Matchko, _s. m._  A he-cat.

Mattipen, _s._  Drunkenness.  _Sans._ Matta (to be intoxicated).  _Mod.
Gr. Μέθη_ (intoxication).  _Welsh_, Meddwy (to intoxicate).

Matto, _a._  Drunk, intoxicated.  _Welsh_, Meddw.

Matto-mengro, _s._  Drunkard.

Mea, _s._  Mile: dui mear, two miles.  _Wal._ Mie.

Mea-bar, _s._  Milestone.

Medisin, _s._  Measure, bushel.  _Sans._ Mãna.

Mek, _v. n._  Leave, let: meklis, leave off, hold your tongue, have done.
_Sans._ Moksh.

Men, _pr._  We; _pl._ of Man.

Men, _s._  Neck.  _Gaelic_, Muineal.  _Welsh_, Mwng.  _Mandchou_, Meifen.

Men-pangushi, _s._  Neckcloth.  _See_ Pangushi.

Mengro.  A word much used in composition.  _See_ Engro and Mescro.

Mensalli, _s._  A table.  _Wal._ Masi.

Mer / Merava, _v. n._  To die.  _Sans._ Mri.

Merricley, _s._  A cake.  _See_ Manricley.

Merripen, _s._  Death.  _Sans._ Mara.

Merripen, _s._  Life, according to the Gypsies, though one feels inclined
to suppose that the real signification of the word is Death; it may,
however, be connected with the Gaulic or Irish word Mairam, to endure,
continue, live long: Gura’ fada mhaireadh tu! may you long endure, long
life to you!  In Spanish Gypsy Merinao signifies an immortal.

Mescro.  A _particle_ which, affixed to a verb, forms a substantive
masculine:—_e.g._ Camo, I love; camo-mescro, a lover.  Nash, to run;
nashi-mescro, a runner.  It is equivalent to Mengro, _q.v._

Messalli, _s._  A table.  _Wal._ Masi.

Mestipen, _s._  Life, livelihood, living, fortune, luck, goodness.
_Span. Gyp._ Mestipen, bestipen.  _Wal._ Viatsie.

Mi, _pron._  I, my.

Mi cocoro, _pron. poss._  I myself, I alone.

Mi dearie Dubbeleskey.  For my dear God’s sake.

Mi develeskie gueri, _s.f._  A holy female.

Mi develeskie gueri Mary.  Holy Virgin Mary.

Mi develeskoe Baval Engro.  Holy Ghost.

Mi dubbelungo, _a._  Divine.

Mi duvvelungo divvus, _s._  Christmas Day.

Millior, _s._  Miles; panj millior, five miles.

Minge / Mintch, _s._  Pudendum muliebre.

Miro, _pron. poss._  My, mine.

Miri, _pron. poss. f._  My, mine.

Misto / Mistos, _ad._  Well.

Misto dusta.  Very well.

Mistos amande.  I am glad.

Mitch, _s._  _See_ Minge.

Mizella.  Female Gypsy name.

Mokkado, _a._  Unclean to eat.  _Wal._ Mourdar (dirty).

Monish, _s._  Man.  _See_ Manush.

Mol, _s._  Wine.  _See_ Mul.

Mollauvis, _s._  Pewter.

Moomli, _s._  Candle, taper.  _See_ Mumli.

Moomli-mengro, _s._  Candlestick, lantern.

Moar, _v. a._  To grind.  _See_ Morro.

More / Morava, _v. a._  To kill, slay.  _Sans._ Mri.  _Wal._ Omori.

Moreno, _part. pass._  Killed, slain.

More, _v. a._  To shave, shear.  _Hun. Gyp._ Murinow.

Mormusti, _s.f._  Midwife.  _Wal._ Maimoutsi.  _Rus._ Mameichka (nurse).

Moro, _pron. poss._  Our: moro dad, our father.

Morro, _s._  Bread.  Lit. that which is ground.  _See_ Moar.  _Span.
Gyp._ Manro.  _Hun. Gyp._ Manro, also Gheum: sin gheum manro, gheum is
manro (bread).  _Rus. Gyp._ Morroshka (a loaf).

Morro-mengro, _s._  A baker.

Mort, _s._  Woman, concubine; a cant word.

Mosco / Moshko, A fly.  _Lat._ Musca.  _Wal._ Mouskie.  _Span. Gyp._
Moscabis (fly-blown, stung with love, picado, enamorado).

Moskey, _s._  A spy: to jal a moskeying, to go out spying.  _Fr._

Mufta, _s.f._  Box, chest.  _See_ Muktar.

Mui, _s._  Face, mouth: lollo leste mui, his face is red.  _Sans._ Mukha
(face, mouth).  _Fr._ Mot (a word).  _Provenzal_, Mo.

Muk, _v. n._  To leave, let.  _See_ Mek.

Mukkalis becunye.  Let it be.

Muktar / Mukto, _s._  Box, chest.

Mul, _s._  Wine.  _Pers._ Mul.

Mul divvus.  Christmas Day.  Lit. wine day.

Mul-engris, _s. pl._  Grapes: mul-engri tan, vineyard.

Mulleni muktar, _s._  Coffin.  Lit. dead-chest.

Mullodustie mukto.  _Id._

Mulleno hev, _s._  Grave.

Mulleno kêr, _s._  Sepulchre, cemetery.

Mullo, _s._, _a._  Dead man, dead.

Mullo mas, _s._  Dead meat; flesh of an animal not slain, but which died

Mumli, _s.f._  Candle.

Mumli-mescro, _s._  Chandler.

Munjee, _s._  A blow on the mouth, seemingly a cant word.  _Hin._ Munh,
mouth.  _Ger._ Mund.

Murces / Mursior, _s. pl._  Arms.  _Span. Gyp._ Murciales.

Muscro, _s._  Constable.  _See_ Muskerro.

Mush, _s._  Man.  _Rus._ Mouge.  _Finnish_, Mies.  _Tibetian_, Mi.
_Lat._ Mas (a male).

Mushi, _s._  Woman.

Mushipen, _s._  A little man, a lad.  _Toulousian_, Massip (a young man),
massipo (a young woman).

Muskerro, _s._  Constable.

Muskerriskoe cost, _s._  Constable’s staff.

Mutra, _s._  Urine.

Mutrava, _v. a._  To void urine.  _Sans._ Mutra.

Mutra-mengri, _s._  Tea.

Mutzi, _s._  Skin.  _Span. Gyp._ Morchas.

Mutzior, _s. pl._  Skins.


NA, _ad._  Not.

Naflipen, _s._  Sickness.  _Span. Gyp._  Nasallipen.  _Mod. Gr. νόσευμα_.

Naflo, _a._  Sick.

Nai.  Properly Na hi, there is not: nai men chior, we have no girls.

Naior, _s. pl._  Nails of the fingers or toes.  _Mod. Gr. νύχι_.

Nangipen, _s._  Nakedness.

Nango, _a._  Naked.

Narilla / Narrila, A female Gypsy name.

Nash, _v. a._  To run.  _Span. Gyp._ Najar.

Nashimescro, _s._  Runner, racer.

Nashimescro-tan, _s._  Race-course.

Nash, _v. a._  To lose, destroy, to hang.  _Sans._ Nasa.  _Span. Gyp._
Najabar (to lose).  _Sans._ Nakha (to destroy).  _Eng._ Nacker (a killer
of old horses).

Nashado, _part. pret._  Lost, destroyed, hung.

Nashimescro, _s._  Hangman.

Nashko, _part. pass._  Hung: nashko pré rukh, hung on a tree.

Nasho, _part. pass._  Hung.

Nástis, _a._  Impossible.  _See_ Astis.

Nav, _s._  Name.  _Hun._ Nev.

Naval, _s._  Thread.  _Span. Gyp._ Nafre.

Naes / Nes, _postpos._  According to, after the manner of: gorgikonaes,
after the manner of the Gentiles; Romano-chalugo-naes, after the manner
of the Gypsies.

Ne, _ad._  No, not: ne burroder, no more; ne riddo, not dressed.

Nevo, _a._  New.

Nevi, _a. fem._  New: nevi tud from the guveni, new milk from the cow.

Nevey Rukhies.  The New Forest.  Lit. new trees.

Nevi Wesh.  The New Forest.

Nick, _v. a._  To take away, steal.  _Span. Gyp._ Nicabar.

Nick the cost.  To steal sticks for skewers and linen-pegs.

Nogo, _s._  Own, one’s own; nogo dad, one’s own father; nogo tan, one’s
own country.

Nok, _s._  Nose.  _Hin._ Nakh.

Nok-engro, _s._  A glandered horse.  Lit. a nose-fellow.

Nokkipen, _s._  Snuff.


O, _art. def._  The.

O, _pron._  He.

Odoi, _ad._  There.  _Hun._ Ott, oda.

Oduvvu, _pron. dem._  That.  _Span. Gyp._ Odoba.

Olevas / Olivas / Olivor, _s. pl._  Stockings.  _Span. Gyp._ Olibias.
_Wal._ Chorapul.

Opral / Opré / Oprey, _prep._  Upon, above.  _Wal._ Pre, asoupra.

Or.  A plural termination; for example, Shock, a cabbage, _pl._ shock-or.
It is perhaps derived from Ouri, the plural termination of Wallachian
neuter nouns ending in ‘e.’

Ora, _s.f._  A watch.  _Hun._ Ora.

Ora, _s._  An hour: so si ora, what’s o’clock?

Orlenda.  Gypsy female name.  _Rus._ Orlitza (female eagle).

Os.  A common termination of Gypsy nouns.  It is frequently appended by
the Gypsies to English nouns in order to disguise them.

Owli, _ad._  Yes.  _See_ Avali.


PA, _prep._  By: pá mui, by mouth.  _Rus._ Po.

Padlo, _ad._  Across: padlo pawnie, across the water, transported.

Pahamengro, _s._  Turnip.

Pailloes, _s._  Filberts.

Pal, _s._  Brother.

Pal of the bor.  Brother of the hedge, hedgehog.

Palal, _prep. ad._  Behind, after, back again: av palal, come back, come
again: palal the welgorus, after the fair.  _Mod. Gr. πάλιν_ (again).
_Rus._ Opiat (_id._).

Pali, _ad._  Again, back.

Pand, _v. a._  To bind.  _Sans._ Bandh.

Pandipen, _s._  Pinfold, prison, pound.

Pandlo, _part. pass._  Bound, imprisoned, pounded.

Pand opre, _v. a._  To bind up.

Pandlo-mengro, _s._  Tollgate, thing that’s shut.

Pangushi, _s.f._  Handkerchief.

Pãni, _s._  Water.  _See_ Pawni.

Panishey shock, _s._  Watercress.  Lit. water-cabbage.  _See_ Shok.

Panj, _a._  Five.  _See_ Pansch.

Pani-mengro, _s._  Sailor, waterman.

Panni-mengri, _s._  Garden.

Panno, _s._  Cloth.  _Lat._ Pannus.  _Wal._ Penzie.

Pansch, _s._  Five.  _Hin._ Panch.

Pappins / Pappior, _s. pl._  Ducks.  _Mod. Gr. πάρια_.

Paracrow, _v. a._  To thank: paracrow tute, I thank you.

Parava / Parra, _v. a._  To change, exchange.  _See_ Porra.

Parriken, _s._  Trust, credit.  _Mod. Gr. παρακαταθήκη_ (trusted goods).

Parno, _a._  White.  _See_ Pauno.

Pas, _s._  Half.  _See_ Posh.

Pasherro, _s._  Halfpenny; _pl._ pasherie.  _Pers._ [Persian which cannot
be reproduced]  Pasheez (a farthing).

Pas-more, _v. a._  Half-kill.

Patch, _s._  Shame.  _Span. Gyp._ Pachi, modesty, virginity.  _Sans._

Patnies, _s. pl._  Ducks.

Patrin, _s._  A Gypsy trail; handfuls of leaves or grass cast by the
Gypsies on the road, to denote to those behind the way which they have

Pattin, _s._  A leaf.  _Span. Gyp._ Patia.  _Sans._ Patra.

Pattinor.  Leaves.

Paub / Paubi, _s._  An apple.  _Hung. Gyp._ Paboy.

Paub tan, _s._  Orchard.

Pauno, _a._  White.  _Sans._ Pandu.  _Gaelic_, Ban.

Pauno gad.  Clean shirt.

Pauno sherro.  Grey head, white head.

Pauno, _s._  Flour.  Lit. what is white.  The Latin ‘panis’ seems to be
connected with this word.

Pauno-mengro, _s._  A miller, white fellow.

Pauno-mui, _s._  Pale face; generally applied to a vain, foolish girl,
who prefers the company of the pallid Gentiles to that of the dark

Pauvi, _s._  An apple.

Pauvi-pãni, _s._  Cyder, apple-water.

Pawdel, _ad._  Across, over: pawdel puve and pawni, across land and
water; pawdel the chumba, over the hill.

Pawnee / Pawni, _s._  Water.  _Sans._ Pãniya.  _Hin._ Panie.  _Eng._
Pond.  _See_ Pāni.

Pawnugo, _a._  Watery: pawnugo hev, water-hole, well.

Pazorrhus, _part. pass._  Indebted.  _See_ Pizarris.

Péava, _v. a._  To drink.  _Sans._ Pã.

Péa-mengri, _s._  Tea-pot.  _Wal._ Bea.  Lit. drinking thing.

Peeapen, _s._  Health: ako’s your peeapen! here’s your health!

Pea-mengro, _s._  Drunkard.

Pedloer, _s._  Nuts; _prop._  Acorns.  _Pers._  Peleed.

Peerdie, _s._  Female tramper.

Peerdo, _s._  Male tramper.

Pek’d / Pekt, _part. pass._  Roasted.  _Span. Gyp._ Peco.  _Sans._ Pãka
(cooking).  _Pers._ Pekhtan.  _Rus._ Petsch (oven).

Pele, _s. pl._  Testicles.  _Sans._ P’hala.

Pelengo gry / Pelengro gry, _s._  Stone-horse.

Pen, a _particle_ affixed to an adjective or a verb when some property or
quality, affection or action is to be expressed, the termination of the
first word being occasionally slightly modified: for example, Kosko,
good, koskipen, goodness; Tatcho, true, tatchipen, truth; Camo, I love,
camipen, love; Chingar, to fight, chingaripen, war.  It is of much the
same service in expressing what is abstract and ideal as Engro, Mescro,
and Engri are in expressing what is living and tangible.  It is sometimes
used as a diminutive, _e.g._ Mushipen, a little fellow.

Pen, _s._  Sister.

Pen / Penav, _v. a._  To say, speak.  _Wal._ Spoune.

Penchava, _v. n._  To think.  _Pers._ Pendashten.  _Sans._ Vi-cit.

Penliois, _s._  Nuts.  _See_ Pedloer.

Per, _s._  Belly.

Per, _v. n._  To fall.  _Span. Gyp._ Petrar.  _Sans._ Pat.

Per tuley.  To fall down.

Perdo, _a._  Full.  _Sans._ Purva, to fill.

Pes / Pessa, _v. a._  To pay.  _Span. Gyp._ Plaserar.  _Rus._ Platit.
_Wal._ Pleti.  _Hun._ Fizetni.

Pes apopli.  To repay.

Petul, _s._  A horse-shoe.  _Mod. Gr. πέταλον_.  _Wal._ Potkoavie.
_Heb._ Bedel (tin).

Petul-engro, _s._  Horseshoe-maker, smith, tinker; the name of a Gypsy

Pi, _v. a._  To drink.  _Sans._ Piva (drinking).  _See_ Peava.

Pias, _s._  Fun.  _Mod. Gr. παίζω_ (to play).

Pikkis / Pikkaris, _s. pl._  Breasts.  _See_ Birk, bark.  _Wal._ Piept.

Pikko, _s._  Shoulder.

Pios, _part. pass._  Drunken.  Only employed when a health is drunk:
_e.g._ aukko tu pios adrey Romanes, your health is drunk in Romany.

Píre, _s. pl._  Feet.

Pirè, _s. pl._  Trampers.

Pire-gueros, _s. pl._  Travellers, trampers.  Lit. foot-fellows.

Pireni, _s.f._  Sweetheart.

Pireno, _s. m._  Sweetheart.

Piro, _v. a._  To walk: pirel, he walks.

Piro-mengro, _s._  Walker.

Pirry, _s._  Pot, boiler.  This is a west-country Gypsy word.  _Span.
Gyp._ Piri.  _Sans._ Pithara, pãtra.

Pishen, _s._  Flea, any kind of insect: guldo pishen, honey-insect, bee,

Pivli, _s._  A widow.

Pivlo, _s._  A widower.

Pivley-gueri, _s._  A widowed female.

Pivley-guero, _s._  A widowed fellow.

Pivley-raunie, _s._  A widow lady.

Piya-mengro, _s._  Drunkard.  _See_ Pea-mengro.

Pizarris / Pizaurus, _part. pass._  Trusted, credited, in debt.  _Sans._
Vishvas (to trust).  _Wal._ Se bizoui (to trust, to credit).  _Mod. Gr.
πιστευθίες_ (he who has been credited).  _Span. Gyp._ Bisarar (to owe),
bisauras (debts), pista (an account).

Pizarri-mengro, _s._  A trusted person, a debtor.

Plakta, _s._  Sheet: bero-rukiskie plakta, a ship’s sail.

Plashta, _s._  Cloak: lolli plashta, red cloak.  _Span. Gyp._ Plata.
Plakta and plashta are probably both derived from the Wallachian postat,
a sheet.

Plastra, _v. a._  To run.

Plastra lesti.  Run it; run for your life.

Plastra-mengro, _s. a._  A Bow Street runner, a pursuer.  In Spanish
Gypsy, Plastañi means a company which pursues robbers.

Poggado, _part. pass._  Broken.

Poggado bavol-engro, _s._  Broken-winded horse.

Poggado habben, _s._  Broken victuals.

Poggra, _v. a._  To break.  _Wal._ Pokni.

Poggra-mengri, _s._  A mill.  Lit. a breaking thing.

Poknies, _s._  Justice of the peace.  _Rus._ Pokoio (to pacify).

Pokiniskoe ker, _s._  House of a justice of the peace.

Pooshed / Poosheno, _part. pass._  Buried: mulo ta poosheno, dead and

Por, _s._  Feather.  _Pers._ Par.  _Sans._ Parna.

Por-engro, _s._  Pen-master, penman, one able to write.

Por-engri-pen, _s._  Penmanship, writing.

Porior, _s. pl._  Feathers.

Pordo, _a._  Heavy.  _Wal._ Povarie (a weight).  _Lat._  Pondus.

Porra, _v. a._  To exchange.

Posh, _s._  Half.

Posherro / Poshoro, _s._  Halfpenny.

Possey-mengri, _s._  Pitchfork; improperly used for any fork.  The
literal meaning is a straw-thing; a thing used for the removal of straw.
_See_ Pus.

Potan, _s._  Tinder.  _Wal._ Postabh (sheet, cloth).  _Sans._ Pata

Poov / Pov, _s._  Earth, ground.  _Sans._ Bhu.

Poov, _v._  To poov a gry, to put a horse in a field at night.

Pov-engro, _s._  An earth thing, potato.

Pov-engreskoe, _a._  Belonging to the potato.

Povengreskoe gav.  Potato town—Norwich.

Povengreskoe tem.  Potato country—Norfolk.

Povo-guero, _s._  Mole, earth-fellow.

Praio, _a._  Upper: praio tem, upper country, heaven.  _Span. Gyp._ Tarpe
(heaven).  _See_ Opré.

Prala, _s._  Brother.

Pude, _v. a._  To blow.

Pude-mengri, _s._  Blowing thing, bellows.

Pudge, _s._  Bridge.  _Wal._ Pod, podoul.  _Pers._ Pul.  _Sans._ Pāli.

Pukker, _v. a._  To tell, declare, answer, say, speak.  _Span. Gyp._
Pucanar (to proclaim).  _Hin._ Pukar, pukarnar.

Pur, _s._  Belly.  _See_ Per.

Pureno, _a._  Ancient, old: pureno foky, the old people.  _Sans._ Purvya

Puro, _a._  Old.  _Sans._ Purã.

Puro dad, _s._  Grandfather.

Purrum, _s._  Leek, onion.  _Lat._ Porrum.

Purrum / Purrun, _n. pr._  Lee, or Leek; the name of a numerous Gypsy
tribe in the neighbourhood of London.  _Wal._ Pur (onion).  _Lat._
Porrum.  _Sans._ Purãna (ancient).

Pus, _s._  Straw.  _Sans._ Busa, chaff.

Putch, _v. a._  To ask.  _Hin._ Puchhna.

Putsi, _s._  Purse, pocket.  _Sans._ Putã, pocket.  _Wal._ Pountsi.  _Old
cant_, Boung.

Putsi-lil, _s._  Pocket-book.

Puvvo, _s._  Earth, ground.  _See_ Poov.

Puvvesti churi, _s. a._  Plough.


RAIA, _s._  Gentleman, lord.  _See_ Rye.

Rak, _v. n._  To beware, take care; rak tute, take care of yourself.
_Sans._ Raksh (to guard, preserve).

Rakli, _s.f._  Girl.

Raklo, _s._  Boy, lad.

Ran, _s._  Rod: ranior, rods.  _Sans._ Ratha (cane, ratan).

Rarde, _s._  Night.  _Sans._ Rātri.

Rardiskey, _a._  Nightly.

Rardiskey kair poggring, _s._  Housebreaking by night, burglary.

Rashengro, _s._  Clergyman.

Rashi, _s._  Clergyman, priest.  _Sans._ Rishi (holy person).

Rashieskey rokkring tan, _s._  Pulpit.

Ratcheta, _s._  A goose, duck.  _See_ Retsa.

Ratti, _s._  Blood.  _Sans._ Rudhira.

Ratniken chiriclo, _s._  Nightingale.

Rawnie, _s._  Lady.

Rawniskie dicking gueri, _s._  Lady-like looking woman.

Rawniskie tatti naflipen, _s._  The lady’s fever, maladie de France.

Retza, _s._  Duck.  _Wal._ Rierzoiou.  _See_ Rossar-mescro.  _Hun._

Reyna.  A female Gypsy name.

Riddo, _part. pass._  Dressed.  _Span. Gyp._ Vriardao.

Rig / Riggur / Riggurava, _v. a._  To bear, carry, bring.

Rig in zi.  To remember, bear in mind.

Rig to zi.  To bring to mind.

Rinkeno, _a._  Handsome.

Rivipen, _s._  Dress.  Lit. linen clothes, women’s dress.  _Wal._ Ruphe.
_Mod. Gr. ῥάπτης_ (a tailor).  In Spanish Gypsy clothes are called
Goneles, from the Wallachian Khainele.

Rodra, _v. a._  To search, seek.

Roi, _s._  Spoon.

Rokra, _v. a._  To talk, speak.  _Rus._ Rek (he said).  _Lat._ Loquor.

Rokrenchericlo, _s._  Parrot, magpie.

Rokrenguero, _s._  A lawyer, talker.  _Gaelic_, Racaire (a chatterer).

Rokrengueriskey gav.  Talking fellows’ town—Norwich.

Rokunyes, _s._  Trousers, breeches.  _Hun. Gyp._  Roklia (gown).  _Mod.
Gr. ῤόχρν_ (cloth).

Rom, _s._  A husband.  _Sans._ Rama (a husband), Rama (an incarnation of
Vishnu), Rum (to sport, fondle).  _Lat._ Roma (City of Rama).  _Gaelic_,
Rom (organ of manhood).  _Eng._ Ram (aries, male sheep).  _Heb._ Ream
(monoceros, unicorn).

Rommado, _part. pass. s._  Married, husband.

Romm’d, _part. pass._  Married.

Romano Chal / Romany Chal, A Gypsy fellow, Gypsy lad.  _See_ Chal.

Romani chi.  Gypsy lass, female Gypsy.

Romanes / Romany, Gypsy language.

Romaneskoenaes.  After the Gypsy fashion.  _Wal._ Roumainesk (Roumainean,

Romano Rye / Romany Rye, Gypsy gentleman.

Romipen, _s._  Marriage.

Rook / Rukh, _s._  Tree.  _Sans._ Vriksha.  _Hun. Gyp._ Rukh.  _Span.
Gyp._ Erucal (an _olive-tree_).

Rookeskey cost.  Branch of a tree.

Rooko-mengro, _s._  Squirrel.  Lit. tree-fellow.

Roshto, _a._  Angry.  _Wal._ Resti (to be angry).

Rossar-mescro, _s._  Gypsy name of the tribe Heron, or Herne.  Lit.

Roujiou, _a._  Clean.  _See_ Iuziou.

Rove, _v. n._  To weep.  _Sans._ Rud.

Rup, _s._  Silver.  _Sans._ Raupya.  _Hin._ Rupee.

Rupenoe, _a._  Silver: rupenoe péa-mengri, silver tea-pots.

Ruslipen, _s._  Strength.

Ruslo, _a._  Strong.  _Mod. Gr. ῥῶσω_ (roborabo).  _Rus._ Rosluy (great,
huge of stature).  _Hun._ Erö (strength), erös (strong).

Rye, _s._  A lord, gentleman.  _Sans._ Raj, Rayã.

Ryeskoe, _a._  Gentlemanly.

Ryeskoe dicking guero.  Gentlemanly looking man.

Ryoriskey rokkaring keir, _s._  The House of Commons.  _Lit._ the
gentlemen’s talking house.


SACKI.  Name of a Gypsy man.

Sainyor, _s._  Pins.  _Span. Gyp._ Chingabar (a pin).

Sal, _v. n._  To laugh; properly, he laughs.  _Span. Gyp._ Asaselarse.
_Sans._ Has.

Salla.  She laughs.

Salivaris, _s.f._  Bridle.  _See_ Sollibari.

Sap / Sarp, _s._  Snake, serpent.  _Wal._ Sharpelé.  _Span. Gyp._

Sappors, _s. pl._  Snakes.

Sap drey chaw.  A snake in the grass: sap drey bor, a snake in the hedge.

Sapnis, _s._  Soap.  _Mod. Gr. σαποῦνι_.  _Wal._ Sipoun.

Sar, _postpos._, _prepos._  With: mensar, with us; sar amande, with me.

Sar, _conjunct._  As.

Sar, _ad._  How.

Sar shin, How are you?  Sar shin, meero rye?  Sar shin, meeri rawnie?
How are you, sir?  How are you, madam?

Sas.  If it were.  _See_ Is.

Sas, _s._  Nest.  _See_ Tass.

Sarla, _s._  Evening: koshti sarla, good evening.  _See_ Tasarla.  _Wal._
Seara.  _Mod. Gr. σίδηρον_.

Saster, _s._  Iron.

Saster-mengri, _s._  A piece of iron worn above the knee by the
skewer-makers whilst engaged in whittling.

Saster-mengro, _s._  Ironmonger.

Sasters, sastris.  Nails: chokkiskey sastris, shoe-nails.

Sau, _adv._  How.

Sau kisi.  How much?

Saulohaul / Sovlehaul, _v. a._  To swear.

Saulohaul bango.  To swear falsely.

Sauloholomus, _s._  Oath.  _Span. Gyp._ Solája (a curse).  _Arab._
[Arabic which cannot be reproduced] Salat (prayer).  _Lat._ Solemnis.
_Fr._ Serment.  _Wal._ Jourirnint (oath).

Savo, _pron._  Who, that, which.

Saw, _v. n._  I laugh.  Sawschan tu, you laugh.

Scamp.  Name of a small Gypsy tribe.  _Sans._ Kshump (to go).

Scourdilla, _s.f._  Platter.  _Lat._ Scutella.

Scunyes / Scunyor, _s. pl._  Pins, skewers.  _See_ Escunyes.

Se, 3_rd pers. sing. pres._  Is, there is: kosko guero se, he is a good
fellow; se les, there is to him, he has.

Shab, _v. a._  Cut away, run hard, escape.  _Hun._ Szabni.  This word is
chiefly used by the tobair coves, or vagrants.

Shan.  You are, they are.  _See_ Shin.

Shauvo, _v._  To get with child.  _See_ Shuvvli.

Shehaury.  Sixpence.  _See_ Shohaury.

Shello, _s._  Rope.  _Span. Gyp._ Jele.

Shello-hokta-mengro, _s._  Rope-dancer.

Sher-engro, _s._  A head-man, leader of a Gypsy tribe.

Sher-engri, _s._  A halter.

Shero, _s._  A head.  _Pers._ سر

Sherro’s kairipen, _s._  Learning, head-work.

Sheshu, _s._  Hare, rabbit.  _See_ Shoshoi.

Sherrafo, _a._  Religious, converted.  _Arab._ Sherif.

Shilleno / Shilleró / Shillo, _a._  Cold: shillo chik, cold ground.

Shillipen, _s._  Cold.

Shin.  Thou art: sar shin, how art thou?

Sho, _s._  Thing.

Sho, _a._  Six.

Shohaury, _s._  Sixpence.

Shok, _s._  Cabbage: shockor, cabbages.  _Span. Gyp._ Chaja.

Shom, _v._ 1_st pers. pres._  I am.  Used in the pure Roman tongue to
express necessity: _e.g._ shom te jav, I must go.  _Lat._ Sum.  _Hun.
Gyp._ Hom.

Shoob, _s._  Gown.  _Rus._ Shoob.  _See_ Shubbo.

Shoon, _v. n._  To hear.  _Pers._ Shiniden.  _Sans._ Sru.

Shoonaben, _s._  Hearing, audience.  To lel shoonaben of the covar, to
take hearing of the matter.

Shoshoi, _s._  A hare or rabbit, but generally used by the Gypsies for
the latter.  _Sans._ Sasa (a hare or rabbit).  _Hun. Gyp._ Shoshoi.

Shubbo, _s._  A gown.  _Rus._ Shoob.  _Wal._ Djoube.

Shubley patnies, _s. pl._  Geese.

Shun.  A female Gypsy name.

Shuvvali, _a._  Enceinte, with child.

Si, 3_rd pers. sing. pres._  It is, she is: tatchipen si, it is truth;
coin si rawnie, who is the lady? sossi your nav, what is your name?

Sicovar, _ad._  Evermore, eternally.  _Hun. Gyp._ Sekovar.

Si covar ajaw.  So it is.

Sig, _ad._  Quick, soon: cana sig, now soon.  _Span. Gyp._ Singó.  _Hun._

Sig, _s._  Haste.

Sikkér, _v. a._  To show: sikker-mengri, a show.

Simen, _s. a._  Equal, alike.  _Sans._ Samãna.

Simen.  We are, it is we.  _Wal._ Semeina (to resemble).

Simmeno, _s._  Broth.  _See_ Zimmen.

Simmer, _v. a._  Pledge, pawn.

Simmery-mengré, _s. pl._  Pawnbrokers.

Sis.  Thou art: misto sis riddo, thou art well dressed.

Siva, _v. a._  To sew.  _Sans._ Siv.

Siva-mengri, _s._  A needle, sewing-thing.

Siva-mengri, _s._  Sempstress.

Siva-mengro, _s._  Tailor.

Skammen, _s._  Chair.  _Wal._ Skaun.  _Mod. Gr. σκαμνί_.

Skammen-engro, _s._  Chair-maker.

Skraunior, _s. pl._  Boots.

Slom / Slum, _v. a._  Follow, trace, track.  _Rus._ Sliedovat.

Smentini, _s._  Cream.  _Wal._ Zmentenie.  _Rus._ Smetána.

So, _pron. rel._  Which, what: so se tute’s kairing, what are you doing?

Sollibari, _s._  Bridle.  _Mod. Gr. συλληβάρι_.

Sonakey / Sonneco, _s._  Gold.  _Sans._ Svarna.

Sore / Soro, _a._  All, every.  _Sans._ Sarva.

Sorlo, _a._  Early.  _Arab._ [Arabic which cannot be reproduced] Sohr,
Sahr (morning, day-break).  _Wal._ Zorile.

Soro-ruslo, _a._  Almighty.  Dad soro-ruslo, Father Almighty.

Se se?  Who is it?

So si?  What is it?  So si ora, what’s o’clock?

Soskey, _ad._  Wherefore, for what.

Sovaharri, _s._  Carpet, blanket.

Sove, _v. n._  To sleep.  _Hun. Gyp._ Sovella (he sleeps).  _Span. Gyp._
Sobelar (to sleep).  _Danish_, Sove (to sleep).

Sove tuley.  To lie down.

Sovie, _s._  Needle.  _See_ Su.

Soving aley.  Lying down to sleep.

Spikor, _s. pl._  Skewers.  _Wal._ Spik.

Spinyor, _s. pl._  Carrots.

Spinyor, _s. pl._  Pins.  _Span. Gyp._ Chingabar (a pin).

Stadj, _s._  Hat.

Stanya / Stanye, _s._  A stable.  _Hun._ Sanya.  _Wal._ Staula, steiníe

Stanya-mengro, _s._  Groom, stable-fellow.

Stardo, _part. pass._  Imprisoned.

Staripen, _s._  Prison.

Staro-mengro, _s._  Prisoner.

Stannyi / Staunyo, _s._  A deer.

Stiggur, _s._  Gate, turnpike.  _Old cant_, Giger (a door).

Stiggur-engro, _s._  Turnpike-keeper.

Stor, _a._  Four.

Storey, _s._  Prisoner.

Stuggur, _s._  A stack.

Su, _s._  Needle.  _Hun._ Tü.

Subie / Subye, _s._  Needle: subye ta naval, needle and thread.

Sueti, _s._  People.  _Lithuanian_, Swetas.

Sungella, _v._  It stinks.

Sutta / Suttur / Suta, _s._  Sleep.  _Sans._ Subta (asleep).  _Hin._
Sutta (sleeping).  _Lat._ Sopitus.

Suttur-gillie, _s._  Sleep-song, lullaby.

Swegler / Swingle, _s._  Pipe.

Syeira.  A female Gypsy name.


TÃ, _conj._  And.

Talleno, _a._  Woollen: talleno chofa, woollen or flannel petticoat.

Tan, _s._  Place, tent.  _Hun._ Tanya.

Tard / Tardra, _v. a._  To raise, build, pull, draw: the kair is tardrad
opré, the house is built; tard the chaw opré, pull up the grass.  _Hin._
Tornã (to pluck).  _Wal._ Tratze.  _Gaelic_, Tarruinn.

Tardra-mengre.  Hop-pickers.

Tas, _s._  Cup, nest of a bird.  _See_ Dui tas, doo das.

Tasarla / Tasorlo, _s._  To-morrow.  Lit. to-early.  _See_ Sorlo.

Tasarla, _s._  The evening.  This word must not be confounded with the
one which precedes it; the present is derived from the Wallachian Seari
(evening), whilst the other is from the Arabic Sohr, Sahar (morning).

Tassa-mengri, _s._  A frying-pan.  _See_ Tattra-mengri.

Tatchipen, _s._  Truth.  _Sans._ Satyata.

Tatcho, _a._  True.  _Sans._ Sat.

Tatti-pãni / Tatti-pauni, _s._  Brandy.  Lit. hot water.

Tatti-pen, _s._  Heat.

Tatto, _a._  Hot, warm.  _Sans._ Tapta.  Tap (to be hot).  _Gaelic_,

Tatto yeck, _s._  A hot un, or hot one; a stinging blow given in some
very sensitive part.

Tattra-mengri, _s._  A frying-pan.

Tawno _m._ / Tawnie _f._, _a._  Little, small, tiny.  _Sans._ Tarana
(young).  _Wal._ Tienir (young).  _Lat._ Tener.  _Span. Gyp._ Chinoro.

Tawnie yecks, _s. pl._  Little ones, grandchildren.

Te, _prep._  To: te lesti, to her; this word is not properly Gypsy.

Te, _conjunct._  That: te jinnen, that they may know, an optative word; O
beng te poggar his men, may the devil break his neck.  _Wal._ Ci.

Tel, _v. a. imp._  Hold: tel te jib, hold your tongue.

Tem, _s._  Country.

Temeskoe, _a._  Belonging to a country.

Temno, _a._  Dark.  _Rus._ Temnoy.  _Sans._ Tama (darkness).

Ten, _s._  _See_ Tan.

Tikno, _s._  A child.  _Mod. Gr. τέκνον_.

Tikno, _a._  Small, little.  _Span. Gyp._ Chinoro.  _Lat._ Tener.

Tippoty, _a._  Malicious, spiteful: tippoty drey mande, bearing malice
against me.

Tiro, _pron._  Thine.

Tobbar, _s._  The _Road_; a Rapparee word.  Boro-tobbarkillipen (the Game
of High Toby—highway robbery).  _Irish_, Tobar (a source, fountain).

Tornapo.  Name of a Gypsy man.

Tororo, _s._  A poor fellow, a beggar, a tramp.  _Sans._ Daridrã.

Tove, _v. a._  To wash: tovipen, washing.  _Sans._ Dhav.

Toving divvus, _s._  Washing day, Monday.

Traish, _v. a._  To frighten, terrify: it traishes mande, it frightens

Trihool, _s._  Cross: Mi doveleskoe trihool, holy cross.  _Span. Gyp._
Trijul.  _Hin._ Trisool.

Trin, _a._  Three.

Tringrosh / Tringurushee, Shilling.  Lit. three groats.

Tringurushengre, _s. pl._  Things costing a shilling.

Tringush, _s._  Shilling.

Trito, _a._  Third.  _Sans._ Tritïya.

Trufféni.  Female Gypsy name: Trufféni Kaumlo, Jack Wardomescrés dieyas
nav—Truffeni Lovel, the name of John Cooper’s mother.  _Mod. Gr.

Truppior, _s. pl._  Stays.

Trupo, _s._  Body.  _Wal._ Troup.  _Rus._ Trup

Trushni, _s._  Faggot.

Trusno, _a._  Thirsty, dry.  _Sans._ Trishnaj.

Tu, _pron._  Thou: shoon tu, dieya! do thou hear, mother!

Tud, _s._  Milk.  _Sans._ Duh (to milk).

Tudlo gueri.  Milkmaid.

Tug, _a._  Sad, afflicted.

Tugnipen, _s._  Affliction.

Tugnis amande.  Woe is me; I am sad.

Tugno, _a._  Sad, mournful.

Tulé / Tuley, _prep._  Below, under: tuley the bor, under the hedge.
_Slavonian_, dóly.

Tulipen, _s._  Fat, grease.

Tulo, _a._  Fat.

Tute, _pron._  Accusative of Tu; generally used instead of the

Tuv, _s._  Smoke, tobacco.

Tuvalo / Tuvvalo, _a._  Smoky.  _Span. Gyp._ Chibaló (a cigar).


VANGUS, _s._  Finger.  _Sans._ Angula.

Vangustri, _s._  Ring.  _Sans._ Angulika, anguri.  _See_ Wangustri.

Vaneshu, _s._  Nothing.  From the Wallachian Ba nitchi, not at all.

Var, _s._  Flour: var-engro, a miller.  _See_ Waro.

Vardo, _s._  Cart.  _See_ Wardo.

Vassavo / Vassavy, _a._  Bad, evil.

Vast, _s._  Hand.

Vava.  An _affix_, by which the future of a verb is formed, as Heta-vava.
It seems to be the Wallachian Wa-fi, he shall or will be.

Vellin, _s._  A bottle.

Vauros, _s._  A city.  _Hun._ Város.  _Sans._ Puri.  _Hin._ Poor.  _Wal._

Vénor / Vennor, Bowels, entrails.  _See_ Wendror,


WAFO, _a._  Another.  _Sans._ Apara.

Wafo divvus, _s._  Yesterday.  Lit. the other day.

Wafo tem.  Another country, foreign land.

Wafo temeskoe mush, _s._  A foreigner, another countryman.

Wafo tem-engre.  Foreigners.

Wafodu / Wafudo, _a._  Bad, evil.

Wafodúder.  Worse: wafodúder than dovor, worse than they.

Wafodu-pen, _s._  Wickedness.

Wafodu guero, _s._  The Evil One, Satan.

Wafodu tan, _s._  Hell, bad place.

Wangar, _s._  Coals, charcoal.  _Sans._ Angara.  _See_ Wongar.

Wangustri, _s._  Ring.

Warda, _v._  To guard, take care: warda tu coccorus, take care of

Wardo, _s._  Cart.  _Sans._ Pattra.

Wardo-mescro, _s._  Carter, cartwright, cooper, name of a Gypsy tribe.

Waro, _s._  Flour.

Waro-mescro, _s._  Miller.

Wast, _s._  Hand.  _See_ Vast.  Wastrors, hands.  _Gaelic_, Bas (the palm
of the hand).

Weggaulus / Welgorus / Welgaulus, _s._  A fair.  _Wal._ Bieltchiou.

Wel, _v. a._  He comes; from Ava.  Sometimes used imperatively; _e.g._
Wel adrey, come in.

Welling páli.  Coming back, returning from transportation.

Wen, _s._  Winter.

Wendror, _s. pl._  Bowels, inside.  _Wal._ Pentetche.  _Lat._ Venter.

Wentzelow.  Name of a Gypsy man.

Werriga, _s._  Chain.  _Rus._ Veriga.  _Wal._ Verigie (bolt).

Wesh, _s._  Forest, wood.  _Pers._ [Persian which cannot be reproduced]

Wesh-engro, _s._  Woodman, gamekeeper.

Weshen-juggal, _s._  Fox.  Lit. dog of the wood.

Woddrus / Wuddrus, _s._  Bed.  _Hun. Gyp._ Patos.  _Wal._ Pat.  The
Spanish Gypsies retain the pure Indian word Charipé.

Wongar, _s._  Coal.  Also a term for money; probably because Coal in the
cant language signifies money.  _See_ Wangar.

Wongar-camming mush, _s._  A miser.  Lit. one who loves coal.

Wuddur, _s._  Door.  _Span. Gyp._ Burda.  _Wal._ Poartie.

Wuddur-mescro, _s._  Doorkeeper.

Wust, _v. a._  To cast, throw.

Wusto-mengro, _s._  Wrestler, hurler.


YACK, _s._  Eye.  _Sans._ Akshi.  _Germ._ Auge.  _Rus._ Oko.
_Lithuanian_, Akis.  _Lat._ Oculus.

Yackor.  Eyes.

Yag, _s._  Fire.  _Sans._ Agni.  _Rus._ Ogon.  _Lithuanian_, Ugnis.
_Lat._ Ignis.  _Irish_, An (water, fire).

Yag-engri, _s._  Gun, fire-thing.

Yag-engro / Yago-mengro, _s._  Gamekeeper, sportsman, fireman.

Yag-kairepénes, _s._  Fireworks.

Yag-vardo, _s._  Fire-car, railroad carriage.

Yarb, _s._  Herb.

Yarb-tan, _s._  Garden.

Yeck, _a._  One.  _Sans._ Eka.  _Hin._ Yak.

Yeckoro, _a._  Only: yeckoro chavo, only son.

Yeckorus, _ad._  Once.

Yo, _pron._  He.

Yoi, _pron._  She.  Sometimes used for La or Las, her; _e.g._ Mande
putch’d yoi, I asked _she_, her.

Yokki, _a._  Clever, expert: a yokki juva, a yokki woman—a female expert
at filching, ringing the changes, telling fortunes, and other Gypsy arts.
_Sans._ Yoga (artifice, plan), Yuj (to combine, put together, plan).

Yora, _s._  Hour.  _See_ Ora.

Yoro, _s._  An egg.  _Wal._ Ou.


ZI, _s._  The heart, mind.  _Hun._ Sziv.  _Sans._ Dhi.

Zimmen, _s._  Broth.  _Wal._ Zmenteni (cream).

Zoomi, _s. f._  Broth, soup.  _Mod. Gr. ζουμὶ_.  _Wal._ Zamie (juice).

Zingaro.  A Gypsy, a person of mixed blood, one who springs from various
races, a made-up person.  _Sans._ Sangkara, compositus (made-up).


   To dick and jin,
   To bikn and kin;
   To pee and hal,
   And av and jal;
   To kair and poggra,
   Shoon and rokra;
   To caur and chore,
   Heta and cour,
   Moar and more,
   To drab and dook,
   And nash on rook;
   To pek and tove,
   And sove and rove,
   And nash on poove;
   To tardra oprey,
   And chiv aley;
   To pes and gin,
   To mang and chin,
   To pootch and pukker,
   Hok and dukker;
   To besh and kel,
   To del and lel,
   And jib to tel;
   Bitch, atch, and hatch,
   Roddra and latch;
   To gool and saul,
   And sollohaul;
   To pand and wustra,
   Hokta and plastra,
   Busna and kistur,
   Maila and grista;
   To an and riggur;
   To pen and sikker,
   Porra and simmer,
   Chungra and chingra,
   Pude and grommena,
   Grovena, gruvena;
   To dand and choom,
   Chauva and rom,
   Rok and gare,
   Jib and mer
   With camova,
   And paracrova,
   And mekello,
   And kitsi wasror,
   Sore are lavior,
   For kairing chomany,
   In jib of Romany.


    If foky kek jins bute,
    Mà sal at lende;
    For sore mush jins chomany
    That tute kek jins.

    Whatever ignorance men may show,
    From none disdainful turn;
    For every one doth something know
    Which you have yet to learn.


So must I ker, daiya, to ker tute mistos?

It is my Dovvel’s kerrimus, and we can’t help asarlus.

Mi Dovvel opral, dick tuley opré mande.

If I could lel bonnek tute, het-avava tute.

Misto kedast tute.

Dovey si fino covar, ratfelo jukkal, sas miro.

                                * * * * *

The plastra-mengro sollohaul’d bango.

Me camava jaw drey the Nevi Wesh to dick the purey Bare-mescrey.

You jin feter dovey oduvu.

Will you pes for a coro levinor?

Mā pi kekomi.

Mā rokra kekomi.

Bori shil se mande.

Tatto tu coccori, pen.

Kekkeno pawni dov odoi.

Sore simensar si men.

                                * * * * *

Tatto ratti se len.

Wafudu lavior you do pen, miry deary Dovvel.

Kair pias to kair the gorgies sal.

Nai men chior.

So se drey lis?

Misto sis riddo.

Muk man av abri.

Ma kair jaw.

Si covar ajaw.

An men posseymengri.

Colliko sorlo me deavlis.

Pukker zi te lesti.

Soving lasa.

Tatto si can.

Mande kinyo, nastis jalno durroder.

Mã muk de gorgey jinnen sore lidan dovvu luvvu so garridan.

Dui trins ta yeck ta pas.

Pes apopli.

Chiv’d his vast adrey tiro putsi.

Penchavo chavo savo shan tu.

                                * * * * *

I’d sooner shoon his rokrapen than shoon Lally gil a gillie.

Kekkeno jinava mande ne burreder denne chavo.

Aukko tu pios adrey Romanes.


What must I do, mother, to make you well?

It is my God’s doing, and we can’t help at all.

                                * * * * *

My God above, look down upon me!

If I could get hold of you, I would slay you.

Thou hast done well.

That is a fine thing, you bloody dog, if it were mine.

The Bow-street runner swore falsely.

I will go into the New Forest to see the old Stanleys.

You know better than that.

Will you pay for a pot of ale?

Don’t drink any more.

Do not speak any more.

I have a great cold.

Warm thyself, sister.

There is no water there.

We are all relations: all who are with us are ourselves.

They have hot blood.

Evil words you do speak, O my dear God.

Make fun, to make the Gentiles laugh.

I have no girls.

What is in it?

Thou art well dressed.

Let me come out.

Don’t do so.

The thing is so: so it is.

Bring me a fork.

To-morrow morning I will give it.

Tell her your mind.

Sleeping with her.

The sun is hot.

I am tired, I can go no farther.

Don’t let the Gentiles know all the money you took which you hid.

Seven pound ten.

Pay again.

Put his hand into your pocket.

The boy is thinking who you are.

                                * * * * *

I would rather hear him speak than hear Lally sing.

I know no more than a child.

Here’s your health in Romany!


Genesis i. 1, 2, 3, 4

    DREY the sherripen Midibble kair’d the temoprey tá the puv;
    Tá the puv was chungalo, tá chichi was adrey lis;
    Tá temnopen was oprey the mui of the boro put.
    Tá Midibble’s bavol-engri besh’d oprey the pánior;
    Tá Midibble penn’d: Mook there be dute! tá there was dute.
    Tá Midibble dick’d that the doot was koosho-koshko.
    Tá Midibble chinn’d enrey the dute tá the temnopen;
    Tá Midibble kor’d the dute divvus, tá the temnopen kor’d yo rarde;
    Tá the sarla, tá the sorlo were yeckto divvus.

Genesis i. 20, 21, 22, 23

    THEN Midibble penn’d; Mook sore the panior
    Chinn tairie jibbing engris bute dosta,
    Tá prey puv be bute dosta chiricles
    To vol adrey the rek of the tarpe.

    Then Midibble kair’d the borie baulo-matches,
    Tá sore covar that has jibbing zi adreylis,
    The bute, bute tairie covars drey the panior
    Sore yeck drey its genos kair’d Midibble,

    The chiricles that vol adrey the tarpe
    Sore yeck drey its genos kair’d he lende:
    Then Midibble dick’d that sore was koosho-koshko,
    And he chiv’d his koshto rokrapen opreylen:

    Penn’d Midibble: Dey ye frute ever-komi,
    Ever-komi be burreder your nummer,
    Per with covars the panior tá durior,
    Tá prey puv be burreder the chiricles!

    Then was sarla tá sorlo panschto divvus.

Genesis i. 27, 28

    THEN Mi-dibble kair’d Manoo drey his dikkipen,
    Drey Mi-dibble’s dikkipen kair’d he leste;
    Mush and mushi kair’d Dibble lende
    And he chiv’d his koshto rokrapen opreylen:

    Penn’d Mi-dibble: Dey ye frute ever-komi,
    Ever-komi be burreder your nummer;
    Per with chauves and chiyor the puvo
    And oprey sore the puvo be krallior,

    Oprey the dooiya and its matches,
    And oprey the chiricles of the tarpé,
    And oprey soro covar that’s jibbing
    And peers prey the mui of the puvo.


MEERY dearie Dad, sauvo jivves drey the tem oprey, be sharrafo teero nav,
te awel teero tem, be kedo sore so caumes oprey ye poov, sar kairdios
drey the tem oprey.  Dey man to divvus meery divvuskey morro; tá for-dey
mande mande’s pizzaripenes, sar mande fordeava wafor mushes lende’s
pizzaripenes; mã mook te petrav drey kek tentacionos, but lel mande abri
from sore wafodupen; for teero se o tem, Mi-dibble, teero o ruslopen, tá
yi corauni knaw tá ever-komi.  Si covar ajaw.


APASAVELLO drey Mi-dovel; Dad sore-ruslo savo kerdo o praio tem, tá cav
acoi tulēy: tá drey lescro yekkero Chauvo Jesus Christus moro erray,
beano of wendror of Mi-develeskey Geiry Mary; was curredo by the wast of
Poknish Pontius Pilatos; was nash’d oprey ye Trihool; was mored, and
chived adrey ye puve; jall’d tulēy ye temno drom ke wafudo tan, bengeskoe
starriben; tá prey ye trito divvus jall’d yo oprey ke koshto tan,
Mi-dovels ker; beshel yo knaw odoy prey Mi-dovels tatcho wast, Dad
sore-ruslo; cad odoy avellava to lel shoonapen oprey jibben and merripen;
Apasavello drey Mi-dibbleskey Ducos; drey the Bori Mi-develesky Bollisky
Congri; that sore tatcho fokey shall jib in mestepen kettaney; that
Mi-dibble will fordel sore wafudopenes; that soror mulor will jongor, and
there will be kek merripen asarlus.  Si covar ajaw.  Avali.


MIRO gulo Devel, savo hal oté ando Cheros, te avel swuntunos tiro nav; te
avel catari tiro tem; te keren saro so cames oppo puv, sar ando Cheros.
Dé man sekhonus miro diveskoe manro, ta ierta mangue saro so na he
plaskerava tuke, sar me ierstavava wafo manuschengue saro so na
plaskerelen mangue.  Ma muk te petrow ando chungalo camoben; tama lel man
abri saro doschdar.  Weika tiro sin o tem, tiri yi potea, tiri yi
proslava akana ta sekovar.

Te del amen o gulo Del eg meschibo pa amara choribo.

Te vas del o Del amengue; te n’avel man pascotia ando drom, te na hoden
pen mandar.

   Ja Develehi!
   Az Develehi!
   Ja Develeskey!
   Az Develeskey!
   Heri Devlis!

                                * * * * *

My sweet God, who art there in Heaven, may thy name come hallowed; may
thy kingdom come hither; may they do all that thou wishest upon earth, as
in Heaven.  Give me to-day my daily bread, and forgive me all that I
cannot pay thee, as I shall forgive other men all that they do not pay
me.  Do not let me fall into evil desire; but take me out from all
wickedness.  For thine is the kingdom, thine the power, thine the glory
now and ever.

May the sweet God give us a remedy for our poverty.

May God help us!  May no misfortune happen to me in the road, and may no
one steal anything me.

   Go with God!
   Stay with God!
   Go, for God’s sake!
   Stay, for God’s sake!
   By God!



THE tawno fokey often putches so koskipen se drey the Romano jib?  Mande
pens ye are sore dinneles; bute, bute koskipen se adrey lis, ta dusta,
dosta of moro foky would have been bitcheno or nash’d, but for the puro,
choveno Romano jib.  A lav in Romany, penn’d in cheeros to a tawnie
rakli, and rigg’d to the tan, has kair’d a boro kisi of luvvo and wafor
covars, which had been chor’d, to be chived tuley pov, so that when the
muskerres well’d they could latch vanisho, and had kek yeckly to muk the
Romano they had lell’d opré, jal his drom, but to mang also his artapen.

His bitchenipenskie cheeros is knau abri, and it were but kosko in leste
to wel ken, if it were yeckly to lel care of lescri puri, choveny romady;
she’s been a tatchi, tatchi romady to leste, and kek man apasavello that
she has jall’d with a wafu mush ever since he’s been bitcheno.

When yeck’s tardrad yeck’s beti ten oprey, kair’d yeck’s beti yag anglo
the wuddur, ta nash’d yeck’s kekauvi by the kekauviskey saster oprey lis,
yeck kek cams that a dikkimengro or muskerro should wel and pen: so’s
tute kairing acai?  Jaw oprey, Romano juggal.

Prey Juliken yeckto Frydivvus, anglo nango muyiskie staunyi naveni
kitchema, prey the chong opral Bororukeskoe Gav, drey the Wesh, tute
dickavavasa bute Romany foky, mushor ta juvar, chalor ta cheiar.

Jinnes tu miro puro prala Rye Stanniwix, the puro rye savo rigs a
bawlo-dumo-mengri, ta kair’d desh ta stor mille barior by

He jall’d on rokkring ta rokkring dinneleskoenaes till mande pukker’d
leste: if tute jasas on dovodoiskoenaes mande curavava tute a tatto yeck
prey the nok.

You putches mande so si patrins.  Patrins are Romany drom sikkering
engris, by which the Romany who jal anglo muk lende that wels palal jin
the drom they have jall’d by: we wusts wastperdes of chaw oprey the puv
at the jalling adrey of the drom, or we kairs sar a wangust a trihool
oprey the chik, or we chins ranior tuley from the rukhies, and chivs
lende oprey drey the puv aligatas the bor; but the tatcho patrin is
wast-perdes of leaves, for patrin or patten in puro Romano jib is the uav
of a rukheskoe leaf.

The tatcho drom to be a jinney-mengro is to shoon, dick, and rig in zi.

The mush savo kek se les the juckni-wast oprey his jib and his zi is keck
kosko to jal adrey sweti.

The lil to lel oprey the kekkeno mushe’s puvior and to keir the choveno
foky mer of buklipen and shillipen, is wusted abri the Raioriskey
rokkaring ker.

The nav they dins lati is Bokht drey Cuesni, because she rigs about a
cuesni, which sore the rardies when she jals keri, is sure to be perdo of
chored covars.

Cav acoi, pralor, se the nav of a lil, the sherrokairipen of a puro
kladjis of Roumany tem.  The Borobeshemescrotan, or the lav-chingaripen
between ye jinneynengro ta yi sweti; or the merripenskie rokrapen chiv’d
by the zi oprey the trupo.

When the shello was about his men they rigg’d leste his artapen, and
muk’d leste jal; but from dovo divvus he would rig a men-pangushi
kekkomi, for he penn’d it rigg’d to his zee the shello about his men.

Jack Vardomescro could del oprey dosta to jin sore was oprey the mea-bars
and the drom-sikkering engris.

The Romano drom to pek a chiriclo is to kair it oprey with its porior
drey chik, and then to chiv it adrey the yag for a beti burroder than a
posh ora.  When the chik and the hatch’d porior are lell’d from the
chiriclesky trupos, the per’s chinn’d aley, and the wendror’s wusted
abri, ’tis a hobben dosta koshto for a crallissa to hal without lon.

When Gorgio mushe’s merripen and Romany Chal’s merripen wels kettaney,
kek kosto merripen see.

Yeckorus he pukker’d mande that when he was a bis beschengro he mored a
gorgio, and chived the mulo mas tuley the poov; he was lell’d oprey for
the moripen, but as kekkeno could latch the shillo mas, the pokiniuses
muk’d him jal; he penn’d that the butsi did not besh pordo pré his zi for
bute chiros, but then sore on a sudden he became tugnis and atraish of
the mulo gorgio’s bavol-engro, and that often of a rarde, as he was
jalling posh motto from the kitchema by his cocoro, he would dick over
his tatcho pikko and his bango pikko, to jin if the mulo mush’s
bavol-engro was kek welling palal to lel bonnek of leste.

                                * * * * *

Does tute jin the Romano drom of lelling the wast?

Avali, prala.

Sikker mande lis.

They kairs it ajaw, prala.

A chorredo has burreder peeas than a Romany Chal.

                                * * * * *

Tute has shoon’d the lav pazorrus.  Dovodoy is so is kored gorgikonaes
“Trusted.”  Drey the puro cheeros the Romano savo lelled lovvu, or wafor
covars from lescro prala in parriken, ta kek pess’d leste apopli, could
be kair’d to buty for leste as gry, mailla or cost-chinnimengro for a
besh ta divvus.  To divvus kek si covar ajaw.  If a Romano lelled lovvu
or wafu covars from meero vast in parriken, ta kek pessed mande apopli,
sar estist for mande te kair leste buty as gry, mailla, or
cost-chinnimengro for mande for yek divvus, kek to pen for sore a besh?

Do you nav cavacoi a weilgorus?  Ratfelo rinkeno weilgorus cav acoi: you
might chiv lis sore drey teero putsi.

Kek jinnipenskey covar sé to pen tute’s been bango.  If tute pens tute’s
been bango, foky will pen: Estist tute’s a koosho koshko mushipen, but
tatchipé a ratfelo dinnelo.

                                * * * * *

Car’s tute jibbing?

Mande’s kek jibbing; mande’s is atching, at the feredest; mande’s a
pirremengri, prala!

                                * * * * *

Cauna Romany foky rokkerelan yeck sar wafu penelan pal ta pen; cauna dado
or deya rokkerelan ke lendes chauves penelan meero chauvo or meeri chi;
or my child, gorgikonaes, to ye dui; cauna chauves rokkerelan te dad or
deya penelan meero dad or meeri deya!

Meero dado, soskey were creminor kair’d?  Meero chauvo, that puvo-baulor
might jib by haIling lende.  Meero dado, soskey were puvobaulor kair’d?
Meero chauvo, that tute and mande might jib by lelling lende.  Meero
dado, soskey were tu ta mande kair’d?  Meero chauvo, that creminor might
jib by halling mende.

Sore giv-engres shan dinneles.  When they shoons a gav-engro drey the tem
pen: Dov-odoy’s a fino grye! they pens: Kekkeno grye se; grasni si;
whether the covar’s a grasni or kekkeni.  Kek jinellan the dinneles that
a grasni’s a grye, though a grye is kek a grasni.

Kekkeni like Romano Will’s rawnie for kelling drey a chauro.

Cauna Constance Petulengri merr’d she was shel tã desch beshor puri.

                                * * * * *

Does tute jin Rawnie Wardomescri?

Mande jins lati misto, prala.

Does tute cam lati?

Mande cams lati bute, prala; and mande has dosta, dosta cheeros penn’d to
the wafor Romany Chals, when they were rokkering wafudo of lati: She’s a
rawnie; she lels care of sore of you; if it were kek for lati, you would
sore jal to the beng.

So kerella for a jivipen?

She dukkers, prala; she dukkers.

Can she dukker misto?

There’s kekkeny Romany juva tuley the can for dukkering sar Rawnie
Wardomescri; nastis not to be dukker’d by lati; she’s a tatchi chovahan;
she lels foky by the wast and dukkers lende, whether they cams or kek.

                                * * * * *

Kek koskipen si to jal roddring after Romany Chals.  When tute cams to
dick lende nestist to latch yeck o’ lende; but when tute’s penching o’
wafor covars tute dicks o’ lende dosta dosta.

Mande will sollohaul neither bango nor tatcho against kekkeno; if they
cams to latch abri chomoni, muk lende latch it abri their cokkoré.

If he had been bitcheno for a boro luripen mande would have penn’d chi;
but it kairs mande diviou to pentch that he was bitcheno, all along of a
bori lubbeny, for trin tringurishis ta posh.

When he had kair’d the moripen, he kair’d sig and plastrar’d adrey the
wesh, where he gared himself drey the hev of a boro, puro rukh; but it
was kek koskipen asarlus; the plastra-mengres slomm’d his piré sore along
the wesh till they well’d to the rukh.

                                * * * * *

Sau kisi foky has tute dukker’d to divvus?

Yeck rawnie coccori, prala; dov ody she wels palal; mande jins lati by
the kaulo dori prey laki shubba.

Sau bute luvvu did she del tute?

Yeck gurush, prala; yeck gurush coccoro.  The beng te lilly a truppy!

Shoon the kosko rokkrapen so Micail jinney-mengro penn’d ke Rawnie
Trullifer: Rawnie Trollopr, you must jib by your jibben: and if a base se
tukey you must chiv lis tuley.

                                * * * * *

Can you rokkra Romanes?

Avali, prala!

So si Weshenjuggalslomomengreskeytemskey tudlogueri?

Mande don’t jin what you pens, prala.

Then tute is kek Romano lavomengro.


THE young people often ask: What good is there in the Romany tongue?  I
answers: Ye are all fools!  There is plenty, plenty of good in it, and
plenty, plenty of our people would have been transported or hung, but for
the old, poor Roman language.  A word in Romany said in time to a little
girl, and carried to the camp, has caused a great purse of money and
other things, which had been stolen, to be stowed underground; so that
when the constables came they could find nothing, and had not only to let
the Gypsy they had taken up go his way, but also to beg his pardon.

His term of transportation has now expired, and it were but right in him
to come home, if it were only to take care of his poor old wife: she has
been a true, true wife to him, and I don’t believe that she has taken up
with another man ever since he was sent across.

When one’s pitched up one’s little tent, made one’s little fire before
the door, and hung one’s kettle by the kettle-iron over it, one doesn’t
like that an inspector or constable should come and say: What are you
doing here?  Take yourself off, you Gypsy dog.

On the first Friday of July, before the public-house called the
Bald-faced Stag, on the hill above the town of the great tree in the
Forest, you will see many Roman people, men and women, lads and lasses.

Do you know my old friend Mr. Stanniwix, the old gentleman that wears a
pigtail, and made fourteen thousand pounds by smuggling?

He went on talking and talking foolishness till I said to him: If you
goes on in that ’ere way I’ll hit you a hot ’un on the nose.

You ask me what are _patrins_.  _Patrin_ is the name of the signs by
which the Gypsies who go before show the road they have taken to those
who follow behind.  We flings handfuls of grass down at the head of the
road we takes, or we makes with the finger a cross-mark on the ground, we
sticks up branches of trees by the side the hedge.  But the true patrin
is handfuls of leaves flung down; for _patrin_ or _patten_ in old Roman
language means the leaf of a tree.

The true way to be a wise man is to hear, see, and bear in mind.

The man who has not the whip-hand of his tongue and his temper is not fit
to go into company.

The Bill to take up the no-man’s lands (comons), and to make the poor
people die of hunger and cold, has been flung out of the House of

The name they gives her is “Luck in a basket,” because she carries about
a basket, which every night, when she goes home, is sure to be full of
stolen property.

This here, brothers, is the title of a book, the head-work of an old king
of Roumany land: the Tribunal, or the dispute between the wise man and
the world: or, the death-sentence passed by the soul upon the body.

When the rope was about his neck they brought him his pardon, and let him
go; but from that day he would wear a neck-kerchief no more, for he said
it brought to his mind the rope about his neck.

Jack Cooper could read enough to know all that was upon the milestones
and the sign-posts.

The Roman way to cook a fowl is to do it up with its feathers in clay,
and then to put it in fire for a little more than half an hour.  When the
clay and the burnt feathers are taken from the fowl, the belly cut open,
and the inside flung out, ’tis a food good enough for a queen to eat
without salt.

When the Gentile way of living and the Gypsy way of living come together,
it is anything but a good way of living.

He told me once that when he was a chap of twenty he killed a Gentile,
and buried the dead meat under ground.  He was taken up for the murder,
but as no one could find the cold meat, the justices let him go.  He said
that the job did not sit heavy upon his mind for a long time, but then
all of a sudden he became sad, and afraid of the dead Gentile’s ghost;
and that often of a night, as he was coming half-drunk from the
public-house by himself, he would look over his right shoulder and over
his left shoulder, to know if the dead man’s ghost was not coming behind
to lay hold of him.

                                * * * * *

Do you know the Gypsy way of taking the hand?

Aye, aye, brother.

Show it to me.

They does it _so_, brother.

                                * * * * *

A tramp has more fun than a Gypsy.

You have heard the word _pazorrus_.  That is what is called by the
Gentiles “trusted,” or in debt.  In the old time the Roman who got from
his brother money or other things on trust, and did not pay him again,
could be made to work for him as horse, ass, or wood cutter for a year
and a day.  At present the matter is not so.  If a Roman got money, or
other things, from my hand on credit, and did not repay me, how could I
make him labour for me as horse, ass, or stick-cutter for one day, not to
say for a year?

Do you call this a fair?  A very pretty fair is this: you might put it
all into your pocket.

It is not a wise thing to say you have been wrong.  If you allow you have
been wrong, people will say: You may be a very honest fellow, but are
certainly a very great fool.

                                * * * * *

Where are you living?

Mine is not living; mine is staying, to say the best of it; I am a
traveller, brother!

                                * * * * *

When Roman people speak to one another, they say brother and sister.
When parents speak to their children, they say, my son, or my daughter,
or my child, _gorgiko_-like, to either.  When children speak to their
parents, they say, my father, or my mother.

My father, why were worms made?  My son, that moles might live by eating
them.  My father, why were moles made?  My son, that you and I might live
by catching them.  My father, why were you and I made?  My son, that
worms might live by eating us.

All farmers are fools.  When they hear a citizen in the country say:
That’s a fine horse! they say: ’Tis no horse, ’tis a mare; whether the
thing’s a horse or not.  The simpletons don’t know that a mare’s a horse,
though a horse is not a mare.

No one like Gypsy Will’s wife for dancing in a platter.

When Constance Smith died, she was a hundred ten years old.

                                * * * * *

Do you know Mrs. Cooper?

I knows her very well, brother.

Do you like her?

I loves her very much, brother; and I have often, often said to the other
Gypsies, when they speaking ill of her: She’s a gentlewoman; takes care
of all of you; if it were not for her, you would all go to the devil.

What does she do for a living?

She tells fortunes, brother; she tells fortunes.

Is she a good hand at fortune-telling?

There’s no Roman woman under the sun so good at fortune-telling as Mrs.
Cooper; it is impossible not to have your fortune told by her; she’s a
true witch; she takes people by the hand, and tells their fortunes,
whether they will or no.

                                * * * * *

’Tis no use to go seeking after Gypsies.  When you wants to see them ’tis
impossible to find one of them; but when you are thinking of other
matters you see plenty, plenty of them.

I will swear neither falsely nor truly against any one; if they wishes to
find out something, let them find it out themselves.

If he had been transported for a great robbery, I would have said
nothing; but it makes me mad to think that he has been sent away, all
along of a vile harlot, for the value of three-and-sixpence.

When he had committed the murder he made haste, and ran into the wood,
where he hid himself in the hollow of a great old tree; but it was no use
at all; the runners followed his track all along the forest till they
came to the tree.

How many fortunes have you told to-day?

Only one lady’s, brother; yonder she’s coming back; I knows her by the
black lace on her gown.

                                * * * * *

How much money did she give you?

Only one groat, brother; only one groat.  May the devil run away with her

                                * * * * *

Hear the words of wisdom which Mike the Grecian said to Mrs. Trullifer:
Mrs. Trollopr, you must live by your living; and if you have a pound you
must spend it.

Can you speak Romany?

Aye, aye, brother!

What is Weshenjuggalslomomengreskeytemskeytudlogueri?

I don’t know what you say, brother.

Then you are no master of Romany.


Baulo-mengreskey tem                Swineherds’ country, Hampshire
Bitcheno padlengreskey tem          Transported fellows’ country,
                                    Botany Bay
Bokra-mengreskey tem                Shepherds’ country, Sussex
Bori-congriken gav                  Great church town, York
Boro-rukeneskey gav                 Great tree town, Fairlop
Boro gueroneskey tem                Big fellows’ country,
Chohawniskey tem                    Witches’ country, Lancashire
Choko-mengreskey gav                Shoemakers’ town, Northampton
Churi-mengreskey gav                Cutlers’ town, Sheffield
Coro-mengreskey tem                 Potters’ country, Staffordshire
Cosht-killimengreskey tem           Cudgel players’ country, Cornwall
Curo-mengreskey gav                 Boxers’ town, Nottingham
Dinelo tem                          Fools’ country, Suffolk
Giv-engreskey tem                   Farmers’ country, Buckinghamshire
Gry-engreskey gav                   Horsedealers’ town, Horncastle
Guyo-mengreskey tem                 Pudding-eaters’ country,
Hindity-mengreskey tem              Dirty fellows’ country, Ireland
Jinney-mengreskey gav               Sharpers’ town, Manchester
Juggal-engreskey gav                Dog-fanciers’ town, Dudley
Juvlo-mengreskey tem                Lousy fellows’ country, Scotland
Kaulo gav                           The black town, Birmingham
Levin-engriskey tem                 Hop country, Kent
Lil-engreskey gav                   Book fellows’ town, Oxford
Match-eneskey gav                   Fishy town, Yarmouth
Mi-develeskey gav                   My God’s town, Canterbury
Mi-krauliskey gav                   Royal town, London
Nashi-mescro gav                    Racers’ town, Newmarket
Pappin-eskey tem                    Duck country, Lincolnshire
Paub-pawnugo tem                    Apple-water country,
Porrum-engreskey tem                Leek-eaters’ country, Wales
Pov-engreskey tem                   Potato country, Norfolk
Rashayeskey gav                     Clergyman’s town, Ely
Rokrengreskey gav                   Talking fellows’ town, Norwich
Shammin-engreskey gav               Chairmakers’ town, Windsor
Tudlo tem                           Milk country, Cheshire
Weshen-eskey gav                    Forest town, Epping
Weshen-juggal-slommo-mengreskey     Fox-hunting fellows’ country,
tem                                 Leicestershire
Wongareskey gav                     Coal town, Newcastle
Wusto-mengresky tem                 Wrestlers’ country, Devonshire



PREY Juniken bis diuto divvus, drey the besh yeck mille ochto shel
shovardesh ta trin, mande jaw’d to dick Thomas Rossar-mescro, a puro
Romano, of whom mande had shoon’d bute.  He was jibbing drey a tan naveno
Rye Groby’s Court, kek dur from the Coromengreskoe Tan ta
Bokkar-engreskey Wesh.  When mande dick’d leste he was beshing prey the
poov by his wuddur, chiving misto the poggado tuleskey part of a skammin.
His ker was posh ker, posh wardo, and stood drey a corner of the tan; kek
dur from lesti were dui or trin wafor ker-wardoes.  There was a wafudo
canipen of baulor, though mande dick’d kekkeney.  I penn’d “Sarshin?” in
Romany jib, and we had some rokrapen kettaney.  He was a boro mush, as
mande could dick, though he was beshing.  But though boro he was kek
tulo, ta lescré wastes were tarney sar yek rawnie’s.  Lollo leste mui sar
yeck weneskoe paub, ta lescro bal rather lollo than parno.  Prey his
shero was a beti stadj, and he was kek wafudo riddo.  On my putching
leste kisi boro he was, ta kisi puro, he penn’d that he was sho piré sore
but an inch boro, ta enyovardesh ta dui besh puro.  He didn’t jin to
rokkra bute in Romano, but jinn’d almost sore so mande rokkar’d te leste.
Moro rokkrapen was mostly in gorgiko jib.  Yeck covar yecklo drey lescro
drom of rokkring mande pennsch’d kosko to rig in zi.  In tan of penning
Romany, sar wafor Romany chals, penn’d o Roumany, a lav which sig, sig
rigg’d to my zi _Roumain_, the tatcho, puro nav of the Vallackiskie jib
and foky.  He seem’d a biti aladge of being of Romany rat.  He penn’d
that he was beano drey the Givengreskey Tem, that he was kek tatcho
Romano, but yeckly posh ta posh: lescro dado was Romano, but lescri daya
a gorgie of the Lilengreskoe Gav; he had never camm’d bute to jib
Romaneskoenaes, and when tarno had been a givengreskoe raklo.  When he
was boro he jall’d adrey the Lilengrotemskey militia, and was desh ta
stor besh a militia curomengro.  He had jall’d bute about Engli-tem and
the juvalo-mengreskey, Tem, drey the cheeros of the puri chingaripen, and
had been adrey Monseer-tem, having volunteered to jal odoy to cour agen
the parley-woo gueros.  He had dick’d Bordeaux and the boro gav Paris.
After the chingaripen, he had lell’d oprey skamminengring, and had jall’d
about the tem, but had been knau for buter than trianda beshor jibbing in
Lundra.  He had been romado, but his romadi had been mullee bute, bute
cheeros; she had dinn’d leste yeck chavo, so was knau a heftwardesh
beshengro, dicking bute puroder than yo cocoro, ta kanau lying naflo of a
tatti naflipen drey yeck of the wardes.  He penn’d that at yeck cheeros
he could kair dosta luvvu by skammin-engring, but kanau from his bori
puripen could scarcely kair yeck tringurushee a divvus.  “Ladjipen si,” I
penn’d, “that a mush so puro as tute should have to booty.”  “Kosko zi!
kosko zi!” he penn’d; “Paracrow Dibble that mande is dosta ruslo to
booty, and that mande has koskey camomescres; I shan’t be tugnis to jib
to be a shel beshengro, though tatchipen si if mande was a rye mande
would kair kek booty.”  His chaveskoe chavo, a trianda ta pansch
beshengro, well’d kanau ta rokkar’d mansar.  He was a misto dicking ta
rather misto riddo mush, sar chimouni jinneymengreskey drey lescro mui.
He penn’d that his dadeskoe dad was a fino puro mush, savo had dick’d
bute, and that dosta, dosta foky well’d odoy to shoon lescré rokkrapenes
of the puro cheeros, of the Franciskie ta Amencanskie chingaripenes, and
of what yo had dick’d drey wafu tems.  That tatchipen to pen there was a
cheeros when his drom was dur from kosko, for that he camm’d to cour,
sollohaul ta kair himself motto, but that kanau he was a wafu mush, that
he had muk’d sore curopen and wafudo rokkrapen, and, to corauni sore, was
yeck tee-totaller, yo cocoro having kair’d leste sollohaul that he would
pi kekomi neither tatti panie nor levinor: that he jall’d sore the
curques either to congri or Tabernacle, and that tho’ he kek jinn’d to
del oprey he camm’d to shoon the Miduveleskoe lil dell’d oprey to leste;
that the panishkie ryor held leste drey boro camopen, and that the
congriskoe rashi, and oprey sore Dr. P. of the Tabernacle had a boro
opinionos of leste, ta penn’d that he would hal the Miduveleskoe habben
sar moro Araunyo Jesus drey the kosko tem opral.  Mande putch’d whether
the Romany Chals well’d often to dick leste?  He penn’d that they well’d
knau and then to pen Koshto divvus and Sarshin? but dov’ odoy was sore;
that neither his dadeskoe dad nor yo cocoro camm’d to dick lende, because
they were wafodu foky, perdo of wafodupen and bango camopen, ta oprey
sore bute envyous; that drey the wen they jall’d sore cattaney to the
ryor, and rokkar’d wafodu of the puno mush, and pukker’d the ryor to let
lester a coppur which the ryor had lent leste, to kair tatto his choveno
puro truppo drey the cheeros of the trashlo shillipen; that tatchipen si
their wafodupen kaired the puro mush kek dosh, for the ryor pukker’d
lende to jal their drom and be aladge of their cocoré, but that it was
kek misto to pensch that yeck was of the same rat as such foky.  After
some cheeros I dinn’d the puro mush a tawno cuttor of rupe, shook leste
by ye wast, penn’d that it would be mistos amande to dick leste a
shel-beshengro, and jaw’d away keri.


ON the twenty-second day of June, in the year one thousand eight hundred
and sixty-three, I went to see Thomas Herne, an old Gypsy, of whom I had
heard a great deal.  He was living at a place called Mr. Groby’s Court,
not far from the Potteries and the Shepherd’s Bush.  When I saw him, he
was sitting on the ground by his door, mending the broken bottom of a
chair.  His house was half-house half-waggon, and stood in a corner of
the court; not far from it were two or three other waggon-houses.  There
was a disagreeable smell of hogs, though I saw none.  I said, “How you
do?” in the Gypsy tongue, and we had discourse together.  He was a tall
man, as I could see, though he was sitting.  But, though tall, he was not
stout, and his hands were small as those of a lady.  His face was as red
as a winter apple, and his hair was rather red than grey.  He had a small
hat on his head, and he was not badly dressed.  On my asking him how tall
he was, and how old, he said that he was six foot high, all but an inch,
and that he was ninety-two years old.  He could not talk much Gypsy, but
understood almost all that I said to him.  Our discourse was chiefly in
English.  One thing only in his manner of speaking I thought worthy of
remembrance.  Instead of saying Romany, like other Gypsies, he said
Roumany, a word which instantly brought to my mind Roumain, the genuine,
ancient name of the Wallachian tongue and people.  He seemed to be rather
ashamed of being of Gypsy blood.  He told me that he was born in
Buckinghamshire, that he was no true Gypsy, but only half-and-half: his
father was a Gypsy, but his mother was a Gentile of Oxford; he had never
had any particular liking for the Gypsy manner of living, and when little
had been a farmer’s boy.  When he grew up he enlisted into the Oxford
militia, and was fourteen years a militia soldier.  He had gone much
about England and Scotland in the time of the old war, and had been in
France, having volunteered to go thither to fight against the French.  He
had seen Bordeaux and the great city of Paris.  After war he had taken up
chair-making, and had travelled about the country, but had been now for
more than thirty years living in London.  He had been married, but his
wife had long been dead.  She had borne him a son, who was now a man
seventy years of age, looking much older than himself, and at present
lying sick of a burning fever in one of the caravans.  He said that at
one time he could make a good deal of money by chair-making, but now from
his great age could scarcely earn a shilling a day.  “What a shame,” said
I, “that a man so old as you should have to work at all!”  “Courage!
courage!” he cried; “I thank God that I am strong enough to work, and
that I have good friends; I shan’t be sorry to live to be a hundred years
old, though true it is that if I were a gentleman I would do no work.”
His grandson, a man of about five-and-thirty, came now and conversed with
me.  He was a good-looking and rather well-dressed man, with something of
a knowing card in his countenance.  He said that his grandfather was a
fine old man, who had seen a great deal, and that a great many people
came to hear his stories of the old time, of the French and American
wars, and of what he had seen in other countries.  That, truth to say,
there was a time when his way was far from commendable, for that he loved
to fight, swear, and make himself drunk; but that now he was another man,
that he had abandoned all fighting and evil speaking, and, to crown all,
was a tee-totaller, he himself having made him swear that he would no
more drink either gin or ale: that he went every Sunday either to church
or Tabernacle, and that, though he did not know how to read, he loved to
hear the holy book read to him; that the gentlemen of the parish
entertained a great regard for him, and that the church clergyman and,
above all, Dr. P. of the Tabernacle had a high opinion of him, and said
that he would partake of the holy banquet with our Lord Jesus in the
blessed country above.  On my inquiring whether the Gypsies came often to
see him, he said that they came now and then to say “Good day” and “How
do you do?” but that was all; that neither his grandfather nor himself
cared to see them, because they were evil people, full of wickedness and
left-handed love, and, above all, very envyous; that in the winter they
all went in a body to the gentlemen and spoke ill of the old man, and
begged the gentlemen to take from him a blanket which the gentlemen had
lent him to warm his poor old body with in the time of the terrible cold;
that it is true their wickedness did the old man no harm, for the
gentlemen told them to go away and be ashamed of themselves, but that it
was not pleasant to think that one was of the same blood as such people.
After some time I gave the old man a small piece of silver, shook him by
the hand, said that I should be glad to see him live to be a hundred, and
went away home.


DREY the puro cheeros there jibb’d a puri Romani juva, Sinfaya laki nav.
Tatchi Romani juva i; caum’d to rokkra Romany, nav’d every mush kokkodus,
ta every mushi deya.  Yeck chavo was láki; lescro nav Artáros; dinnelo or
diviou was O; romadi was lesgué; but the rommadi merr’d, mukking leste
yeck chávo.  Artáros caum’d to jal oprey the drom, and sikker his
nangipen to rawnies and kair muior.  At last the ryor chiv’d leste drey
the diviou ker.  The chávo jibb’d with his puri deya till he was a desch
ta pantsch besh engro.  Yeck divvus a Romani juva jalling along the drom
dick’d the puri juva beshing tuley a bor roving: What’s the matter,
Sinfaya, pukker’d i?

   My chavo’s chavo is lell’d oprey, deya.
   What’s he lell’d oprey for?
   For a meila and posh, deya.
   Why don’t you jal to dick leste?
   I have nash’d my maila, deya.
   O má be tugni about your maila; jal and dick leste.

I don’t jin kah se, deya! diviou kokkodus Artáros jins, kek mande.  Ah
diviou, diviou, jal amande callico.



ROMANO chavo was manging sar bori gudli yeck rye te del les pasherro.
Lescri deya so was beshing kek dur from odoy penn’d in gorgikey rokrapen:
Meklis juggal, ta av acoi! ma kair the rye kinyo with your gudli! and
then penn’d sig in Romany jib: Mang, Prala, mang!  Ta o chavo kair’d ajaw
till the rye chiv’d les yeck shohaury.

                                * * * * *

[Something like the following little anecdote is related by the Gypsies
in every part of Continental Europe.]


A GYPSY brat was once pestering a gentleman to give him a halfpenny.  The
mother, who was sitting nigh, cried in English: Leave off, you dog, and
come here! don’t trouble the gentleman with your noise; and then added in
Romany: Beg on, brother! and so the brat did, till the gentleman flung
him a sixpence.



   COIN si deya, coin se dado?
   Pukker mande drey Romanes,
   Ta mande pukkeravava tute.

   Rossar-mescri minri deya!
   Vardo-mescro minro dado!
   Coin se dado, coin si deya?
   Mande’s pukker’d tute drey Romanes;
   Knau pukker tute mande.

   Petuiengro minro dado!
   Purana minri deya!
   Tatchey Romany si men—
   Mande’s pukker’d tute drey Romanes,
   Ta tute’s pukker’d mande.


   WHO’S your mother, who’s your father?
   Do thou answer me in Romany,
   And I will answer thee.

   A Hearne I have for mother!
   A Cooper for my father!
   Who’s your father, who’s your mother?
   I have answer’d thee in Romany,
   Now do thou answer me.

   A Smith I have for father!
   A Lee I have for mother!
   True Romans both are we—
   For I’ve answer’d thee in Romany,
   And thou hast answer’d me.


   “AV, my little Romany chel!
      Av along with mansar!
   Av, my little Romany chel!
      Koshto si for mangue.”

   “I shall lel a curapen,
      If I jal aley;
   I shall lel a curapen
      From my dear bebee.”

   “I will jal on my chongor,
      Then I’ll pootch your bebee.
   ‘O my dear bebee, dey me your chi,
      For koshto si for mangue.’

   “‘Since you pootch me for my chi,
      I will dey you lati.’”
   Av, my little Romany chel!
      We will jal to the wafu tem:

   “I will chore a beti gry,
      And so we shall lel cappi.”
   “Kekko, meero mushipen,
      For so you would be stardo;

   “But I will jal a dukkering,
      And so we shall lel cappi.”
   “Koshto, my little Romany chel!
      Koshto si for mangue.”


   “COME along, my little gypsy girl,
      Come along, my little dear;
   Come along, my little gypsy girl—
      We’ll wander far and near.”

   “I should get a leathering
      Should I with thee go;
   I should get a leathering
      From my dear aunt, I trow.”

   “I’ll go down on my two knees,
      And I will beg your aunt.
   ‘O auntie dear, give me your child;
      She’s just the girl I want!’

   “‘Since you ask me for my child,
      I will not say thee no!’
   Come along, my little gypsy girl!
      To another land we’ll go:

   “I will steal a little horse,
      And our fortunes make thereby.”
   “Not so, my little gypsy boy,
      For then you’d swing on high;

   “But I’ll a fortune-telling go,
      And our fortunes make thereby.”
   “Well said, my little gypsy girl,
      You counsel famously.”


   “AV, my little Rumni chel,
      Av along with mansar;
   We will jal a gry-choring
      Pawdle across the chumba.

   “I’ll jaw tuley on my chongor
      To your deya and your bebee;
   And I’ll pootch lende that they del
      Tute to me for romadi.”

   “I’ll jaw with thee, my Rumni chal,
      If my dye and bebee muk me;
   But choring gristurs traishes me,
      For it brings one to the rukie.

   “’Twere ferreder that you should ker,
      Petuls and I should dukker,
   For then adrey our tanney tan,
      We kek atraish may sova.”

   “Kusko, my little Rumni chel,
      Your rokrapen is kusko;
   We’ll dukker and we’ll petuls ker
      Pawdle across the chumba.

   “O kusko si to chore a gry
      Adrey the kaulo rarde;
   But ’tis not kosko to be nash’d
      Oprey the nashing rukie.”


   “COME along, my little gypsy girl,
      Come along with me, I pray!
   A-stealing horses we will go,
      O’er the hills so far away.

   “Before your mother and your aunt
      I’ll down upon my knee,
   And beg they’ll give me their little girl
      To be my Romadie.”

   “I’ll go with you, my gypsy boy,
      If my mother and aunt agree;
   But a perilous thing is horse-stealinge,
      For it brings one to the tree.

   “’Twere better you should tinkering ply,
      And I should fortunes tell;
   For then within our little tent
      In safety we might dwell.”

   “Well said, my little gypsy girl,
      I like well what you say;
   We’ll tinkering ply, and fortunes tell
      O’er the hills so far away.

   “’Tis a pleasant thing in a dusky night
      A horse-stealing to go;
   But to swing in the wind on the gallows-tree,
      Is no pleasant thing, I trow.”


   DUI Romany Chals were bitcheney,
   Bitcheney pawdle the bori pawnee.
   Plato for kawring,
   Lasho for choring
   The putsi of a bori rawnee.

   And when they well’d to the wafu tem,
   The tem that’s pawdle the bori pawnee,
   Plato was nasho
   Sig, but Lasho
   Was lell’d for rom by a bori rawnee.

   You cam to jin who that rawnie was,
   ’Twas the rawnie from whom he chor’d the putsee:
   The Chal had a black
   Chohauniskie yack,
   And she slomm’d him pawdle the bori pawnee.


   TWO Gypsy lads were transported,
   Were sent across the great water.
   Plato was sent for rioting,
   And Louis for stealing the purse
   Of a great lady.

   And when they came to the other country,
   The country that lies across the great water,
   Plato was speedily hung,
   But Louis was taken as a husband
   By a great lady.

   You wish to know who was the lady,
   ’Twas the lady from whom he stole the purse:
   The Gypsy had a black and witching eye,
   And on account of that she followed him
   Across the great water.


   AS I was a jawing to the gav yeck divvus
   I met on the drom miro Romany chi;
   I pootch’d las whether she come sar mande,
   And she penn’d tu sar wafo rommadis;
   O mande there is kek wafo romady,
   So penn’d I to miro Romany chi,
   And I’ll kair tute miro tatcho romadi
   If you but pen tu come sar mande.


   AS I to the town was going one day
   My Roman lass I met by the way;
   Said I: Young maid, will you share my lot?
   Said she: Another wife you’ve got.
   Ah no! to my Roman lass I cried:
   No wife have I in the world so wide,
   And you my wedded wife shall be
   If you will consent to come with me.


   HOKKA tute mande
   Mande pukkra bebee
   Mande shauvo tute—
   Ava, Chi!


   IF to me you prove untrue,
   Quickly I’ll your auntie tell
   I’ve been over-thick with you—
   Yes, my girl, I will.


   PENN’D the temeskoe rye to the Romany chi,
   As the choon was dicking prey lende dui:
   Rinkeny tawni, Romany rawni,
   Mook man choom teero gudlo mui.


   SAID the youthful earl to the Gypsy girl,
   As the moon was casting its silver shine:
   Brown little lady, Egyptian lady,
   Let me kiss those sweet lips of thine.


   PAWNIE birks
   My men-engni shall be;
   Yackors my dudes
   Like ruppeney shine:
   Atch meery chi!
   Mā jal away:
   Perhaps I may not dick tute
   Kek komi.


   I’D choose as pillows for my head
   Those snow-white breasts of thine;
   I’d use as lamps to light my bed
   Those eyes of silver shine:
   O lovely maid, disdain me not,
   Nor leave me in my pain:
   Perhaps ’twill never be my lot
   To see thy face again.


   I’M jalling across the pāni—
   A choring mas and morro,
   Along with a bori lubbeny,
   And she has been the ruin of me.

   I sov’d yeck rarde drey a gran,
   A choring mas and morro,
   Along with a bori lubbeny,
   And she has been the ruin of me.

   She pootch’d me on the collico,
   A choring mas and morro,
   To jaw with lasa to the show,
   For she would be the ruin of me.

   And when I jaw’d odoy with lasa,
   A choring mas and morro,
   Sig she chor’d a rawnie’s kissi,
   And so she was the ruin of me.

   They lell’d up lata, they lell’d up mande,
   A choring mas and morro,
   And bitch’d us dui pawdle pãni,
   So she has been the ruin of me.

   I’m jalling across the pāni,
   A choring mas and morro,
   Along with a bori lubbeny,
   And she has been the ruin of me.


   I’M sailing across the water,
   A-stealing bread and meat so free,
   Along with a precious harlot,
   And she has been the ruin of me.

   I slept one night within a barn,
   A-stealing bread and meat so free,
   Along with a precious harlot,
   And she has been the ruin of me.

   Next morning she would have me go,
   A-stealing bread and meat so free,
   To see with her the wild-beast show,
   For she would be the ruin of me.

   I went with her to see the show,
   A-stealing bread and meat so free,
   To steal a purse she was not slow,
   And so she was the ruin of me.

   They took us up, and with her I,
   A-stealing bread and meat so free:
   Am sailing now to Botany,
   So she has been the ruin of me.

   I’m sailing across the water,
   A-stealing bread and meat so free,
   Along with a precious harlot,
   And she has been the ruin of me.


   THE rye he mores adrey the wesh
      The kaun-engro and chiriclo;
   You sovs with leste drey the wesh,
      And rigs for leste the gono.

   Oprey the rukh adrey the wesh
      Are chiriclo and chiricli;
   Tuley the rukh adrey the wesh
      Are pireno and pireni.


   THE squire he roams the good greenwood,
      And shoots the pheasant and the hare;
   Thou sleep’st with him in good green wood,
      And dost for him the game-sack bear.

   I see, I see upon the tree
      The little male and female dove;
   Below the tree I see, I see
      The lover and his lady love.


   JAW to sutturs, my tiny chal;
   Your die to dukker has jall’d abri;
   At rarde she will wel palal
   And tute of her tud shall pie.

   Jaw to lutherum, tiny baw!
   I’m teerie deya’s purie mam;
   As tute cams her tud canaw
   Thy deya meerie tud did cam.


   SLEEP thee, little tawny boy!
      Thy mother’s gone abroad to spae,
   Her kindly milk thou shalt enjoy
      When home she comes at close of day.

   Sleep thee, little tawny guest!
      Thy mother is my daughter fine;
   As thou dost love her kindly breast,
      She once did love this breast of mine.


   FINOR coachey innar Lundra,
   Bonor coachey innar Lundra,
   Finor coachey, bonor coachey
   Mande dick’d innar Lundra.

   Bonor, finor coachey
   Mande dick’d innar Lundra
   The divvus the Kralyissa jall’d
   To congri innar Lundra.


   COACHES fine in London,
   Coaches good in London,
   Coaches fine and coaches good
   I did see in London.

   Coaches good and coaches fine
   I did see in London,
   The blessed day our blessed Queen
   Rode to church in London.


   GARE yourselves, pralor!
   Mã pee kek-komi!
   The guero’s welling—
   Plastra lesti!


   UP, up, brothers!
   Cease your revels!
   The Gentile’s coming—
   Run like devils!


    OY die-la, oy mama-la oy!
    Cherie podey mangue penouri.

                                                     _Russian Gypsy Song_.


      HER temples they are aching,
      As if wine she had been taking;
      Her tears are ever springing,
      Abandoned is her singing!
      She can neither eat nor nest
      With love she’s so distress’d;
      At length she’s heard to say:
      “Oh here I cannot stay,
      Go saddle me my steed,
      To my lord I must proceed;
      In his palace plenteously
      Both eat and drink shall I;
      The servants far and wide,
      Bidding guests shall run and ride.
   And when within the hall the multitude I see,
   I’ll raise my voice anew, and sing in Romany.”


         UN erajai
   Sinaba chibando un sermon;
   Y lle falta un balicho
   Al chindomar de aquel gao,
   Y lo chanelaba que los Cales
   Lo abian nicabao;
   Y penela l’erajai, “Chaboró!
   Guillate a tu quer
   Y nicabela la peri
   Que terela el balicho,
   Y chibela andro
   Una lima de tun chaborí,
   Una lima de tun chabori.”


         A FRIAR
   Was preaching once with zeal and with fire;
   And a butcher of the town
   Had lost a flitch of bacon;
   And well the friar knew
   That the Gypsies it had taken;
   So suddenly he shouted: “Gypsy, ho!
   Hie home, and from the pot!
   Take the flitch of bacon out,
   The flitch good and fat,
   And in its place throw
   A clout, a dingy clout of thy brat,
   Of thy brat,
   A clout, a dingy clout of thy brat.”


   CHALÓ Malbrun chingarár,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Chaló Malbrun chingarár;
   No sé bus truterá!
   No sé bus truterá!

   La romi que le caméla,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   La romi que le camela
   Muy curepeñada está,
   Muy curepeñada está.

   S’ardéla á la felichá,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   S’ardéla á la felichá
   Y baribu dur dicá,
   Y baribu dur dicá.

   Dicá abillar su burno,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Dicá abillar su burno,
   En ropa callardá,
   En ropa callardá.

   “Burno, lacho quirbó;
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Burno, lacho quiribó,
   Que nuevas has diñar?
   Que nuevas has diñar?”

   “Las nuevas que io térelo,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Las nuevas que io terélo
   Te haran orobar,
   Te haran orobar.

   “Meró Malbrun mi eráy,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Meró Malbrun mi eráy
   Meró en la chingá,
   Meró en la chingá.

   “Sinaba á su entierro,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Sinaba á su entierro
   La plastani sará,
   La plastani sará.

   “Seis guapos jundunáres,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Seis guapos jundunáres
   Le lleváron cabañar,
   Le lleváron cabañar.

   “Delante de la jestári,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Delante de la jestári
   Chaló el sacristá,
   Chaló el sacristá.

   “El sacristá delante,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   El sacristá delante,
   Y el errajai palá,
   Y el errajai palá.

   “Al majaro ortaláme,
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Al majaro ortaláme
   Le lleváron cabañar,
   Le lleváron cabañar.

   “Y oté le cabañáron
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Y oté le cabañáron
   No dur de la burdá,
   No dur de la burdá.

   “Y opré de la jestári
   Birandón, birandón, birandéra!
   Guillabéla un chilindróte;
   Sobá en paz, sobá!
   Sobá en paz, sobá!”


   MALBROUK is gone to the wars,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   Malbrouk is gone to the wars;
   He’ll never return no more!
   He’ll never return no more!

   His lady-love and darling,
   Birrandon, birrandón, birrandéra
   His lady-love and darling
   His absence doth deplore,
   His absence doth deplore.

   To the turret’s top she mounted,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   To the turret’s top she mounted
   And look’d till her eyes were sore,
   And look’d till her eyes were sore.

   She saw his squire a-coming,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   She saw his squire a-coming;
   And a mourning suit he wore,
   And a mourning suit he wore.

   “O squire, my trusty fellow;
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   O squire, my trusty fellow,
   What news of my soldier poor?
   What news of my soldier poor?”

   “The news which I bring thee, lady,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   The news which I bring thee, lady,
   Will cause thy tears to shower,
   Will cause thy tears to shower.

   “Malbrouk my master’s fallen,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   Malbrouk my master’s fallen,
   He fell on the fields of gore,
   He fell on the fields of gore.

   “His funeral attended,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   His funeral attended
   The whole reg’mental corps,
   The whole reg’mental corps.

   “Six neat and proper soldiers,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   Six neat and proper soldiers
   To the grave my master bore,
   To the grave my master bore.

   “The parson follow’d the coffin,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   The parson follow’d the coffin,
   And the sexton walk’d before,
   And the sexton walk’d before.

   “They buried him in the churchyard,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   They buried him in the churchyard,
   Not far from the church’s door,
   Not far from the church’s door.

   “And there above his coffin,
   Birrandón, birrandón, birrandéra!
   There sings a little swallow:
   Sleep there, thy toils are o’er,
   Sleep there, thy toils are o’er.”



   THE Romany Chals
   Should jin so bute
   As the Puro Beng
   To scape of gueros
   And wafo gorgies
   The wafodupen.

   They lels our gryor,
   They lels our wardoes,
   And wusts us then
   Drey starripenes
   To mer of pishens
   And buklipen.

   Cauna volélan
   Muley pappins
   Pawdle the len
   Men artavàvam
   Of gorgio foky
   The wafodupen.
         Ley teero sollohanloinus opreylis!


   The wit and the skill
   Of the Father of ill,
   Who’s clever indeed,
   If they would hope
   With their foes to cope
   The Romany need.

   Our horses they take,
   Our waggons they break,
   And us they fling
   Into horrid cells,
   Where hunger dwells
   And vermin sting.

   When the dead swallow
   The fly shall follow
   Across the river,
   O we’ll forget
   The wrongs we’ve met,
   But till then O never:
         Brother, of that be certain.


THE English Gypsies call themselves Romany Chals and Romany Chies, that
is, Sons and Daughters of Rome.  When speaking to each other, they say
“Pal” and “Pen”; that is, brother and sister.  All people not of their
own blood they call “Gorgios,” or Gentiles.  Gypsies first made their
appearance in England about the year 1480.  They probably came from
France, where tribes of the race had long been wandering about under the
names of Bohemians and Egyptians.  In England they pursued the same kind
of merripen {174} which they and their ancestors had pursued on the
Continent.  They roamed about in bands, consisting of thirty, sixty, or
ninety families, with light, creaking carts, drawn by horses and donkeys,
encamping at night in the spots they deemed convenient.  The women told
fortunes at the castle of the baron and the cottage of the yeoman;
filched gold and silver coins from the counters of money-changers; caused
the death of hogs in farmyards, by means of a stuff called drab or drao,
which affects the brain, but does not corrupt the blood; and subsequently
begged, and generally obtained, the carcases.  The men plied tinkering
and brasiery, now and then stole horses, and occasionally ventured upon
highway robbery.  The writer has here placed the Chies before the Chals,
because, as he has frequently had occasion to observe, the Gypsy women
are by far more remarkable beings than the men.  It is the Chi and not
the Chal who has caused the name of Gypsy to be a sound awaking wonder,
awe, and curiosity in every part of the civilised world.  Not that there
have never been remarkable men of the Gypsy race both abroad and at home.
Duke Michael, as he was called, the leader of the great Gypsy horde which
suddenly made its appearance in Germany at the beginning of the fifteenth
century, was no doubt a remarkable man; the Gitano Condre, whom Martin
del Rio met at Toledo a hundred years afterwards, who seemed to speak all
languages, and to be perfectly acquainted with the politics of all the
Courts of Europe, must certainly have been a remarkable man; so, no
doubt, here at home was Boswell; so undoubtedly was Cooper, called by the
gentlemen of the Fives Court—poor fellows! they are all gone now—the
“wonderful little Gypsy”;—but upon the whole the poetry, the sorcery, the
devilry, if you please to call it so, are vastly on the side of the
women.  How blank and inanimate is the countenance of the Gypsy man, even
when trying to pass off a foundered donkey as a flying dromedary, in
comparison with that of the female Romany, peering over the wall of a
par-yard at a jolly hog!

    Sar shin Sinfye?
    Koshto divvus, Romany Chi!
    So shan tute kairing acoi?

    Sinfye, Sinfye! how do you do?
    Daughter of Rome, good day to you!
    What are you thinking here to do?

After a time the evil practices of the Gypsies began to be noised about,
and terrible laws were enacted against people “using the manner of
Egyptians”—Chies were scourged by dozens, Chals hung by scores.
Throughout the reign of Elizabeth there was a terrible persecution of the
Gypsy race; far less, however, on account of the crimes which they
actually committed, than from a suspicion which was entertained that they
harboured amidst their companies priests and emissaries of Rome, who had
come to England for the purpose of sowing sedition and inducing the
people to embrace again the old discarded superstition.  This suspicion,
however, was entirely without foundation.  The Gypsies call each other
brother and sister, and are not in the habit of admitting to their
fellowship people of a different blood and with whom they have no
sympathy.  There was, however, a description of wandering people at that
time, even as there is at present, with whom the priests, who are
described as going about, sometimes disguised as serving-men, sometimes
as broken soldiers, sometimes as shipwrecked mariners, would experience
no difficulty in associating, and with whom, in all probability, they
occasionally did associate—the people called in Acts of Parliament sturdy
beggars and vagrants, in the old cant language Abraham men, and in the
modern Pikers.  These people have frequently been confounded with the
Gypsies, but are in reality a distinct race, though they resemble the
latter in some points.  They roam about like the Gypsies, and, like them,
have a kind of secret language.  But the Gypsies are a people of Oriental
origin, whilst the Abrahamites are the scurf of the English body
corporate.  The language of the Gypsies is a real language, more like the
Sanscrit than any other language in the world; whereas the speech of the
Abrahamites is a horrid jargon, composed for the most part of low English
words used in an allegorical sense—a jargon in which a stick is called a
crack; a hostess, a rum necklace; a bar-maid, a dolly-mort; brandy, rum
booze; a constable, a horny.  But enough of these Pikers, these
Abrahamites.  Sufficient to observe that if the disguised priests
associated with wandering companies it must have been with these people,
who admit anybody to their society, and not with the highly exclusive
race the Gypsies.

For nearly a century and a half after the death of Elizabeth the Gypsies
seem to have been left tolerably to themselves, for the laws are almost
silent respecting them.  Chies, no doubt, were occasionally scourged for
cauring, that is filching gold and silver coins, and Chals hung for
grychoring, that is horse-stealing; but those are little incidents not
much regarded in Gypsy merripen.  They probably lived a life during the
above period tolerably satisfactory to themselves—they are not an
ambitious people, and there is no word for glory in their language—but
next to nothing is known respecting them.  A people called Gypsies are
mentioned, and to a certain extent treated of, in two remarkable
works—one a production of the seventeenth, the other of the eighteenth
century—the first entitled the ‘English Rogue, or the Adventures of
Merriton Latroon,’ the other the ‘Life of Bamfield Moore Carew’; but
those works, though clever and entertaining, and written in the raciest
English, are to those who seek for information respecting Gypsies
entirely valueless, the writers having evidently mistaken for Gypsies the
Pikers or Abrahamites, as the vocabularies appended to the histories, and
which are professedly vocabularies of the Gypsy language, are nothing of
the kind, but collections of words and phrases belonging to the
Abrahamite or Piker jargon.  At the commencement of the last century, and
for a considerable time afterwards, there was a loud cry raised against
the Gypsy women for stealing children.  This cry, however, was quite as
devoid of reason as the suspicion entertained of old against the Gypsy
communities of harbouring disguised priests.  Gypsy women, as the writer
had occasion to remark many a long year ago, have plenty of children of
their own, and have no wish to encumber themselves with those of other
people.  A yet more extraordinary charge was, likewise, brought against
them—that of running away with wenches.  Now, the idea of Gypsy women
running away with wenches!  Where were they to stow them in the event of
running away with them? and what were they to do with them in the event
of being able to stow them?  Nevertheless, two Gypsy women were burnt in
the hand in the most cruel and frightful manner, somewhat about the
middle of the last century, and two Gypsy men, their relations, sentenced
to be hanged, for running away with a certain horrible wench of the name
of Elizabeth Canning, who, to get rid of a disgraceful burden, had left
her service and gone into concealment for a month, and on her return, in
order to account for her absence, said that she had been run away with by
Gypsies.  The men, however, did not undergo their sentence; for, ere the
day appointed for their execution arrived, suspicions beginning to be
entertained with respect to the truth of the wench’s story, they were
reprieved, and, after a little time, the atrocious creature, who had
charged people with doing what they neither did nor dreamt of doing, was
tried for perjury, convicted, and sentenced to transportation.  Yet so
great is English infatuation that this Canning, this Elizabeth, had a
host of friends, who stood by her, and swore by her to the last, and
almost freighted the ship which carried her away with goods, the sale of
which enabled her to purchase her freedom of the planter to whom she was
consigned, to establish herself in business, and to live in comfort, and
almost in luxury, in the New World during the remainder of her life.

But though Gypsies have occasionally experienced injustice; though
Patricos and Sherengroes were hanged by dozens in Elizabeth’s time on
suspicion of harbouring disguised priests; though Gypsy women in the time
of the Second George, accused of running away with wenches, were scorched
and branded, there can be no doubt that they live in almost continual
violation of the laws intended for the protection of society; and it may
be added, that in this illegal way of life the women have invariably
played a more important part than the men.  Of them, amongst other
things, it may be said that they are the most accomplished swindlers in
the world, their principal victims being people of their own sex, on
whose credulity and superstition they practise.  Mary Caumlo, or Lovel,
was convicted a few years ago at Cardiff of having swindled a surgeon’s
wife of eighty pounds, under pretence of propitiating certain planets by
showing them the money.  Not a penny of the booty was ever recovered by
the deluded victim; and the Caumli, on leaving the dock, after receiving
sentence of a year’s imprisonment, turned round and winked to some
_brother_ or _sister_ in court, as much as to say: “_Mande has gared the
luvvu_; _mande is kek atugni for the besh’s starripen_”—“I have hid the
money, and care nothing for the year’s imprisonment.”  Young Rawnie P. of
N., the daughter of old Rawnie P., suddenly disappeared with the whole
capital of an aged and bedridden gentlewoman, amounting to nearly three
hundred pounds, whom she had assured that if she were intrusted with it
for a short time she should be able to gather certain herbs, from which
she could make decoctions, which would restore to the afflicted
gentlewoman all her youthful vigour.  Mrs. Townsley of the Border was
some time ago in trouble at Wick, only twenty-five miles distant from
Johnny Groat’s House, on a charge of fraudulently obtaining from a
fisherman’s wife one shilling, two half-crowns, and a five-pound note by
promising to untie certain witch-locks, which she had induced her to
believe were entwined in the meshes of the fisherman’s net, and would, if
suffered to remain, prevent him from catching a single herring in the
Firth.  These events occurred within the last few years, and are
sufficiently notorious.  They form a triad out of dozens of a similar
kind, in some of which there are features so odd, so strangely droll,
that indignation against the offence is dispelled by an irresistible
desire to laugh.

But Gypsyism is declining, and its days are numbered.  There is a force
abroad which is doomed to destroy it, a force which never sleepeth either
by day or night, and which will not allow the Roman people rest for the
soles of their feet.  That force is the Rural Police, which, had it been
established at the commencement instead of towards the middle of the
present century, would have put down Gypsyism long ago.  But, recent as
its establishment has been, observe what it has produced.  Walk from
London to Carlisle, but neither by the road’s side, nor on heath or
common, will you see a single Gypsy tent.  True Gypsyism consists in
wandering about, in preying upon the Gentiles, but not living amongst
them.  But such a life is impossible in these days; the Rural Force will
not permit it.  “It is a hard thing, brother,” said old Agamemnon Caumlo
to the writer, several years ago; “it is a hard thing, after one has
pitched one’s little tent, lighted one’s little fire, and hung one’s
kettle by the kettle-iron over it to boil, to have an inspector or
constable come up, and say, ‘What are you doing here?  Take yourself off,
you Gypsy dog!’”  A hard thing, indeed, old Agamemnon; but there is no
help for it.  You must e’en live amongst the Gorgios.  And for years past
the Gypsies have lived amongst the Gorgios, and what has been the result?
They do not seem to have improved the Gentiles, and have certainly not
been improved by them.  By living amongst the Gentiles they have, to a
certain extent, lost the only two virtues they possessed.  Whilst they
lived apart on heaths and commons, and in shadowy lanes, the Gypsy women
were paragons of chastity, and the men, if not exactly patterns of
sobriety, were, upon the whole, very sober fellows.  Such terms, however,
are by no means applicable to them at the present day.  Sects and castes,
even of thieves and murderers, can exist as long as they have certain
virtues, which give them a kind of respect in their own eyes; but, losing
those virtues, they soon become extinct.  When the salt loses its savour,
what becomes of it?  The Gypsy salt has not altogether lost its savour,
but that essential quality is every day becoming fainter, so that there
is every reason to suppose that within a few years the English Gypsy
caste will have disappeared, merged in the dregs of the English


THERE are many curious things connected with the Gypsies, but perhaps
nothing more so than what pertains to their names.  They have a double
nomenclature, each tribe or family having a public and a private name,
one by which they are known to the Gentiles, and another to themselves
alone.  Their public names are quite English; their private ones
attempts, some of them highly singular and uncouth, to render those names
by Gypsy equivalents.  Gypsy names may be divided into two classes, names
connected with trades, and surnames or family names.  First of all,
something about trade names.

There are only two names of trades which have been adopted by English
Gypsies as proper names, Cooper and Smith: these names are expressed in
the English Gypsy dialect by _Vardo-mescro_ and _Petulengro_.  The first
of these renderings is by no means a satisfactory one, as _Vardo-mescro_
means a cartwright, or rather a carter.  To speak the truth, it would be
next to impossible to render the word ‘cooper’ into English Gypsy, or
indeed into Gypsy of any kind; a cooper, according to the common
acceptation of the word, is one who makes pails, tubs, and barrels, but
there are no words in Gypsy for such vessels.  The Transylvanian Gypsies
call a cooper a _bedra-kero_ or pail-maker, but _bedra_ is not Gypsy, but
Hungarian, and the English Gypsies might with equal propriety call a
cooper a _pail-engro_.  On the whole the English Gypsies did their best
when they rendered ‘cooper’ into their language by the word for

_Petulengro_, the other trade name, is borne by the Gypsies who are known
to the public by the English appellation of Smith.  It is not very easy
to say what is the exact meaning of _Petulengro_: it must signify,
however, either horseshoe-fellow or tinker: _petali_ or _petala_
signifies in Gypsy a horseshoe, and is probably derived from the Modern
Greek _πέταλον_; _engro_ is an affix, and is either derived from or
connected with the Sanscrit _kara_, to make, so that with great
feasibility _Petulengro_ may be translated horseshoe-maker.  But _bedel_
in Hebrew means ‘tin,’ and as there is little more difference between
_petul_ and _bedel_ than between _petul_ and _petalon_, _Petulengro_ may
be translated with almost equal feasibility by tinker or tin-worker, more
especially as tinkering is a principal pursuit of Gypsies, and to _jal
petulengring_ signifies to go a-tinkering in English Gypsy.  Taken,
however, in either sense, whether as horseshoe-maker or tin-worker (and,
as has been already observed, it must mean one or the other),
_Petulengro_ may be considered as a tolerably fair rendering of the
English Smith.

So much for the names of the Gypsies which the writer has ventured to
call the trade names; now for those of the other class.  These are
English surnames, and for the most part of a highly aristocratic
character, and it seems at first surprising that people so poor and
despised as Gypsies should be found bearing names so time-honoured and
imposing.  There is, however, a tolerable explanation of the matter in
the supposition that on their first arrival in England the different
tribes sought the protection of certain grand powerful families, and were
permitted by them to locate themselves on their heaths and amid their
woodlands, and that they eventually adopted the names of their patrons.
Here follow the English names of some of the principal tribes, with the
Romany translations or equivalents:—

BOSWELL.—The proper meaning of this word is the town of Bui.  The initial
_Bo_ or _Bui_ is an old Northern name, signifying a colonist or settler,
one who tills and builds.  It was the name of a great many celebrated
Northern _kempions_, who won land and a home by hard blows.  The last
syllable, _well_, is the French _ville_: Boswell, Boston, and Busby all
signify one and the same thing—the town of Bui—the _well_ being French,
the _ton_ Saxon, and the _by_ Danish; they are half-brothers of Bovil and
Belville, both signifying fair town, and which ought to be written
Beauville and Belville.  The Gypsies, who know and care nothing about
etymologies, confounding _bos_ with _buss_, a vulgar English verb not to
be found in dictionaries, which signifies to kiss, rendered the name
Boswell by _Chumomisto_, that is, Kisswell, or one who kisses
well—_choom_ in their language signifying to kiss, and _misto_
well—likewise by _choomomescro_, a kisser.  Vulgar as the word _buss_ may
sound at present, it is by no means of vulgar origin, being connected
with the Latin _basio_ and the Persian _bousè_.

GREY.—This is the name of a family celebrated in English history.  The
Gypsies who adopted it, rendered it into their language by _Gry_, a word
very much resembling it in sound, though not in sense, for _gry_, which
is allied to the Sanscrit _ghora_, signifies a horse.  They had no better
choice, however, for in Romany there is no word for grey, any more than
there is for green or blue.  In several languages there is a difficulty
in expressing the colour which in English is called grey.  In Celtic, for
instance, there is no definite word for it; _glas_, it is true, is used
to express it, but _glas_ is as frequently used to express green as it is
to express grey.

HEARNE, HERNE.—This is the name of a family which bears the heron for its
crest, the name being either derived from the crest, or the crest from
the name.  There are two Gypsy renderings of the _word_—_Rossar-mescro_
or _Ratzie-mescro_, and _Balorengre_.  _Rossar-mescro_ signifies
duck-fellow, the duck being substituted for the heron, for which there is
no word in Romany.  The meaning of _Balor-engre_ is hairy people; the
translator or translators seeming to have confounded Hearne with
‘haaren,’ old English for hairs.  The latter rendering has never been
much in use.

LEE.—The Gypsy name of this tribe is _Purrum_, sometimes pronounced
_Purrun_.  The meaning of _Purrurn_ is an onion, and it may be asked what
connection can there be between Lee and onion?  None whatever: but there
is some resemblance in sound between Lee and leek, and it is probable
that the Gypsies thought so, and on that account rendered the name by
_Purrum_, which, if not exactly a leek, at any rate signifies something
which is cousin-german to a leek.  It must be borne in mind that in some
parts of England the name Lee is spelt Legh and Leigh, which would hardly
be the case if at one time it had not terminated in something like a
guttural, so that when the Gypsies rendered the name, perhaps nearly four
hundred years ago, it sounded very much like ‘leek,’ and perhaps was
Leek, a name derived from the family crest.  At first the writer was of
opinion that the name was _Purrun_, a modification of _pooro_, which in
the Gypsy language signifies old, but speedily came to the conclusion
that it must be _Purrum_, a leek or onion; for what possible reason could
the Gypsies have for rendering Lee by a word which signifies old or
ancient? whereas by rendering it by _Purrum_, they gave themselves a
Gypsy name, which, if it did not signify Lee, must to their untutored
minds have seemed a very good substitute for Lee.  The Gypsy word
_pooro_, old, belongs to Hindostan, and is connected with the Sanscrit
_pura_, which signifies the same.  _Purrum_ is a modification of the
Wallachian _pur_, a word derived from the Latin _porrum_, an onion, and
picked up by the Gypsies in Roumania or Wallachia, the natives of which
region speak a highly curious mixture of Latin and Sclavonian.

LOVEL.—This is the name or title of an old and powerful English family.
The meaning of it is Leo’s town, Lowe’s town, or Louis’ town.  The
Gypsies, who adopted it, seem to have imagined that it had something to
do with love, for they translated it by _Camlo_ or _Caumlo_, that which
is lovely or amiable, and also by _Camomescro_, a lover, an amorous
person, sometimes used for ‘friend.’  _Camlo_ is connected with the
Sanscrit _Cama_, which signifies love, and is the appellation of the
Hindoo god of love.  A name of the same root as the one borne by that
divinity was not altogether inapplicable to the Gypsy tribe who adopted
it: _Cama_, if all tales be true, was black, black though comely, a
_Beltenebros_, and the Lovel tribe is decidedly the most comely and at
the same time the darkest of all the Anglo-Egyptian families.  The faces
of many of them, male and female, are perfect specimens of black beauty.
They are generally called by the race the _Kaulo Camloes_, the Black
Comelies.  And here, though at the risk of being thought digressive, the
writer cannot forbear saying that the darkest and at one time the
comeliest of all the _Caumlies_, a celebrated fortune-teller, and an old
friend of his, lately expired in a certain old town, after attaining an
age which was something wonderful.  She had twenty-one brothers and
sisters, and was the eldest of the family, on which account she was
called “Rawnie P., pooroest of bis ta dui,” Lady P.—she had married out
of the family—eldest of twenty-two.

MARSHALL.—The name Marshall has either to do with marshal, the title of a
high military personage, or marches, the borders of contiguous countries.
In the early Norman period it was the name of an Earl of Pembroke.  The
Gypsies who adopted the name seem in translating it to have been of
opinion that it was connected with marshes, for they rendered it by
_mokkado tan engre_, fellows of the wet or miry place, an appellation
which at one time certainly became them well, for they are a northern
tribe belonging to the Border, a country not very long ago full of mosses
and miry places.  Though calling themselves English, they are in reality
quite as much Scotch as English, and as often to be found in Scotland as
the other country, especially in Dumfriesshire and Galloway, in which
latter region, in Saint Cuthbert’s churchyard, lies buried ‘the old man’
of the race,—Marshall, who died at the age of 107.  They sometimes call
themselves _Bungyoror_ and _Chikkeneymengre_, cork-fellows and china
people, which names have reference to the occupations severally followed
by the males and females, the former being cutters of bungs and corks,
and the latter menders of china.

STANLEY.—This is the name or title of an ancient English family
celebrated in history.  It is probably descriptive of their original
place of residence, for it signifies the stony lea, which is also the
meaning of the Gaelic _Auchinlech_, the place of abode of the Scottish
Boswells.  It was adopted by an English Gypsy tribe, at one time very
numerous, but at present much diminished.  Of this name there are two
renderings into Romany; one is _Baryor_ or _Baremescre_, stone-folks or
stonemasons, the other is _Beshaley_.  The first requires no comment, but
the second is well worthy of analysis, as it is an example of the strange
blunders which the Gypsies sometimes make in their attempts at
translation.  When they rendered Stanley by _Beshaley_ or _Beshley_, they
mistook the first syllable _stan_ for ‘stand,’ but for a very good reason
rendered it by _besh_, which signifies ‘to sit, and the second for a word
in their own language, for _ley_ or _aley_ in Gypsy signifies ‘down,’ so
they rendered Stanley by _Beshley_ or _Beshaley_, which signifies ‘sit
down.’  Here, of course, it will be asked what reason could have induced
them, if they mistook _stan_ for ‘stand,’ not to have rendered it by the
Gypsy word for ‘stand’?  The reason was a very cogent one, the want of a
word in the Gypsy language to express ‘stand’; but they had heard in
courts of justice witnesses told to stand down, so they supposed that to
stand down was much the same as to sit down, whence their odd rendering
of Stanley.  In no dialect of the Gypsy, from the Indus to the Severn, is
there any word for ‘stand,’ though in every one there is a word for
‘sit,’ and that is _besh_, and in every Gypsy encampment all along the
vast distance, _Beshley_ or _Beshaley_ would be considered an invitation
to sit down.

So much for the double-name system in use among the Gypsies of England.
There is something in connection with the Gypsies of Spain which
strangely coincides with one part of it—the translation of names.  Among
the relics of the language of the Gitanos or Spanish Gypsies are words,
some simple and some compound, which are evidently attempts to translate
names in a manner corresponding to the plan employed by the English
Romany.  In illustration of the matter, the writer will give an analysis
of _Brono Aljenicato_, the rendering into Gitano of the name of one
frequently mentioned in the New Testament, and once in the Apostles’
Creed, the highly respectable, but much traduced individual known to the
English public as Pontius Pilate, to the Spanish as Poncio Pilato.  The
manner in which the rendering has been accomplished is as follows:
_Poncio_ bears some resemblance to the Spanish _puente_, which signifies
a bridge, and is a modification of the Latin _pons_, and _Pilato_ to the
Spanish _pila_, a fountain, or rather a stone pillar, from the top of
which the waters of a fountain springing eventually fall into a stone
basin below, the two words—the _Brono Aljenicato_—signifying
bridge-fountain, or that which is connected with such a thing.  Now this
is the identical, or all but the identical, way in which the names Lee,
Lovel, and Stanley have been done into English Romany.  A remarkable
instance is afforded in this Gitano Scripture name, this _Brono
Aljenicato_, of the heterogeneous materials of which Gypsy dialects are
composed: _Brono_ is a modification of a Hindoo or Sanscrit, _Aljenicato_
of an Arabic root.  _Brono_ is connected with the Sanscrit _pindala_,
which signifies a bridge, and _Aljenicato_ is a modification of the Gypsy
_aljenique_, derived from the Arabic _alain_, which signifies the
fountain.  But of whatever materials composed, a fine-sounding name is
this same _Brono Aljenicato_, perhaps the finest sounding specimen of
Spanish Gypsy extant, much finer than a translation of Pontius Pilate
would be, provided the name served to express the same things, in
English, which _Poncio Pilato_ serves to express in Spanish, for then it
would be _Pudjico Pani_ or Bridgewater; for though in English Gypsy there
is the word for a bridge, namely _pudge_, a modification of the Persian
_pul_, or the Wallachian _podul_, there is none for a fountain, which can
be only vaguely paraphrased by _pani_, water.


GYPSY women, as long as we have known anything of Gypsy history, have
been arrant fortune-tellers.  They plied fortune-telling about France and
Germany as early as 1414, the year when the dusky bands were first
observed in Europe, and they have never relinquished the practice.  There
are two words for fortune-telling in Gypsy, _bocht_ and _dukkering_.
_Bocht_ is a Persian word, a modification of, or connected with, the
Sanscrit _bagya_, which signifies ‘fate.’  _Dukkering_ is the
modification of a Wallaco-Sclavonian word signifying something spiritual
or ghostly.  In Eastern European Gypsy, the Holy Ghost is called
_Swentuno Ducos_.

Gypsy fortune-telling is much the same everywhere, much the same in
Russia as it is in Spain and in England.  Everywhere there are three
styles—the lofty, the familiar, and the homely; and every Gypsy woman is
mistress of all three and uses each according to the rank of the person
whose _vast_ she _dukkers_, whose hand she reads, and adapts the luck she
promises.  There is a ballad of some antiquity in the Spanish language
about the _Buena Ventura_, a few stanzas of which translated will convey
a tolerable idea of the first of these styles to the reader, who will
probably with no great reluctance dispense with any illustrations of the
other two:—

   Late rather one morning
   cIn summer’s sweet tide,
   Goes forth to the Prado
      Jacinta the bride:

   There meets her a Gypsy
      So fluent of talk,
   And jauntily dressed,
      On the principal walk.

   “O welcome, thrice welcome,
      Of beauty thou flower!
   Believe me, believe me,
      Thou com’st in good hour.”

   Surprised was Jacinta;
      She fain would have fled;
   But the Gypsy to cheer her
      Such honeyed words said:

   “O cheek like the rose-leaf!
      O lady high-born!
   Turn thine eyes on thy servant,
      But ah, not in scorn.

   “O pride of the Prado!
      O joy of our clime!
   Thou twice shalt be married,
      And happily each time.

   “Of two noble sons
      Thou shalt be the glad mother,
   One a Lord Judge,
      A Field-Marshal the other.”

Gypsy females have told fortunes to higher people than the young Countess
Jacinta: _Modor_—of the Gypsy quire of Moscow—told the fortune of
Ekatarina, Empress of all the Russias.  The writer does not know what the
Ziganka told that exalted personage, but it appears that she gave perfect
satisfaction to the Empress, who not only presented her with a diamond
ring—a Russian diamond ring is not generally of much value—but also her
hand to kiss.  The writer’s old friend, Pepíta, the Gitana of Madrid,
told the _bahi_ of Christina, the Regentess of Spain, in which she
assured her that she would marry the son of the King of France, and
received from the fair Italian a golden ounce, the most magnificent of
coins, a guerdon which she richly merited, for she nearly hit the mark,
for though Christina did not marry the son of the King of France, her
second daughter was married to a son of the King of France, the Duke of
M-, one of the three claimants of the crown of Spain, and the best of the
lot; and Britannia, the Caumli, told the good luck to the Regent George
on Newmarket Heath, and received ‘foive guineas’ and a hearty smack from
him who eventually became George the Fourth—no bad fellow by the by,
either as regent or king, though as much abused as Pontius Pilate, whom
he much resembled in one point, unwillingness to take life—the _sonkaypè_
or gold-gift being, no doubt, more acceptable than the _choomapé_ or
kiss-gift to the Beltenebrosa, who, if a certain song be true, had no
respect for _gorgios_, however much she liked their money:—

   Britannia is my nav;
   I am a Kaulo Camlo;
   The gorgios pen I be
   A bori chovahaunie;
   And tatchipen they pens,
   The dinneleskie gorgies,
   For mande chovahans
   The luvvu from their putsies.

   Britannia is my name;
   I am a swarthy Lovel;
   The Gorgios say I be
   A witch of wondrous power;
   And faith they speak the truth,
   The silly, foolish fellows,
   For often I bewitch
   The money from their pockets.

Fortune-telling in all countries where the Gypsies are found is
frequently the prelude to a kind of trick called in all Gypsy dialects by
something more or less resembling the Sanscrit _kuhana_; for instance, it
is called in Spain _jojana_, _hokano_, and in English _hukni_.  It is
practised in various ways, all very similar; the defrauding of some
simple person of money or property being the object in view.  Females are
generally the victims of the trick, especially those of the middle class,
who are more accessible to _the poor woman_ than those of the upper.  One
of the ways, perhaps the most artful, will be found described in another


THE Gypsy makes some poor simpleton of a lady believe that if the latter
puts her gold into her hands, and she makes it up into a parcel, and puts
it between the lady’s feather-bed and mattress, it will at the end of a
month be multiplied a hundredfold, provided the lady does not look at it
during all that time.  On receiving the money she makes it up into a
brown paper parcel, which she seals with wax, turns herself repeatedly
round, squints, and spits, and then puts between the feather-bed and
mattress—not the parcel of gold, but one exactly like it, which she has
prepared beforehand, containing old halfpence, farthings, and the like;
then, after cautioning the lady by no means to undo the parcel before the
stated time, she takes her departure singing to herself:—

    O dear me!  O dear me!
    What dinnelies these gorgies be.

The above artifice is called by the English Gypsies the _hukni_, and by
the Spanish _hokhano baro_, or the great lie.  _Hukni_ and _hokano_ were
originally one and the same word; the root seems to be the Sanscrit
_huhanã_, lie, trick, deceit.


THE Gypsy has some queer, old-fashioned gold piece; this she takes to
some goldsmith’s shop, at the window of which she has observed a basin
full of old gold coins, and shows it to the goldsmith, asking him if he
will purchase it.  He looks at it attentively, and sees that it is of
very pure gold; whereupon he says that he has no particular objection to
buy it; but that as it is very old it is not of much value, and that he
has several like it.  “Have you indeed, Master?” says the Gypsy; “then
pray show them to me, and I will buy them; for, to tell you the truth, I
would rather buy than sell pieces like this, for I have a great respect
for them, and know their value: give me back my coin, and I will compare
any you have with it.”  The goldsmith gives her back her coin, takes his
basin of gold from the window, and places it on the counter.  The Gypsy
puts down her head, and pries into the basin.  “Ah, I see nothing here
like my coin,” says she.  “Now, Master, to oblige me, take out a handful
of the coins and lay them on the counter; I am a poor, honest woman,
Master, and do not wish to put my hand into your basin.  Oh! if I could
find one coin like my own, I would give much money for it; _barributer_
than it is worth.”  The goldsmith, to oblige the poor, simple, foreign
creature (for such he believes her to be), and, with a considerable hope
of profit, takes a handful of coins from the basin and puts them upon the
counter.  “I fear there is none here like mine, Master,” says the Gypsy,
moving the coins rapidly with the tips of her fingers.  “No, no, there is
not one here like mine—_kek yeck_, _kek yeck_—not one, not one.  Stay,
stay!  What’s this, what’s this?  _So se cavo_, _so se cavo_?  Oh, here
is one like mine; or if not quite like, like enough to suit me.  Now,
Master, what will you take for this coin?”  The goldsmith looks at it,
and names a price considerably above the value; whereupon she says: “Now,
Master, I will deal fairly with you: you have not asked me the full value
of the coin by three three-groats, three-groats, three-groats; by _trin
tringurushis_, _tringurushis_, _tringurushis_.  So here’s the money you
asked, Master, and three three-groats, three shillings, besides.  God
bless you, Master!  You would have cheated yourself, but the poor woman
would not let you; for though she is poor she is honest”: and thus she
takes her leave, leaving the goldsmith very well satisfied with his
customer—with little reason, however, for out of about twenty coins which
he laid on the counter she had filched at least three, which her brown
nimble fingers, though they seemingly scarcely touched the gold,
contrived to convey up her sleeves.  This kind of pilfering is called by
the English Gypsies _cauring_, and by the Spanish _ustilar pastesas_, or
stealing with the fingers.  The word _caur_ seems to be connected with
the English _cower_, and the Hebrew _kãra_, a word of frequent occurrence
in the historical part of the Old Testament, and signifying to bend,
stoop down, _incurvare_.



WHAT may be called the grand Metropolitan Gypsyry is on the Surrey side
of the Thames.  Near the borders of Wandsworth and Battersea, about a
quarter of a mile from the river, is an open piece of ground which may
measure about two acres.  To the south is a hill, at the foot of which is
a railway, and it is skirted on the north by the Wandsworth and Battersea
Road.  This place is what the Gypsies call a _kekkeno mushes puv_, a no
man’s ground; a place which has either no proprietor, or which the
proprietor, for some reason, makes no use of for the present.  The houses
in the neighbourhood are mean and squalid, and are principally inhabited
by artisans of the lowest description.  This spot, during a considerable
portion of the year, is the principal place of residence of the
Metropolitan Gypsies, and of other people whose manner of life more or
less resembles theirs.  During the summer and autumn the little plain,
for such it is, is quite deserted, except that now and then a wretched
tent or two may be seen upon it, belonging to some tinker family, who
have put up there for a few hours on their way through the metropolis;
for the Gypsies are absent during summer, some at fairs and races, the
men with their cocoa-nuts and the women busy at fortune-telling, or at
suburban places of pleasure—the former with their donkeys for the young
cockneys to ride upon, and the latter as usual _dukkering_ and
_hokkering_, and the other travellers, as they are called, roaming about
the country following their particular avocations, whilst in the autumn
the greater part of them all are away in Kent, getting money by picking
hops.  As soon, however, as the rains, the precursors of winter, descend,
the place begins to be occupied, and about a week or two before Christmas
it is almost crammed with the tents and caravans of the wanderers; and
then it is a place well worthy to be explored, notwithstanding the
inconvenience of being up to one’s ankles in mud, and the rather
appalling risk of being bitten by the Gypsy and travelling dogs tied to
the tents and caravans, in whose teeth there is always venom and
sometimes that which can bring on the water-horror, for which no European
knows a remedy.  The following is an attempt to describe the odd people
and things to be met with here; the true Gypsies, and what to them
pertaineth, being of course noticed first.

On this plain there may be some fifteen or twenty Gypsy tents and
caravans.  Some of the tents are large, as indeed it is highly necessary
that they should be, being inhabited by large families—a man and his
wife, a grandmother a sister or two and half a dozen children, being,
occasionally found in one; some of them are very small, belonging to poor
old females who have lost their husbands, and whose families have
separated themselves from them, and allow them to shift for themselves.
During the day the men are generally busy at their several avocations,
_chinning the cost_, that is, cutting the stick for skewers, making pegs
for linen-lines, _kipsimengring_ or basket-making, tinkering or
braziering; the children are playing about, or begging halfpence by the
road of passengers; whilst the women are strolling about, either in
London or the neighbourhood, engaged in fortune-telling or swindling.  Of
the trades of the men, the one by far the most practised is _chinning the
cost_, and as they sit at the door of the tents, cutting and whittling
away, they occasionally sweeten their toil by raising their voices and
singing the Gypsy stanza in which the art is mentioned, and which for
terseness and expressiveness is quite equal to anything in the whole
circle of Gentile poetry:

   Can you rokra Romany?
      Can you play the bosh?
   Can you jal adrey the staripen?
      Can you chin the cost?

   Can you speak the Roman tongue?
      Can you play the fiddle?
   Can you eat the prison-loaf?
      Can you cut and whittle?

These Gypsies are of various tribes, but chiefly Purruns, Chumomescroes
and Vardomescroes, or Lees, Boswells and Coopers, and Lees being by far
the most numerous.  The men are well made, active fellows, somewhat below
the middle height.  Their complexions are dark, and their eyes are full
of intelligence; their habiliments are rather ragged.  The women are
mostly wild-looking creatures, some poorly clad, others exhibiting not a
little strange finery.  There are some truly singular beings amongst
those women, which is more than can be said with respect to the men, who
are much on a level, and amongst whom there is none whom it is possible
to bring prominently out, and about whom much can be said.  The women, as
has been already observed, are generally out during the day, being
engaged in their avocations abroad.  There is a very small tent about the
middle of the place; it belongs to a lone female, whom one frequently
meets wandering about Wandsworth or Battersea, seeking an opportunity to
_dukker_ some credulous servant-girl.  It is hard that she should have to
do so, as she is more than seventy-five years of age, but if she did not
she would probably starve.  She is very short of stature, being little
more than five feet and an inch high, but she is wonderfully strongly
built.  Her head is very large, and seems to have been placed at once
upon her shoulders without any interposition of neck.  Her face is broad,
with a good-humoured expression upon it, and in general with very little
vivacity; at times, however, it lights up, and then all the Gypsy beams
forth.  Old as she is, her hair, which is very long, is as black as the
plumage of a crow, and she walks sturdily, though with not much
elasticity, on her short, thick legs, and, if requested, would take up
the heaviest man in Wandsworth or Battersea and walk away with him.  She
is, upon the whole, the oddest Gypsy woman ever seen; see her once and
you will never forget her.  Who is she? you ask.  Who is she?  Why, Mrs.
Cooper, the wife of Jack Cooper, the fighting Gypsy, once the terror of
all the Light Weights of the English Ring; who knocked West Country Dick
to pieces, and killed Paddy O’Leary, the fighting pot-boy, Jack Randall’s
pet.  Ah, it would have been well for Jack if he had always stuck to his
true, lawful Romany wife, whom at one time he was very fond of, and whom
he used to dress in silks and satins, and best scarlet cloth, purchased
with the money gained in his fair, gallant battles in the Ring!  But he
did not stick to her, deserting her for a painted Jezebel, to support
whom he sold his battles, by doing which he lost his friends and backers;
then took from his poor wife all he had given her, and even plundered her
of her own property, down to the very blankets which she lay upon; and
who finally was so infatuated with love for his paramour that he bore the
blame of a crime which she had committed, and in which he had no share,
suffering ignominy and transportation in order to save her.  Better had
he never deserted his _tatchie romadie_, his own true Charlotte, who,
when all deserted him, the painted Jezebel being the first to do so,
stood by him, supporting him with money in prison, and feeing counsel on
his trial from the scanty proceeds of her _dukkering_.  All that happened
many years ago; Jack’s term of transportation, a lengthy one, has long,
long been expired, but he has not come back, though every year since the
expiration of his servitude he has written her a letter, or caused one to
be written to her, to say that he is coming, that he is coming; so that
she is always expecting him, and is at all times willing, as she says, to
re-invest him with all the privileges of a husband, and to beg and
_dukker_ to support him if necessary.  A true wife she has been to him, a
_tatchie romadie_, and has never taken up with any man since he left her,
though many have been the tempting offers that she has had, connubial
offers, notwithstanding the oddity of her appearance.  Only one wish she
has now in this world, the wish that he may return; but her wish, it is
to be feared, is a vain one, for Jack lingers and lingers in the
_Sonnakye Tem_, golden Australia, teaching, it is said, the young
Australians to box, tempted by certain shining nuggets, the produce of
the golden region.  It is pleasant, though there is something mournful in
it, to visit Mrs. Cooper after nightfall, to sit with her in her little
tent after she has taken her cup of tea, and is warming her tired limbs
at her little coke fire, and hear her talk of old times and things: how
Jack courted her ’neath the trees of Loughton Forest, and how, when tired
of courting, they would get up and box, and how he occasionally gave her
a black eye, and how she invariably flung him at a close; and how they
were lawfully married at church, and what a nice man the clergyman was,
and what funny things he said both before and after he had united them;
how stoutly West Country Dick contended against Jack, though always
losing; how in Jack’s battle with Paddy O’Leary the Irishman’s head in
the last round was truly frightful, not a feature being distinguishable,
and one of his ears hanging down by a bit of skin; how Jack vanquished
Hardy Scroggins, whom Jack Randall himself never dared fight.  Then,
again, her anecdotes of Alec Reed, cool, swift-hitting Alec, who was
always smiling, and whose father was a Scotchman, his mother an
Irishwoman, and who was born in Guernsey; and of Oliver, old Tom Oliver,
who seconded Jack in all his winning battles, and after whom he named his
son, his only child, Oliver, begotten of her in lawful wedlock, a good
and affectionate son enough, but unable to assist her, on account of his
numerous family.  Farewell, Mrs. Cooper, true old Charlotte! here’s a
little bit of silver for you, and a little bit of a _gillie_ to sing:

   Charlotta is my nav,
   I am a puro Purrun;
   My romado was Jack,
   The couring Vardomescro.
   He muk’d me for a lubbeny,
   Who chor’d a rawnie’s kissi;
   He penn’d ’twas he who lell’d it,
   And so was bitched pawdel.

   Old Charlotte I am called,
   Of Lee I am a daughter;
   I married Fighting Jack,
   The famous Gypsy Cooper.
   He left me for a harlot,
   Who pick’d a lady’s pocket;
   He bore the blame to save her,
   And so was sent to Bot’ny.

Just within the bounds of the plain, and close by the road, may
occasionally be seen a small caravan of rather a neat appearance.  It
comes and goes suddenly, and is seldom seen there for more than three
days at a time.  It belongs to a Gypsy female who, like Mrs. Cooper, is a
remarkable person, but is widely different from Mrs. Cooper in many
respects.  Mrs. Cooper certainly does not represent the _beau ideal_ of a
Gypsy female, this does—a dark, mysterious, beautiful, terrible creature!
She is considerably above the middle height, powerfully but gracefully
made, and about thirty-seven years of age.  Her face is oval, and of a
dark olive.  The nose is Grecian, the cheek-bones rather high; the eyes
somewhat sunk, but of a lustrous black; the mouth small, and the teeth
exactly like ivory.  Upon the whole the face is exceedingly beautiful,
but the expression is evil—evil to a degree.  Who she is no one exactly
knows, nor what is her name, nor whether she is single woman, wife, or
widow.  Some say she is a foreign Gypsy, others from Scotland, but she is
neither—her accent is genuine English.  What strikes one as most singular
is the power she possesses of appearing in various characters—all Romany
ones it is true, but so different as seemingly to require three distinct
females of the race to represent them: sometimes she is the staid, quiet,
respectable Gypsy; sometimes the forward and impudent; at others the
awful and sublime.  Occasionally you may see her walking the streets
dressed in a black silk gown, with a black silk bonnet on her head; over
her left arm is flung a small carpet, a sample of the merchandise which
is in her caravan, which is close at hand, driven by a brown boy; her
address to her customers is highly polite; the tones of her voice are
musical, though somewhat deep.  At Fairlop, on the first Friday of July,
in the evening, she may be found near the Bald-faced Hind, dressed in a
red cloak and a large beaver; her appearance is bold and reckless—she is
_dukkering_ low tradesmen and servant girls behind the trees at sixpence
a head, or is bandying with the voice of a raven slang and obscenity with
country boors, or with the blackguard butcher-boys who throng in from
Whitechapel and Shoreditch to the Gypsy Fair.  At Goodwood, a few weeks
after, you may see her in a beautiful half-riding dress, her hair
fantastically plaited and adorned with pearls, standing beside the
carriage of a Countess, telling the fortune of her ladyship with the
voice and look of a pythoness.  She is a thing of incongruities; an
incomprehensible being! nobody can make her out; the writer himself has
tried to make her out but could not, though he has spoken to her in his
deepest Romany.  It is true there is a certain old Gypsy, a friend of
his, who thinks he has made her out.  “Brother,” said he one day, “why
you should be always going after that woman I can’t conceive, unless
indeed you have lost your wits.  If you go after her for her Romany you
will find yourself in the wrong box: she may have a crumb or two of
Romany, but for every crumb that she has I am quite sure you have a
quartern loaf.  Then as for her beauty, of which it is true she has
plenty, and for which half a dozen Gorgios that I knows of are running
mad, it’s of no use going after her for that, for her beauty she keeps
for her own use and that of her master the Devil; not but that she will
sell it—she’s sold it a dozen times to my certain knowledge—but what’s
the use of buying a thing, when the fool who buys it never gets it, never
has the ‘joyment of it, brother?  She is _kek tatcho_, and that’s what I
like least in her; there’s no trusting her, neither Gorgio nor Romano can
trust her: she sells her _truppos_ to a Rye-gorgio for five _bars_, and
when she has got them, and the Gorgio, as he has a right to do, begins to
_kelna lasa_, she laughs and asks him if he knows whom he has to deal
with; then if he _lels bonnek of lati_, as he is quite justified in
doing, she whips out a _churi_, and swears if he doesn’t leave off she
will stick it in his _gorlo_.  Oh! she’s an evil mare, a _wafodu grasni_,
though a handsome one, and I never looks at her, brother, without saying
to myself the old words:

   “Rinkeno mui and wafodu zee
   Kitzi’s the cheeros we dicks cattanē.”

   A beautiful face and a black wicked mind
   Often, full often together we find.

Some more particular account than what has been already given of the
habitations of these Wandsworth Gypsies, and likewise of their way of
life, will perhaps not be unacceptable here.

To begin with the tents.  They are oblong in shape and of very simple
construction, whether small or great.  Sticks or rods, called in the
Gypsy language _ranior_, between four and five feet in length, and
_croming_ or bending towards the top, are stuck in the ground at about
twenty inches from each other, a rod or two being omitted in that part
where the entrance is intended to be.  The _cromes_ or bends serve as
supporters of a roof, and those of the side rods which stand over against
one another are generally tied together by strings.  These rods are
covered over with coarse brown cloths, pinned or skewered together; those
at the bottom being fastened to the ground by pegs.  Around the tent is
generally a slight embankment, about two or three inches high, or a
little trench about the same depth, to prevent water from running into
the tent in time of rain.  Such is the tent, which would be exactly like
the Indian wigwam but for the cloth which forms the covering: the Indians
in lieu of cloth using bark, which they carry about with them in all
their migrations, though they leave the sticks standing in the ground.

The furniture is scanty.  Like the Arabs, the Gypsies have neither chairs
nor tables, but sit cross-legged, a posture which is perfectly easy to
them, though insufferable to a Gorgio, unless he happens to be a tailor.
When they eat, the ground serves them for a board, though they
occasionally spread a cloth upon it.  Singularly enough, though they have
neither chairs nor tables, they have words for both.  Of pots, pans,
plates, and trenchers, they have a tolerable quantity.  Each grown-up
person has a _churi_, or knife, with which to cut food.  Eating-forks
they have none, and for an eating-fork they have no word, the term
_pasengri_ signifying a straw- or pitch-fork.  Spoons are used by them
generally of horn, and are called _royis_.  They have but two culinary
articles, the _kekkauvi_ and _pirry_, kettle and boiler, which are
generally of copper, to which, however, may perhaps be added the
_kekkauviskey saster_, or kettle-iron, by which the kettle and boiler are
hung over the fire.  As a fireplace they have a large iron pan on three
legs, with holes or eyes in the sides, in order that the heat of the fire
may be cast around.  Instead of coals they use coke, which emits no flame
and little smoke, and casts a considerable heat.  Every tent has a pail
or two, and perhaps a small cask or barrel, the proper name for which is
_bedra_, though it is generally called _pāni-mengri_, or thing for water.
At the farther end of the tent is a mattress, with a green cloth, or
perhaps a sheet spread upon it, forming a kind of couch, on which
visitors are generally asked to sit down:—_Av adrey_, _Romany Rye_, _av
adrey ta besh aley pawdle odoy_!  Come in, Gypsy gentleman (said a polite
Gypsy one day to the writer); come in and sit down over yonder!  They
have a box or two in which they stow away their breakable articles and
whatever things they set any particular value upon.  Some of them have
small feather-beds, and they are generally tolerably well provided with

The caravans are not numerous, and have only been used of late years by
any of the English Gypsy race.  The caravan called by the Gypsies _keir
vardo_, or waggon-house, is on four wheels, and is drawn by a horse or
perhaps a couple of donkeys.  It is about twelve feet long by six broad
and six high.  At the farther end are a couple of transverse berths, one
above the other, like those in the cabin of a ship; and a little way from
these is a curtain hanging by rings from an iron rod running across,
which, when drawn, forms a partition.  On either side is a small glazed
window.  The most remarkable object is a stove just inside the door, on
the left hand, with a metal chimney which goes through the roof.  This
stove, the Gypsy term for which is _bo_, casts, when lighted, a great
heat, and in some cases is made in a very handsome fashion.  Some
caravans have mirrors against the sides, and exhibit other indications of
an aiming at luxury, though in general they are dirty, squalid places,
quite as much as or perhaps more than the tents, which seem to be the
proper and congenial homes of the Gypsies.

The mode of life of these people may be briefly described.  They have two
regular meals—breakfast and supper.  The breakfast consists of tea,
generally of the best quality, bread, butter, and cheese; the supper, of
tea and a stew.  In spring time they occasionally make a kind of tea or
soup of the tender leaves of a certain description of nettle.  This
preparation, which they call _dandrimengreskie zimmen_, or the broth of
the stinging-thing, is highly relished by them.  They get up early, and
go to bed betimes.  After breakfast the men sit down to _chin the cost_,
to mend chairs or make baskets; the women go forth to _hok_ and _dukker_,
and the children to beg, or to go with the donkeys to lanes and commons
to watch them, whilst they try to fill their poor bellies with grass and
thistles.  These children sometimes bring home _hotchiwitches_, or
hedgehogs, the flesh of which is very sweet and tender, and which their
mothers are adepts at cooking.

The Gypsies, as has been already observed, are not the sole occupiers of
Wandsworth grounds.  Strange, wild guests are to be found there, who,
without being Gypsies, have much of Gypsyism in their habits, and who far
exceed the Gypsies in number.  To pass them by without notice would be
unpardonable.  They may be divided into three classes: Chorodies,
Kora-mengre, and Hindity-mengre.  Something about each:—

The Chorodies are the legitimate descendants of the rogues and outcasts
who roamed about England long before its soil was trodden by a Gypsy
foot.  They are a truly detestable set of beings; both men and women
being ferocious in their appearance, and in their conversation horrible
and disgusting.  They have coarse, vulgar features, and hair which puts
one wonderfully in mind of refuse flax, or the material of which mops are
composed.  Their complexions, when not obscured with grime, are rather
fair than dark, evidencing that their origin is low, swinish Saxon, and
not gentle Romany.  Their language is the frowsiest English, interlarded
with cant expressions and a few words of bastard Romany.  They live in
the vilest tents, with the exception of two or three families, who have
their abode in broken and filthy caravans.  They have none of the
comforts and elegancies of the Gypsies.  They are utterly destitute of
civility and good manners, and are generally squalid in their dress,
though the women sometimes exhibit not a little dirty tawdriness.  The
trades of the men are tinkering and basket-making, and some few “peel the
stick.”  The women go about with the articles made by their husbands, or
rather partners, and sometimes do a little in the fortune-telling
line—pretty prophetesses!  The fellows will occasionally knock a man down
in the dark, and rob him; the women will steal anything they can
conveniently lay their hands on.  Singular as it may seem to those not
deeply acquainted with human nature, these wretches are not without a
kind of pride.  “We are no Gypsies—not we! no, nor Irish either.  We are
English, and decent folks—none of your rubbish!”  The Gypsies hold them,
and with reason, in supreme contempt, and it is from them that they got
their name of Chorodies, not a little applicable to them.  _Choredo_, in
Gypsy, signifies a poor, miserable person, and differs very little in
sound from two words, one Sanscrit and the other Hebrew, both signifying,
like the Gypsy term, something low, mean, and contemptible.

Kora-mengre are the lowest of those hawkers who go about the country
villages and the streets of London, with caravans hung about with various
common articles, such as mats, brooms, mops, tin pans and kettles.  These
low hawkers seem to be of much the same origin as the Chorodies, and are
almost equally brutal and repulsive in their manners.  The name
Kora-mengre is Gypsy, and signifies fellows who cry out and shout, from
their practice of shouting out the names of their goods.  The word
_kora_, or _karra_, is by no means bad Hebrew: _kora_, in the Holy
Language, signifies he cried out, called, or proclaimed: and a partridge
is called in Hebrew _kora_, from its continually crying out to its young,
when leading them about to feed.  _Koran_, the name of the sacred book of
the Mahomedans, is of the same root.

Lastly come the Hindity-mengre, or Filthy People.  This term has been
bestowed upon the vagrant Irish by the Gypsies, from the dirty ways
attributed to them, though it is a question whether the lowest Irish are
a bit more dirty in their ways than the English Chorodies, or indeed so
much, and are certainly immeasurably superior to them in many respects.
There are not many of them here, seldom more than two families, and
sometimes, even during the winter, not a single Irish tent or cart is to
be seen.  The trade they ostensibly drive is tinkering, repairing old
kettles, and making little pots and pans of tin.  The one, however, on
which they principally depend, is not tinkering, but one far more
lucrative, and requiring more cleverness and dexterity; they make false
rings, like the Gypsy smiths, the _fashiono vangustengre_ of old, and
whilst speaking Celtic to one whom they deem their countryman, have no
hesitation in acknowledging themselves to be “Cairdean droich oir,”
workers of false gold.  The rings are principally made out of old brass
buttons; those worn by old Chelsea pensioners being considered the very
best for the purpose.  Many an ancient Corporal Trim, alter having spent
all his money at the public-house, and only become three-parts boozy, has
been induced by the Hindity-mengro to sell all his buttons at the rate of
three-halfpence a-piece, in order to have wherewithal to make himself
thoroughly royal.  Each of these Hindity-mengre has his blow-pipe, and
some of them can execute their work in a style little inferior to that of
a first-rate working goldsmith.  The rings, after being made, are rubbed
with a certain stuff out of a phial, which gives them all the appearance
of gold.  This appearance, however, does not long endure, for after
having been worn two or three months, the ring loses its false appearance
entirely, and any one can see that it is worthless metal.  A good many of
these rings are disposed of at good prices by the Hindity women, the
wives of these false-gold workers, to servant girls and the wives of
small shopkeepers, and not a few, at a lower rate, to certain gentry who
get their livelihood by the honourable profession of _ring-dropping_.

What is ring-dropping?

Ring-dropping is this.  A gentleman overtakes you as you are walking in
some quiet street, passes by you, and at the distance of some fifteen
yards stops, and stooping down, seemingly picks up something, which he
inspects, and then uttering a “Dear me!” he turns to you, and says, “Sir,
we have been fortunate to-day.  See!  I have picked up this valuable!”
He then shows you a small case, in which is a large ring, seemingly of
the finest gold, with a little label attached to it, on which is marked
£2 15s.  “Now, sir,” he continues, “I said _we_ were fortunate, because
as we were close to each other, I consider you as much entitled to gain
by this windfall as myself.  I’ll tell you how it shall be: the price of
the ring, which was probably dropped by some goldsmith’s man, is, as you
see, two pound fifteen; however, as I am in a hurry, you shall only give
me a quid, a pound, and then the valuable shall be all your own; it shall
indeed, sir!”  And then he stares you in the face.  Such is
ring-dropping, to which many silly but greedy individuals, fall victims;
giving a pound for a fine-looking ring, which, however, with its scarlet
case—for the case is always of a scarlet colour—is not worth sixpence.
The best thing you can do in such a case is to put your thumb to your
nose, flattening your hand and sticking out your fingers far apart,
moving on at the same time, or to utter the cabalistic word “hookey”; in
either case the ring-dropper will at once drop astern, with a
half-stifled curse, for he knows that he has to do with “no flat,” and
that you are “awake to his little game.”  Doing so is much better than
moving rapidly on, and affecting to take no notice of him, for then he
will infallibly follow you to the end of the street, offering you the
ring on more reasonable terms at every step, perhaps concluding at last,
as a ring-dropper once did to the writer, “I’ll tell you what, sir; as I
am in a hurry, and rather hard up, you shall have the valuable for a
bull, for a crown; you shall indeed, sir, so help me—”

Three of the most famous of the Hindity smiths have been immortalised by
the Gypsies in the following bit of verse:

   Mickie, Huwie and Larry,
   Trin Hindity-mengre fashiono vangust-engre.

   Mickie, Huwie and Larry bold,
   Three Irish brothers, as I am told,
   Who make false rings, that pass for gold.

Of these _fashiono-vangust_ brothers, the most remarkable is Mike—Old
Mike, as he is generally called.  He was born in the county Kerry, and
educated at a hedge-school, where he learned to read and write English,
after a fashion, and acquired the seventeen letters of the Irish
alphabet, each of which is named after a particular tree.  Leaving school
he was apprenticed to a blacksmith, from whom he ran away, and enlisted
into the service of that illustrious monarch, George the Third, some of
whose battles he had the honour of fighting in the Peninsula and France.
Discharged from the army at the Peace, with the noble donation of thirty
shillings, or one month’s pay, he returned to Ireland, took to himself a
wife, and commenced tinker.  Becoming dissatisfied with his native soil
he passed over to England, and settling for some time at “Brummagem,”
took lessons from certain cunning smiths in the art of making _fashiono
vangusties_.  The next forty years of his life he spent in wandering
about Britain, attended by his faithful partner, who not only disposed of
his tin articles and false rings, but also bore him seventeen children,
all of whom are alive, somewhere or other, and thriving too, one of them
indeed having attained to the dignity of American senator.  Some of his
adventures, during his wanderings, were in the highest degree
extraordinary.  Of late years he has chiefly resided in the vicinity of
London, spending his winters at Wandsworth, and his summers on the Flats,
near Epping Forest; in one or the other of which places you may see Old
Mike on a Sunday evening, provided the weather is tolerably fine, seated
near his little caravan, with his wife by his side—not the wife who bore
him the seventeen children, who has been dead for some years, but his
second wife, a nice, elderly Irish _ban_ from the county of Cork, who can
tell fortunes, say her prayers in Irish, and is nearly as good a hand at
selling her lord and master’s tin articles and false rings as her
predecessor.  Lucky for Mike that he got such a second partner! and
luckier still that at his age of seventy-nine he retains all his
faculties, and is able to work for his daily bread, with at least the
skill and cunning of his two brothers, both of whom are much younger men
than himself, whose adventures have been somewhat similar to his own, and
who, singularly enough, have come to live near him in his latter days.
Both these brothers are highly remarkable men.  Huwie is the most
civil-spoken person in or about London, and Larry a man of the most
terrible tongue, and perhaps the most desperate fighter ever seen; always
willing to attack half a dozen men, if necessary, and afraid of no one in
the world, save one—Mike, old Mike, who can tame him in his fiercest
moods by merely holding up his finger.  Oh, a truly remarkable man is old
Mike! and a pleasure and an advantage it is to any one of a philosophical
mind to be acquainted with him, and to listen to him.  He is much more
than _a fashiono-vangust-engro_.  Amongst other things he is a
theologian—Irish theologian—and quite competent to fill the chair of
theology at the University of Maynooth.  He can tell you a great many
things connected with a certain person, which, with all your research,
you would never find in Scripture.  He can tell you how the Saviour, when
hanging on the cross, became athirst, and told St. Peter, who stood at
the foot of it, to fetch Him a cup of water from a dirty puddle in the
neighbourhood, and how St. Peter—however, better not relate the legend,
though a highly curious one.  Then he can repeat to you blessed verses,
as he calls them, by dozens; not of David, but of one quite as good, as
he will tell you, namely, Timothy O’Sullivan; and who, you will say, was
Timothy O’Sullivan?  Why, Ty Gaelach, to be sure.  And who was Ty
Gaelach?  An Irish peasant-poet of the last century, who wrote spiritual
songs, some of them by no means bad ones, and who was called Gaelach, or
Gael, from his abhorrence of the English race and of the English
language, of which he scarcely understood a word.  Then is Ty Irish for
Timothy?  Why, no! though very stupidly supposed to be so.  Ty is Teague,
which is neither Greek nor Irish, but a glorious old Northern name,
carried into Ireland by the brave old heathen Danes.  Ty or Teague is the
same as Tycho.  Ty or Teague Gaelach is as much as to say Tycho Gaelach;
and Tycho Brahe is as much as to say Teague Brahe.


THE second great Gypsyry is on the Middlesex side of the river, and is
distant about three miles, as the crow flies, from that of Wandsworth.
Strange as it may seem, it is not far distant from the most fashionable
part of London; from the beautiful squares, noble streets, and thousand
palaces of Tyburnia, a region which, though only a small part of the
enormous metropolis, can show more beautiful edifices, wealth, elegance,
and luxury, than all foreign capitals put together.  After passing
Tyburnia, and going more than halfway down Notting Hill, you turn to the
right, and proceed along a tolerably genteel street till it divides into
two, one of which looks more like a lane than a street, and which is on
the left hand, and bears the name of Pottery Lane.  Go along this lane,
and you will presently find yourself amongst a number of low,
uncouth-looking sheds, open at the sides, and containing an immense
quantity of earthen chimney-pots, pantiles, fancy-bricks, and similar
articles.  This place is called the Potteries, and gives the name of
Pottery Lane to the lane through which you have just passed.  A dirty
little road goes through it, which you must follow, and presently turning
to your left, you will enter a little, filthy street, and going some way
down it, you will see, on your right hand, a little, open bit of ground,
chock-full of crazy, battered caravans of all colours—some yellow, some
green, some red.  Dark men, wild-looking, witch-like women, and
yellow-faced children are at the doors of the caravans, or wending their
way through the narrow spaces left for transit between the vehicles.  You
have now arrived at the second grand Gypsyry of London—you are amongst
the Romany Chals of the Potteries, called in Gypsy the _Koromengreskoe
Tan_, or the place of the fellows who make pots; in which place certain
Gypsies have settled, not with the view of making pots, an employment
which they utterly eschew, but simply because it is convenient to them,
and suits their fancy.

A goodly collection of Gypsies you will find in that little nook, crowded
with caravans.  Most of them are Tatchey Romany, real Gypsies,
“long-established people, of the old order.”  Amongst them are
Ratzie-mescroes, Hearnes, Herons, or duck-people; Chumo-mescroes or
Bosvils; a Kaulo Camlo (a Black Lovel) or two, and a Beshaley or Stanley.
It is no easy thing to find a Stanley nowadays, even in the Baulo Tem, or
Hampshire, which is the proper home of the Stanleys, for the Bugnior,
pimples or small-pox, has of late years made sad havoc amongst the
Stanleys; but yonder tall old gentlewoman, descending the steps of a
caravan, with a flaming red cloak and a large black beaver bonnet, and
holding a travelling basket in her hand, is a Tatchey Beshaley, a
“genuine” Stanley.  The generality, however, of “them Gyptians” are
Ratzie-mescroes, Hearnes, or duck-people; and, speaking of the Hearnes,
it is but right to say that he who may be called the Gypsy Father of
London, old Thomas Ratzie-mescro, or Hearne, though not exactly residing
here, lives close by in a caravan, in a little bit of a yard over the
way, where he can breathe more freely, and be less annoyed by the brats
and the young fellows than he would be in yonder crowded place.

Though the spot which it has just been attempted to describe, may be
considered as the head-quarters of the London Gypsies, on the Middlesex
side of the Thames, the whole neighbourhood, for a mile to the north of
it, may to a certain extent be considered a Gypsy region—that is, a
district where Gypsies, or gentry whose habits very much resemble those
of Gypsies, may at any time be found.  No metropolitan district, indeed,
could be well more suited for Gypsies to take up their abode in.  It is a
neighbourhood of transition; of brickfields, open spaces, poor streets
inhabited by low artisans, isolated houses, sites of intended tenements,
or sites of tenements which have been pulled down; it is in fact a mere
chaos, where there is no order and no regularity; where there is nothing
durable, or intended to be durable; though there can be little doubt that
within a few years order and beauty itself will be found here, that the
misery, squalidness, and meanness will have disappeared, and the whole
district, up to the railroad arches which bound it on the west and north,
will be covered with palaces, like those of Tyburnia, or delightful
villas, like those which decorate what is called Saint John’s Wood.  At
present, however, it is quite the kind of place to please the Gypsies and
wandering people, who find many places within its bounds where they can
squat and settle, or take up their quarters for a night or two without
much risk of being interfered with.  Here their tents, cars, and caravans
may be seen amidst ruins, half-raised walls, and on patches of unenclosed
ground; here their children may, throughout the day, be seen playing
about, flinging up dust and dirt, some partly naked, and others entirely
so; and here, at night, the different families, men, women, and children,
may be seen seated around their fires and their kettles, taking their
evening meal, and every now and then indulging in shouts of merriment, as
much as to say,—

    What care we, though we be so small?
    The tent shall stand when the palace shall fall;

which is quite true.  The Gypsy tent must make way for the palace, but
after a millennium or two, the Gypsy tent is pitched on the ruins of the

Of the open spaces above mentioned, the most considerable is one called
Latimer’s Green.  It lies on the north-western side of the district, and
is not far from that place of old renown called the Shepherd’s Bush,
where in the good ancient times highwaymen used to lurk for the purpose
of pouncing upon the travellers of the Oxford Road.  It may contain about
five or six acres, and, though nominally under the control of trustees,
is in reality little more than a “no man’s ground,” where anybody may
feed a horse, light a fire, and boil a kettle.  It is a great resort of
vagrant people, less of Gypsies than those who call themselves
travellers, and are denominated by the Gypsies Chorodies, and who live
for the most part in miserable caravans, though there is generally a
Gypsy tent or two to be seen there, belonging to some Deighton or Shaw,
or perhaps Petulengro, from the Lil-engro Tan, as the Romany call
Cambridgeshire.  Amidst these Chorody caravans and Gypsy tents may
frequently be seen the _ker-vardo_, the house on wheels, of one who,
whenever he takes up his quarters here, is considered the cock of the
walk, the king of the place.  He is a little under forty years of age,
and somewhat under five feet ten inches in height.  His face is
wonderfully like that of a mastiff of the largest size, particularly in
its jowls; his neck is short and very thick, and must be nearly as strong
as that of a bull; his chest is so broad that one does not like to say
how broad it is; and the voice which every now and then proceeds from it
has much the sound of that of the mighty dog just mentioned; his arms are
long and exceedingly muscular, and his fists huge and bony.  He wears a
low-crowned, broad-brimmed hat, a coarse blue coat with short skirts,
leggings, and high-lows.  Such is the _kral o’ the tan_, the _rex loci_,
the cock of the green.  But what is he besides?  Is he Gypsy, _Chorody_,
or _Hindity mush_?  I say, you had better not call him by any one of
those names, for if you did he would perhaps hit you, and then, oh dear!
That is Mr. G. A., a travelling horse-dealer, who lives in a caravan, and
finds it frequently convenient to take up his abode for weeks together on
Latimer’s Green.  He is a thorough-bred Englishman, though he is married
to a daughter of one of the old, sacred Gypsy families, a certain Lurina
Ratziemescri, duck or heron female, who is a very handsome woman, and who
has two brothers, dark, stealthy-looking young fellows, who serve with
almost slavish obedience their sister’s lord and husband, listening
uncomplainingly to his abuse of Gypsies, whom, though he lives amongst
them and is married to one by whom he has several children, he holds in
supreme contempt, never speaking of them but as a lying, thievish,
cowardly set, any three of whom he could beat with one hand; as perhaps
he could, for he is a desperate pugilist, and has three times fought in
“the ring” with good men, whom, though not a scientific fighter, he beat
with ease by dint of terrible blows, causing them to roar out.  He is
very well to do in the world; his caravan, a rather stately affair, is
splendidly furnished within; and it is a pleasure to see his wife, at
Hampton Court races, dressed in Gypsy fashion, decked with real gems and
jewels and rich gold chains, and waited upon by her dark brothers dressed
like dandy pages.  How is all this expense supported?  Why, by
horsedealing.  Mr. G. is, then, up to all kinds of horsedealers’ tricks,
no doubt.  Aye, aye, he is up to them, but he doesn’t practise them.  He
says it’s of no use, and that honesty is the best policy, and he’ll stick
to it; and so he does, and finds the profit of it.  His traffic in
horses, though confined entirely to small people, such as
market-gardeners, travellers, show-folks, and the like, is very great;
every small person who wishes to buy a horse, or to sell a horse, or to
swop a horse, goes to Mr. G., and has never reason to complain, for all
acknowledge that he has done the fair thing by them; though all agree
that there is no overreaching him, which indeed very few people try to
do, deterred by the dread of his manual prowess, of which a Gypsy once
gave to the writer the following _striking_ illustration:—“He will jal
oprey to a gry that’s wafodu, prawla, and coure leste tuley with the
courepen of his wast.”  (He will go up to a vicious horse, brother, and
knock him down with a blow of his fist.)

The arches of the railroad which bounds this region on the west and north
serve as a resort for Gypsies, who erect within them their tents, which
are thus sheltered in summer from the scorching rays of the sun, and in
winter from the drenching rain.  In what close proximity we sometimes
find emblems of what is most rude and simple, and what is most artificial
and ingenious!  For example, below the arch is the Gypsy donkey-cart,
whilst above it is thundering the chariot of fire which can run across a
county in half an hour.  The principal frequenters of these arches are
Bosvils and Lees; the former are chiefly tinkers, and the latter
_esconyemengres_, or skewer-makers.  The reason for this difference is
that the Bosvils are chiefly immigrants from the country, where there is
not much demand for skewers, whereas the Lees are natives of the
metropolis or the neighbourhood, where the demand for skewers has from
time immemorial been enormously great.  It was in the shelter of one of
these arches that the celebrated Ryley Bosvil, the Gypsy king of
Yorkshire, breathed his last a few years ago.


BEFORE quitting the subject of Metropolitan Gypsies there is another
place to which it will be necessary to devote a few words, though it is
less entitled to the appelation of Gypsyry than rookery.  It is situated
in the East of London, a region far more interesting to the ethnologist
and the philologist than the West, for there he will find people of all
kinds of strange races,—the wildest Irish; Greeks, both Orthodox and
Papistical; Jews, not only Ashkenazim and Sephardim, but even Karaite;
the worst, and consequently the most interesting, description of Germans,
the sugar-bakers; lots of Malays; plenty of Chinamen; two or three dozen
Hottentots, and about the same number of Gypsies, reckoning men, women,
and children.  Of the latter, and their place of abode, we have now only
to do, leaving the other strange, odd people to be disposed of on some
other occasion.

Not far from Shoreditch Church, and at a short distance from the street
called Church Street, on the left hand, is a locality called Friars’
Mount, but generally for shortness called The Mount.  It derives its name
from a friary built upon a small hillock in the time of Popery, where a
set of fellows lived in laziness and luxury on the offerings of foolish
and superstitious people, who resorted thither to kiss and worship an
ugly wooden image of the Virgin, said to be a first-rate stick at
performing miraculous cures.  The neighbourhood, of course, soon became a
resort for vagabonds of every description, for wherever friars are found
rogues and thieves are sure to abound; and about Friars’ Mount,
highwaymen, coiners, and Gypsies dwelt in safety under the protection of
the ministers of the miraculous image.  The friary has long since
disappeared, the Mount has been levelled, and the locality built over.
The vice and villainy, however, which the friary called forth still cling
to the district.  It is one of the vilest dens of London, a grand resort
for housebreakers, garotters, passers of bad money, and other
disreputable people, though not for Gypsies; for however favourite a
place it may have been for the Romany in the old time, it no longer finds
much favour in their sight, from its not affording open spaces where they
can pitch their tents.  One very small street, however, is certainly
entitled to the name of a Gypsy street, in which a few Gypsy families
have always found it convenient to reside, and who are in the habit of
receiving and lodging their brethren passing through London to and from
Essex and other counties east of the metropolis.  There is something
peculiar in the aspect of this street, not observable in that of any of
the others, which one who visits it, should he have been in Triana of
Seville, would at once recognise as having seen in the aspect of the
lanes and courts of that grand location of the Gypsies of the Andalusian

The Gypsies of the Mount live much in the same manner as their brethren
in the other Gypsyries of London.  They _chin the cost_, make skewers,
baskets, and let out donkeys for hire.  The chief difference consists in
their living in squalid houses, whilst the others inhabit dirty tents and
caravans.  The last Gypsy of any note who resided in this quarter was
Joseph Lee; here he lived for a great many years, and here he died,
having attained the age of ninety.  During his latter years he was
generally called Old Joe Lee, from his great age.  His wife or partner,
who was also exceedingly old, only survived him a few days.  They were
buried in the same grave, with much Gypsy pomp, in the neighbouring
churchyard.  They were both of pure Gypsy blood, and were generally known
as the Gypsy king and queen of Shoreditch.  They left a numerous family
of children and grandchildren, some of whom are still to be found at the
Mount.  This old Joe Lee in his day was a celebrated horse and donkey
witch—that is, he professed secrets which enabled him to make any
wretched animal of either species exhibit for a little time the spirit
and speed of “a flying drummedary.”  He was illustriously related, and
was very proud on that account, especially in being the brother’s son of
old James, the _cauring mush_, whose exploits in the filching line will
be remembered as long as the venerable tribe of Purrum, or Lee, continues
in existence.


RYLEY Bosvil was a native of Yorkshire, a country where, as the Gypsies
say, “there’s a deadly sight of Bosvils.”  He was above the middle
height, exceedingly strong and active, and one of the best riders in
Yorkshire, which is saying a great deal.  He was a thorough Gypsy, versed
in all the arts of the old race, had two wives, never went to church, and
considered that when a man died he was cast into the earth, and there was
an end of him.  He frequently used to say that if any of his people
became Gorgios he would kill them.  He had a sister of the name of Clara,
a nice, delicate, interesting girl, about fourteen years younger than
himself, who travelled about with an aunt; this girl was noticed by a
respectable Christian family, who, taking a great interest in her,
persuaded her to come and live with them.  She was instructed by them in
the rudiments of the Christian religion, appeared delighted with her new
friends, and promised never to leave them.  After the lapse of about six
weeks there was a knock at the door; a dark man stood before it who said
he wanted Clara.  Clara went out trembling, had some discourse with the
man in an unknown tongue, and shortly returned in tears, and said that
she must go.  “What for?” said her friends.  “Did you not promise to stay
with us?”  “I did so,” said the girl, weeping more bitterly; “but that
man is my brother, who says I must go with him, and what he says must
be.”  So with her brother she departed, and her Christian friends never
saw her again.  What became of her?  Was she made away with?  Many
thought she was, but she was not.  Ryley put her into a light cart, drawn
by “a flying pony,” and hurried her across England, even to distant
Norfolk, where he left her, after threatening her, with three Gypsy women
who were devoted to him.  With these women the writer found her one night
encamped in a dark wood, and had much discourse with her, both on
Christian and Egyptian matters.  She was very melancholy, bitterly
regretted having been compelled to quit her Christian friends, and said
that she wished she had never been a Gypsy.  The writer, after exhorting
her to keep a firm grip of her Christianity, departed, and did not see
her again for nearly a quarter of a century, when he met her on Epsom
Downs, on the Derby day when the terrible horse Gladiateur beat all the
English steeds.  She was then very much changed, very much changed
indeed, appearing as a full-blown Egyptian matron, with two very handsome
daughters flaringly dressed in genuine Gypsy fashion, to whom she was
giving motherly counsels as to the best means to _hok_ and _dukker_ the
gentlefolks.  All her Christianity she appeared to have flung to the
dogs, for when the writer spoke to her on that very important subject,
she made no answer save by an indescribable Gypsy look.  On other matters
she was communicative enough, telling the writer, amongst other things,
that since he saw her she had been twice married, and both times very
well, for that her first husband, by whom she had the two daughters whom
the writer “kept staring at,” was a man every inch of him, and her
second, who was then on the Downs grinding knives with a machine he had,
though he had not much manhood, being nearly eighty years old, had
something much better, namely a mint of money, which she hoped shortly to
have in her own possession.

Ryley, like most of the Bosvils, was a tinker by profession; but, though
a tinker, he was amazingly proud and haughty of heart.  His grand
ambition was to be a great man among his people, a Gypsy King.  To this
end he furnished himself with clothes made after the costliest Gypsy
fashion: the two hinder buttons of the coat, which was of thick blue
cloth, were broad gold pieces of Spain, generally called ounces; the
fore-buttons were English “spaded guineas”; the buttons of the waistcoat
were half-guineas, and those of the collar and the wrists of his shirt
were seven-shilling gold pieces.  In this coat he would frequently make
his appearance on a magnificent horse, whose hoofs, like those of the
steed of a Turkish sultan, were cased in shoes of silver.  How did he
support such expense? it may be asked.  Partly by driving a trade in
_wafodu luvvu_, counterfeit coin, with which he was supplied by certain
honest tradespeople of Brummagem; partly and principally by large sums of
money which he received from his two wives, and which they obtained by
the practice of certain arts peculiar to Gypsy females.  One of his wives
was a truly remarkable woman: she was of the Petulengro or Smith tribe;
her Christian name, if Christian name it can be called, was Xuri or
Shuri, and from her exceeding smartness and cleverness she was generally
called by the Gypsies Yocky Shuri,—that is, smart or clever Shuri,
_yocky_ being a Gypsy word, signifying ‘clever.’  She could _dukker_—that
is, tell fortunes—to perfection, by which alone during the racing season
she could make a hundred pounds a month.  She was good at the _big hok_,
that is, at inducing people to put money into her hands, in the hope of
its being multiplied; and, oh dear! how she could _caur_—that is, filch
gold rings and trinkets from jewellers’ cases; the kind of thing which
the Spanish Gypsy women call _ustilar pastesas_, filching with the hands.
Frequently she would disappear, and travel about England, and Scotland
too, _dukkering_, _hokking_, and _cauring_, and after the lapse of a
month return and deliver to her husband, like a true and faithful wife,
the proceeds of her industry.  So no wonder that the Flying Tinker, as he
was called, was enabled to cut a grand appearance.  He was very fond of
hunting, and would frequently join the field in regular hunting costume,
save and except that, instead of the leather hunting-cap, he wore one of
fur with a gold band around it, to denote that though he mixed with
Gorgios he was still a Romany-chal.  Thus equipped and mounted on a
capital hunter, whenever he encountered a Gypsy encampment he would
invariably dash through it, doing all the harm he could, in order, as he
said, to let the _juggals_ know that he was their king and had a right to
do what he pleased with his own.  Things went on swimmingly for a great
many years, but, as prosperity does not continue for ever, his dark hour
came at last.  His wives got into trouble in one or two expeditions, and
his dealings in _wafodu luvvu_ began to be noised about.  Moreover, by
his grand airs and violent proceedings he had incurred the hatred of both
Gorgios and Gypsies, particularly of the latter, some of whom he had
ridden over and lamed for life.  One day he addressed his two wives:—

   “The Gorgios seek to hang me,
   The Gypsies seek to kill me:
   This country we must leave.”


   “I’ll jaw with you to heaven,
   I’ll jaw with you to Yaudors—
   But not if Lura goes.”


   “I’ll jaw with you to heaven,
   And to the wicked country,
   Though Shuri goeth too.”


   “Since I must choose betwixt ye,
   My choice is Yocky Shuri,
   Though Lura loves me best.”


   “My blackest curse on Shuri!
   Oh, Ryley, I’ll not curse you,
   But you will never thrive.”

She then took her departure with her cart and donkey, and Ryley remained
with Shuri.


   “I’ve chosen now betwixt ye;
   Your wish you now have gotten,
   But for it you shall smart.”

He then struck her with his fist on the cheek, and broke her jawbone.
Shuri uttered no cry or complaint, only mumbled:

   “Although with broken jawbone,
   I’ll follow thee, my Ryley,
   Since Lura doesn’t jal.”

Thereupon Ryley and Yocky Shuri left Yorkshire, and wended their way to
London, where they took up their abode in the Gypsyry near the Shepherd’s
Bush.  Shuri went about _dukkering_ and _hokking_, but not with the
spirit of former times, for she was not quite so young as she had been,
and her jaw, which was never properly cured, pained her much.  Ryley went
about tinkering, but he was unacquainted with London and its
neighbourhood, and did not get much to do.  An old Gypsy-man, who was
driving about a little cart filled with skewers, saw him standing in a
state of perplexity at a place where four roads met.

                                _Old Gypsy_.

   “Methinks I see a brother!
   Who’s your father?  Who’s your mother?
   And what may be your name?”


   “A Bosvil was my father;
   A Bosvil was my mother;
   And Ryley is my name.”

                                _Old Gypsy_.

   “I’m glad to see you, brother!
   I am a Kaulo Camlo. {247a}
   What service can I do?”


   “I’m jawing petulengring, {247b}
   But do not know the country;
   Perhaps you’ll show me round.”

                                _Old Gypsy_.

   “I’ll sikker tute, prala!
   I’m bikkening esconyor; {247c}
   Av, av along with me!”

The old Gypsy showed Ryley about the country for a week or two, and Ryley
formed a kind of connection, and did a little business.  He, however,
displayed little or no energy, was gloomy and dissatisfied, and
frequently said that his heart was broken since he had left Yorkshire.

Shuri did her best to cheer him, but without effect.  Once, when she bade
him get up and exert himself, he said that if he did it would be of
little use, and asked her whether she did not remember the parting
prophecy of his other wife that he would never thrive.  At the end of
about two years he ceased going his rounds, and did nothing but smoke
under the arches of the railroad, and loiter about beershops.  At length
he became very weak, and took to his bed; doctors were called in by his
faithful Shuri, but there is no remedy for a bruised spirit.  A Methodist
came and asked him, “What was his hope?”  “My hope,” said he, “is that
when I am dead I shall be put into the ground, and my wife and children
will weep over me.”  And such, it may be observed, is the last hope of
every genuine Gypsy.  His hope was gratified.  Shuri and his children, of
whom he had three—two stout young fellows and a girl—gave him a
magnificent funeral, and screamed, shouted, and wept over his grave.
They then returned to the “Arches,” not to divide his property amongst
them, and to quarrel about the division, according to Christian practice,
but to destroy it.  They killed his swift pony—still swift, though
twenty-seven years of age—and buried it deep in the ground, without
depriving it of its skin.  They then broke the caravan and cart to
pieces, making of the fragments a fire, on which they threw his bedding,
carpets, curtains, blankets, and everything which would burn.  Finally,
they dashed his mirrors, china, and crockery to pieces, hacked his metal
pots, dishes and what-not to bits, and flung the whole on the blazing
pile.  Such was the life, such the death, and such were the funeral
obsequies of Ryley Bosvil, a Gypsy who will be long remembered amongst
the English Romany for his buttons, his two wives, his grand airs, and
last, and not least, for having been the composer of various stanzas in
the Gypsy tongue, which have plenty of force, if nothing else, to
recommend them.  One of these, addressed to Yocky Shuri, runs as follows:

   Tuley the Can I kokkeney cam
      Like my rinkeny Yocky Shuri:
   Oprey the chongor in ratti I’d cour
      For my rinkeny Yocky Shuri!

Which may be thus rendered:

   Beneath the bright sun, there is none, there is none,
      I love like my Yocky Shuri:
   With the greatest delight, in blood I would fight
      To the knees for my Yocky Shuri!


THERE are two Yetholms—Town Yetholm and Kirk Yetholm.  They stand at the
distance of about a quarter of a mile from each other, and between them
is a valley, down which runs a small stream, called the Beaumont River,
crossed by a little stone bridge.  Of the town there is not much to be
said.  It is a long, straggling place, on the road between Morbuttle and
Kelso, from which latter place it is distant about seven miles.  It is
comparatively modern, and sprang up when the Kirk town began to fall into
decay.  Kirk Yetholm derives the first part of its name from the church,
which serves for a place of worship not only for the inhabitants of the
place, but for those of the town also.  The present church is modern,
having been built on the site of the old kirk, which was pulled down in
the early part of the present century, and which had been witness of many
a strange event connected with the wars between England and Scotland.  It
stands at the entrance of the place, on the left hand as you turn to the
village after ascending the steep road which leads from the bridge.  The
place occupies the lower portion of a hill, a spur of the Cheviot range,
behind which is another hill, much higher, rising to an altitude of at
least 900 feet.  At one time it was surrounded by a stone wall, and at
the farther end is a gateway overlooking a road leading to the English
border, from which Kirk Yetholm is distant only a mile and a quarter; the
boundary of the two kingdoms being here a small brook called Shorton
Burn, on the English side of which is a village of harmless, simple
Northumbrians, differing strangely in appearance, manner, and language
from the people who live within a stone’s throw of them on the other

Kirk Yetholm is a small place, but with a remarkable look.  It consists
of a street, terminating in what is called a green, with houses on three
sides, but open on the fourth, or right side to the mountain, towards
which quarter it is grassy and steep.  Most of the houses are ancient,
and are built of rude stone.  By far the most remarkable-looking house is
a large and dilapidated building, which has much the appearance of a
ruinous Spanish _posada_ or _venta_.  There is not much life in the
place, and you may stand ten minutes where the street opens upon the
square without seeing any other human beings than two or three women
seated at the house doors, or a ragged, bare-headed boy or two lying on
the grass on the upper side of the Green.  It came to pass that late one
Saturday afternoon, at the commencement of August, in the year 1866, I
was standing where the street opens on this Green, or imperfect square.
My eyes were fixed on the dilapidated house, the appearance of which
awakened in my mind all kinds of odd ideas.  “A strange-looking place,”
said I to myself at last, “and I shouldn’t wonder if strange things have
been done in it.”

“Come to see the Gypsy toon, sir?” said a voice not far from me.

I turned, and saw standing within two yards of me a woman about forty
years of age, of decent appearance, though without either cap or bonnet.

“A Gypsy town, is it?” said I; “why, I thought it had been Kirk Yetholm.”

_Woman_.—“Weel, sir, if it is Kirk Yetholm, must it not be a Gypsy toon?
Has not Kirk Yetholm ever been a Gypsy toon?”

_Myself_.—“My good woman, ‘ever’ is a long term, and Kirk Yetholm must
have been Kirk Yetholm long before there were Gypsies in Scotland, or
England either.”

_Woman_.—“Weel, sir, your honour may be right, and I dare say is; for
your honour seems to be a learned gentleman.  Certain, however, it is
that Kirk Yetholm has been a Gypsy toon beyond the memory of man.”

_Myself_.—“You do not seem to be a Gypsy.”

_Woman_.—“Seem to be a Gypsy!  Na, na, sir!  I am the bairn of decent
parents, and belong not to Kirk Yetholm, but to Haddington.”

_Myself_.—“And what brought you to Kirk Yetholm?”

_Woman_.—“Oh, my ain little bit of business brought me to Kirk Yetholm,

_Myself_.—“Which is no business of mine.  That’s a queer-looking house

_Woman_.—“The house that your honour was looking at so attentively when I
first spoke to ye?  A queer-looking house it is, and a queer kind of man
once lived in it.  Does your honour know who once lived in that house?”

_Myself_.—“No.  How should I?  I am here for the first time, and after
taking a bite and sup at the inn at the town over yonder I strolled

_Woman_.—“Does your honour come from far?”

_Myself_.—“A good way.  I came from Strandraar, the farthest part of
Galloway, where I landed from a ship which brought me from Ireland.”

_Woman_.—“And what may have brought your honour into these parts?”

_Myself_.—“Oh, my ain wee bit of business brought me into these parts.”

“Which wee bit of business is nae business of mine,” said the woman,
smiling.  “Weel, your honour is quite right to keep your ain counsel;
for, as your honour weel kens, if a person canna keep his ain counsel it
is nae likely that any other body will keep it for him.  But to gae back
to the queer house, and the queer man that once ’habited it.  That man,
your honour, was old Will Faa.”

_Myself_.—“Old Will Faa!”

_Woman_.—“Yes.  Old Will Faa, the Gypsy king, smuggler, and innkeeper; he
lived in that inn.”

_Myself_.—“Oh, then that house has been an inn?”

_Woman_.—“It still is an inn, and has always been an inn; and though it
has such an eerie look it is sometimes lively enough, more especially
after the Gypsies have returned from their summer excursions in the
country.  It’s a roaring place then.  They spend most of their
sleight-o’-hand gains in that house.”

_Myself_.—“Is the house still kept by a Faa?”

_Woman_.—“No, sir; there are no Faas to keep it.  The name is clean dead
in the land, though there is still some of the blood remaining.”

_Myself_.—“I really should like to see some of the blood.”

_Woman_.—“Weel, sir, you can do that without much difficulty; there are
not many Gypsies just now in Kirk Yetholm; but the one who they say has
more of his blood than any one else happens to be here.  I mean his
grandbairn—his daughter’s daughter; she whom they ca’ the ‘Gypsy Queen o’
Yetholm,’ and whom they lead about the toon once a year, mounted on a
cuddy, with a tin crown on her head, with much shouting, and with mony a
barbaric ceremony.”

_Myself_.—“I really should like to see her.”

_Woman_.—“Weel, sir, there’s a woman behind you, seated at the doorway,
who can get your honour not only the sight of her, but the speech of her,
for she is one of the race, and a relation of hers; and, to tell ye the
truth, she has had her eye upon your honour for some time past, expecting
to be asked about the qeeen, for scarcely anybody comes to Yetholm but
goes to see the queen; and some gae so far as to say that they merely
crowned her queen in hopes of bringing grist to the Gypsy mill.”

I thanked the woman, and was about to turn away, in order to address
myself to the other woman seated on the step, when my obliging friend
said, “I beg your pardon, sir, but before ye go I wish to caution you,
when you get to the speech of the queen, not to put any speerings to her
about a certain tongue or dialect which they say the Gypsies have.  All
the Gypsies become glum and dour as soon as they are spoken to about
their language, and particularly the queen.  The queen might say
something uncivil to your honour, should you ask her questions about her

_Myself_.—“Oh, then the Gypsies of Yetholm have a language of their own?”

_Woman_.—“I canna say, sir; I dinna ken whether they have or not; I have
been at Yetholm several years, about my ain wee bit o’ business, and
never heard them utter a word that was not either English or broad
Scotch.  Some people say that they have a language of their ain, and
others say that they have nane, and moreover that, though they call
themselves Gypsies, they are far less Gypsy than Irish, a great deal of
Irish being mixed in their veins with a very little of the much more
respectable Gypsy blood.  It may be sae, or it may be not; perhaps your
honour will find out.  That’s the woman, sir, just behind ye at the door.
Gud e’en.  I maun noo gang and boil my cup o’tay.”

To the woman at the door I now betook myself.  She was seated on the
threshold, and employed in knitting.  She was dressed in white, and had a
cap on her head, from which depended a couple of ribbons, one on each
side.  As I drew near she looked up.  She had a full, round, smooth face,
and her complexion was brown, or rather olive, a hue which contrasted
with that of her eyes, which were blue.

“There is something Gypsy in that face,” said I to myself, as I looked at
her; “but I don’t like those eyes.”

“A fine evening,” said I to her at last.

“Yes, sir,” said the woman, with very little of the Scotch accent; “it is
a fine evening.  Come to see the town?”

“Yes,” said I; “I am come to see the town.  A nice little town it seems.”

“And I suppose come to see the Gypsies, too,” said the woman, with a half

“Well,” said I, “to be frank with you, I came to see the Gypsies.  You
are not one, I suppose?”

“Indeed I am,” said the woman, rather sharply, “and who shall say that I
am not, seeing that I am a relation of old Will Faa, the man whom the
woman from Haddington was speaking to you about; for I heard her mention
his name?”

“Then,” said I, “you must be related to her whom they call the Gypsy

“I am, indeed, sir.  Would you wish to see her?”

“By all means,” said I.  “I should wish very much to see the Gypsy

“Then I will show you to her, sir; many gentlefolks from England come to
see the Gypsy queen of Yetholm.  Follow me, sir!”

She got up, and, without laying down her knitting-work, went round the
corner, and began to ascend the hill.  She was strongly made, and was
rather above the middle height.  She conducted me to a small house, some
little way up the hill.  As we were going, I said to her, “As you are a
Gypsy, I suppose you have no objection to a _coro_ of _koshto levinor_?”

She stopped her knitting for a moment, and appeared to consider, and then
resuming it, she said hesitatingly, “No, sir, no!  None at all!  That is,
not exactly!”

“She is no true Gypsy, after all,” said I to myself.

We went through a little garden to the door of the house, which stood
ajar.  She pushed it open, and looked in; then, turning round, she said:
“She is not here, sir; but she is close at hand.  Wait here till I go and
fetch her.”  She went to a house a little farther up the hill, and I
presently saw her returning with another female, of slighter build, lower
in stature, and apparently much older.  She came towards me with much
smiling, smirking, and nodding, which I returned with as much smiling and
nodding as if I had known her for threescore years.  She motioned me with
her hand to enter the house.  I did so.  The other woman returned down
the hill, and the queen of the Gypsies entering, and shutting the door,
confronted me on the floor, and said, in a rather musical, but slightly
faltering voice:

“Now, sir, in what can I oblige you?”

Thereupon, letting the umbrella fall, which I invariably carry about with
me in my journeyings, I flung my arms three times up into the air, and in
an exceedingly disagreeable voice, owing to a cold which I had had for
some time, and which I had caught amongst the lakes of Loughmaben, whilst
hunting after Gypsies whom I could not find, I exclaimed:

“Sossi your nav?  Pukker mande tute’s nav!  Shan tu a mumpli-mushi, or a
tatchi Romany?”

Which, interpreted into Gorgio, runs thus:

“What is your name?  Tell me your name!  Are you a mumping woman, or a
true Gypsy?”

The woman appeared frightened, and for some time said nothing, but only
stared at me.  At length, recovering herself, she exclaimed, in an angry
tone, “Why do you talk to me in that manner, and in that gibberish?  I
don’t understand a word of it.”

“Gibberish!” said I; “it is no gibberish; it is Zingarrijib, Romany
rokrapen, real Gypsy of the old order.”

“Whatever it is,” said the woman, “it’s of no use speaking it to me.  If
you want to speak to me, you must speak English or Scotch.”

“Why, they told me as how you were a Gypsy,” said I.

“And they told you the truth,” said the woman; “I am a Gypsy, and a real
one; I am not ashamed of my blood.”

“If yer were a Gyptian,” said I, “yer would be able to speak Gyptian; but
yer can’t, not a word.”

“At any rate,” said the woman, “I can speak English, which is more than
you can.  Why, your way of speaking is that of the lowest vagrants of the

“Oh, I have two or three ways of speaking English,” said I; “and when I
speaks to low wagram folks, I speaks in a low wagram manner.”

“Not very civil,” said the woman.

“A pretty Gypsy!” said I; “why, I’ll be bound you don’t know what a
_churi_ is!”

The woman gave me a sharp look; but made no reply.

“A pretty queen of the Gypsies!” said I; “why, she doesn’t know the
meaning of _churi_!”

“Doesn’t she?” said the woman, evidently nettled; “doesn’t she?”

“Why, do you mean to say that you know the meaning of _churi_?”

“Why, of course I do,” said the woman.

“Hardly, my good lady,” said I; “hardly; a _churi_ to you is merely a

“A _churi_ is a knife,” said the woman, in a tone of defiance; “a _churi_
is a knife.”

“Oh, it is,” said I; “and yet you tried to persuade me that you had no
peculiar language of your own, and only knew English and Scotch: _churi_
is a word of the language in which I spoke to you at first, Zingarrijib,
or Gypsy language; and since you know that word, I make no doubt that you
know others, and in fact can speak Gypsy.  Come; let us have a little
confidential discourse together.”

The woman stood for some time, as if in reflection, and at length said:
“Sir, before having any particular discourse with you, I wish to put a
few questions to you, in order to gather from your answers whether it is
safe to talk to you on Gypsy matters.  You pretend to understand the
Gypsy language: if I find you do not, I will hold no further discourse
with you; and the sooner you take yourself off the better.  If I find you
do, I will talk with you as long as you like.  What do you call
that?”—and she pointed to the fire.

“Speaking Gyptianly?” said I.

The woman nodded.

“Whoy, I calls that _yog_.”

“Hm,” said the woman: “and the dog out there?”

“Gyptian-loike?” said I.


“Whoy, I calls that a _juggal_.”

“And the hat on your head?”

“Well, I have two words for that: a _staury_ and a _stadge_.”

“_Stadge_,” said the woman, “we call it here.  Now what’s a gun?”

“There is no Gypsy in England,” said I, “can tell you the word for a gun;
at least the proper word, which is lost.  They have a
word—_yag-engro_—but that is a made-up word signifying a fire-thing.”

“Then you don’t know the word for a gun,” said the Gypsy.

“Oh dear me!  Yes,” said I; “the genuine Gypsy word for a gun is
_puschca_.  But I did not pick up that word in England, but in Hungary,
where the Gypsies retain their language better than in England: _puschca_
is the proper word for a gun, and not _yag-engro_, which may mean a
fire-shovel, tongs, poker, or anything connected with fire, quite as well
as a gun.”

“_Puschca_ is the word, sure enough,” said the Gypsy.  “I thought I
should have caught you there; and now I have but one more question to ask
you, and when I have done so, you may as well go; for I am quite sure you
cannot answer it.  What is _Nokkum_?”

“_Nokkum_,” said I; “_nokkum_?”

“Aye,” said the Gypsy; “what is _Nokkum_?  Our people here, besides their
common name of Romany, have a private name for themselves, which is
_Nokkum_ or _Nokkums_.  Why do the children of the Caungri Foros call
themselves _Nokkums_?”

“_Nokkum_,” said I; “_nokkum_?  The root of _nokkum_ must be _nok_, which
signifieth a nose.”

“A-h!” said the Gypsy, slowly drawing out the monosyllable, as if in

“Yes,” said I; “the root of _nokkum_ is assuredly _nok_, and I have no
doubt that your people call themselves _Nokkum_ because they are in the
habit of _nosing_ the Gorgios.  _Nokkums_ means _Nosems_.”

“Sit down, sir,” said the Gypsy, handing me a chair.  “I am now ready to
talk to you as much as you please about _Nokkum_ words and matters, for I
see there is no danger.  But I tell you frankly that had I not found that
you knew as much as, or a great deal more than, myself, not a hundred
pounds, nor indeed all the money in Berwick, should have induced me to
hold discourse with you about the words and matters of the Brown children
of Kirk Yetholm.”

I sat down in the chair which she handed me; she sat down in another, and
we were presently in deep discourse about matters _Nokkum_.  We first
began to talk about words, and I soon found that her knowledge of Romany
was anything but extensive; far less so, indeed, than that of the
commonest English Gypsy woman, for whenever I addressed her in regular
Gypsy sentences, and not in _poggado jib_, or broken language, she would
giggle and say I was too deep for her.  I should say that the sum total
of her vocabulary barely amounted to three hundred words.  Even of these
there were several which were not pure Gypsy words—that is, belonging to
the speech which the ancient Zingary brought with them to Britain.  Some
of her bastard Gypsy words belonged to the cant or allegorical jargon of
thieves, who, in order to disguise their real meaning, call one thing by
the name of another.  For example, she called a shilling a ‘hog,’ a word
belonging to the old English cant dialect, instead of calling it by the
genuine Gypsy term _tringurushi_, the literal meaning of which is three
groats.  Then she called a donkey ‘asal,’ and a stone ‘cloch,’ which
words are neither cant nor Gypsy, but Irish or Gaelic.  I incurred her
vehement indignation by saying they were Gaelic.  She contradicted me
flatly, and said that whatever else I might know I was quite wrong there;
for that neither she nor any one of her people would condescend to speak
anything so low as Gaelic, or indeed, if they possibly could avoid it, to
have anything to do with the poverty-stricken creatures who used it.  It
is a singular fact that, though principally owing to the magic writings
of Walter Scott, the Highland Gael and Gaelic have obtained the highest
reputation in every other part of the world, they are held in the
Lowlands in very considerable contempt.  There the Highlander, elsewhere
“the bold Gael with sword and buckler,” is the type of poverty and
wretchedness; and his language, elsewhere “the fine old Gaelic, the
speech of Adam and Eve in Paradise,” is the designation of every
unintelligible jargon.  But not to digress.  On my expressing to the
Gypsy queen my regret that she was unable to hold with me a regular
conversation in Romany, she said that no one regretted it more than
herself, but that there was no help for it; and that slight as I might
consider her knowledge of Romany to be, it was far greater than that of
any other Gypsy on the Border, or indeed in the whole of Scotland; and
that as for the _Nokkums_, there was not one on the Green who was
acquainted with half a dozen words of Romany, though the few words they
had they prized high enough, and would rather part with their heart’s
blood than communicate them to a stranger.

“Unless,” said I, “they found the stranger knew more than themselves.”

“That would make no difference with them,” said the queen, “though it has
made a great deal of difference with me.  They would merely turn up their
noses, and say they had no Gaelic.  You would not find them so
communicative as me; the _Nokkums_, in general, are a dour set, sir.”

Before quitting the subject of language it is but right to say that
though she did not know much Gypsy, and used cant and Gaelic terms, she
possessed several words unknown to the English Romany, but which are of
the true Gypsy order.  Amongst them was the word _tirrehi_, or
_tirrehai_, signifying shoes or boots, which I had heard in Spain and in
the east of Europe.  Another was _calches_, a Wallachian word signifying
trousers.  Moreover, she gave the right pronunciation to the word which
denotes a man not of Gypsy blood, saying _gajo_, and not _gorgio_, as the
English Gypsies do.  After all, her knowledge of Gentle Romany was not
altogether to be sneezed at.

Ceasing to talk to her about words, I began to question her about the
Faas.  She said that a great number of the Faas had come in the old time
to Yetholm, and settled down there, and that her own forefathers had
always been the principal people among them.  I asked her if she
remembered her grandfather, old Will Faa, and received for answer that
she remembered him very well, and that I put her very much in mind of
him, being a tall, lusty man, like himself, and having a skellying look
with the left eye, just like him.  I asked her if she had not seen queer
folks at Yetholm in her grandfather’s time.  “_Dosta dosta_,” said she;
“plenty, plenty of queer folk I saw at Yetholm in my grandfather’s time,
and plenty I have seen since, and not the least queer is he who is now
asking me questions.”  “Did you ever see Piper Allen?” said I; “he was a
great friend of your grandfather’s.”  “I never saw him,” she replied;
“but I have often heard of him.  He married one of our people.”  “He did
so,” said I, “and the marriage-feast was held on the Green just behind
us.  He got a good, clever wife, and she got a bad, rascally husband.
One night, after taking an affectionate farewell of her, he left her on
an expedition, with plenty of money in his pocket, which he had obtained
from her, and which she had procured by her dexterity.  After going about
four miles he bethought himself that she had still some money, and
returning crept up to the room in which she lay asleep, and stole her
pocket, in which were eight guineas; then slunk away, and never returned,
leaving her in poverty, from which she never recovered.”  I then
mentioned Madge Gordon, at one time the Gypsy queen of the Border, who
used, magnificently dressed, to ride about on a pony shod with silver,
inquiring if she had ever seen her.  She said she had frequently seen
Madge Faa, for that was her name, and not Gordon; but that when she knew
her, all her magnificence, beauty, and royalty had left her; for she was
then a poor, poverty-stricken old woman, just able with a pipkin in her
hand to totter to the well on the Green for water.  Then with much
nodding, winking, and skellying, I began to talk about _Drabbing bawlor_,
_dooking gryes_, _cauring_, and _hokking_, and asked if them ’ere things
were ever done by the _Nokkums_: and received for answer that she
believed such things were occasionally done, not by the _Nokkums_, but by
other Gypsies, with whom her people had no connection.

Observing her eyeing me rather suspiciously, I changed the subject;
asking her if she had travelled much about.  She told me she had, and
that she had visited most parts of Scotland, and seen a good bit of the
northern part of England.

“Did you travel alone?” said I.

“No,” said she; “when I travelled in Scotland I was with some of my own
people, and in England with the Lees and Bosvils.”

“Old acquaintances of mine,” said I; “why only the other day I was with
them at Fairlop Fair, in the Wesh.”

“I frequently heard them talk of Epping Forest,” said the Gypsy; “a nice
place, is it not?”

“The loveliest forest in the world!” said I.  “Not equal to what it was,
but still the loveliest forest in the world, and the pleasantest,
especially in summer; for then it is thronged with grand company, and the
nightingales, and cuckoos, and Romany _chals_ and _chies_.  As for
Romany-chals there is not such a place for them in the whole world as the
Forest.  Them that wants to see Romany-chals should go to the Forest,
especially to the Bald-faced Hind on the hill above Fairlop, on the day
of Fairlop Fair.  It is their trysting-place, as you would say, and there
they musters from all parts of England, and there they whoops, dances,
and plays; keeping some order nevertheless, because the _Rye_ of all the
Romans is in the house, seated behind the door:—

   Romany Chalor
   Anglo the wuddur
   Mistos are boshing;
   Mande beshello
   Innar the wuddur
   Shooning the boshipen.”

   Roman lads
   Before the door
   Bravely fiddle;
   Here I sit
   Within the door
   And hear them fiddle.

“I wish I knew as much Romany as you, sir,” said the Gypsy.  “Why, I
never heard so much Romany before in all my life.”

She was rather a small woman, apparently between sixty and seventy, with
intelligent and rather delicate features.  Her complexion was darker than
that of the other female; but she had the same kind of blue eyes.  The
room in which we were seated was rather long, and tolerably high.  In the
wall, on the side which fronted the windows which looked out upon the
Green, were oblong holes for beds, like those seen in the sides of a
cabin.  There was nothing of squalor or poverty about the place.

Wishing to know her age, I inquired of her what it was.  She looked
angry, and said she did not know.

“Are you forty-nine?” said I, with a terrible voice, and a yet more
terrible look.

“More,” said she, with a smile; “I am sixty-eight.”

There was something of the gentlewoman in her: on my offering her money
she refused to take it, saying that she did not want it, and it was with
the utmost difficulty that I persuaded her to accept a trifle, with
which, she said, she would buy herself some tea.

But withal there was _hukni_ in her, and by that she proved her Gypsy
blood.  I asked her if she would be at home on the following day, for in
that case I would call and have some more talk with her, and received for
answer that she would be at home and delighted to see me.  On going,
however, on the following day, which was Sunday, I found the garden-gate
locked and the window-shutters up, plainly denoting that there was nobody
at home.

Seeing some men lying on the hill, a little way above, who appeared to be
observing me, I went up to them for the purpose of making inquiries.
They were all young men, and decently though coarsely dressed.  None wore
the Scottish cap or bonnet, but all the hat of England.  Their
countenances were rather dark, but had nothing of the vivacious
expression observable in the Gypsy face, but much of the dogged, sullen
look which makes the countenances of the generality of the Irish who
inhabit London and some other of the large English towns so disagreeable.
They were lying on their bellies, occasionally kicking their heels into
the air.  I greeted them civilly, but received no salutation in return.

“Is So-and-so at home?” said I.

“No,” said one, who, though seemingly the eldest of the party, could not
have been more than three-and-twenty years of age; “she is gone out.”

“Is she gone far?” said I.

“No,” said the speaker, kicking up his heels.

“Where is she gone to?”

“She’s gone to Cauldstrame.”

“How far is that?”

“Just thirteen miles.”

“Will she be at home to-day?”

“She may, or she may not.”

“Are you of her people?” said I.

“No-h,” said the fellow, slowly drawing out the word.

“Can you speak Irish?”

“No-h; I can’t speak Irish,” said the fellow, tossing up his nose, and
then flinging up his heels.

“You know what _arragod_ is?” said I.


“But you know what _ruppy_ is?” said I; and thereupon I winked and

“No-h;” and then up went the nose, and subsequently the heels.

“Good day,” said I; and turned away; I received no counter-salutation;
but, as I went down the hill, there was none of the shouting and laughter
which generally follow a discomfited party.  They were a hard, sullen,
cautious set, in whom a few drops of Gypsy blood were mixed with some
Scottish and a much larger quantity of low Irish.  Between them and their
queen a striking difference was observable.  In her there was both fun
and cordiality; in them not the slightest appearance of either.  What was
the cause of this disparity?  The reason was they were neither the
children nor the grandchildren of real Gypsies, but only the remote
descendants, whereas she was the granddaughter of two genuine Gypsies,
old Will Faa and his wife, whose daughter was her mother; so that she
might be considered all but a thorough Gypsy; for being by her mother’s
side a Gypsy, she was of course much more so than she would have been had
she sprung from a Gypsy father and a Gentile mother; the qualities of a
child, both mental and bodily, depending much less on the father than on
the mother.  Had her father been a Faa, instead of her mother, I should
probably never have heard from her lips a single word of Romany, but
found her as sullen and inductile as the _Nokkums_ on the Green, whom it
was of little more use questioning than so many stones.

Nevertheless, she had played me the _hukni_, and that was not very
agreeable; so I determined to be even with her, and by some means or
other to see her again.  Hearing that on the next day, which was Monday,
a great fair was to be held in the neighbourhood of Kelso, I determined
to go thither, knowing that the likeliest place in all the world to find
a Gypsy at is a fair; so I went to the grand cattle-fair of St. George,
held near the ruined castle of Roxburgh, in a lovely meadow not far from
the junction of the Teviot and Tweed; and there sure enough, on my third
saunter up and down, I met my Gypsy.  We met in the most cordial
manner—smirks and giggling on her side, smiles and nodding on mine.  She
was dressed respectably in black, and was holding the arm of a stout
wench, dressed in garments of the same colour, who she said was her
niece, and a _rinkeni rakli_.  The girl whom she called _rinkeni_ or
handsome, but whom I did not consider handsome, had much of the
appearance of one of those _Irish_ girls, born in London, whom one so
frequently sees carrying milk-pails about the streets of the metropolis.
By the bye, how is it that the children born in England of Irish parents
account themselves Irish and not English, whilst the children born in
Ireland of English parents call themselves not English but Irish?  Is it
because there is ten times more nationality in Irish blood than in
English?  After the smirks, smiles, and salutations were over, I inquired
whether there were many Gypsies in the fair.  “Plenty,” said she, “plenty
Tates, Andersons, Reeds, and many others.  That woman is an
Anderson—yonder is a Tate,” said she, pointing to two common-looking
females.  “Have they much Romany?” said I.  “No,” said she, “scarcely a
word.”  “I think I shall go and speak to them,” said I.  “Don’t,” said
she; “they would only be uncivil to you.  Moreover, they have nothing of
that kind—on the word of a _rawnie_ they have not.”

I looked in her eyes; there was nothing of _hukni_ in them, so I shook
her by the hand; and through rain and mist, for the day was a wretched
one, trudged away to Dryburgh to pay my respects at the tomb of Walter
Scott, a man with whose principles I have no sympathy, but for whose
genius I have always entertained the most intense admiration.


{11a}  A Christian.

{11b}  A fox.

{174}  “Merripen” means life, and likewise death; even as “collico” means
to-morrow as well as yesterday, and perhaps “sorlo,” evening as well as

{247a}  A Black Lovel.

{247b}  Going a-tinkering.

{247c}  I’ll show you about, brother!  I’m selling skewers.

{259}  A cup of good ale.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Romano Lavo-Lil: Word Book of the Romany; Or, English Gypsy Language
 - With Specimens of Gypsy Poetry, and an Account of Certain Gypsyries or Places Inhabited by Them, and of Various Things Relating to Gypsy Life in England" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.