Sunday 22 April 2007

Interesting Origins: 'gyp'


(n) a cheat or swindle; a rip-off;
(v) : to cheat or swindle someone out of something

"the taxi driver gypped me out of ten pounds by taking the longer route."

origin: A negative term used to refer to the Roma people (commonly known as Gypsies) who were known as very skillful thieves. So when someone is 'gyped', they have become a victim of thievery.

Also because they arrived in Europe from the East, they were thought by the first Europeans to be from Turkey or Nubia or Egypt and they were called, among other things, Egyptians or 'Gyptians, which is where the word "Gypsy" comes from.

1 comment:

Zuzana said...

In Slovácko (a marvelous region in the Czech Republic - the verb "cigánit" (from noun "cigán" = gypsy) means "tell lies", "make things up".