The English Gipsies and Their Language eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 247 pages of information about The English Gipsies and Their Language.
which girl liked him best, or whom he loved best; so all the four sat down together at the table, and he gave them food and beer.  One ate plenty, but the other two would eat nothing; one drank, but the other two would not drink something, because they were all angry, and grieved, and worried.  So the youth told them he was afraid if he took a wife that could not eat, she would not live, so he married the girl that ate her food.

Always eat all the food that people give you (literally share out to you), and you will go readily (securely) through sorrow and trouble.


Yeckorus, most a hundred besh kenna, when mi dadas sus a chavo, yeck ratti a booti Rommany chals san millerin kettenescrus pash the boro panni, kun sar-sig the graias ankaired a-wickerin an’ ludderin an’ nuckerin’ an kairin a boro gudli, an’ the Rommanis shuned a shellin, an’ dicked mushis prasterin and lullyin for lenders miraben, sa’s seer-dush, avree a boro hev.  An’ when len san sar jalled lug, the Rommany chals welled adoi an’ latched adusta bitti barrels o’ tatto-panni, an’ fino covvas, for dovo mushis were ’mugglers, and the Roms lelled sar they mukked pali.  An’ dovo sus a boro covva for the Rommany chals, an’ they pii’d sar graias, an’ the raklis an’ juvas jalled in kushni heezis for booti divvuses.  An’ dovo sus kerro pash Bo-Peep—­a boro puvius adree bori chumures, pash Hastings in Sussex.

When ‘mugglers nasher an’ Rommany chals latch, there’s kek worser cammoben for it.


Once almost a hundred years now, when my father was a boy, one night many Gipsies were going together near the sea, when all at once the horses began whinnying and kicking and neighing, and making a great noise, and the Gipsies heard a crying out, and saw men running and rushing as if in alarm, from a great cave.  And when they were all gone away together, the Gipsies went there and found many little barrels of brandy, and valuables, for those men were smugglers, and the Gipsies took all they left behind.  And that was a great thing for the Gipsies, and they drank like horses, and the girls and women went in silk clothes for many days.  And that was done near Bo-Peep, a great field in the hills, by Hastings in Sussex.

When smugglers lose and Gipsies find, nobody is the worse for it.


{0a} The reason why Gipsy words have been kept unchanged was fully illustrated one day in a Gipsy camp in my hearing, when one man declaring of a certain word that it was only kennick or slang, and not “Rommanis,” added, “It can’t be Rommanis, because everybody knows it.  When a word gets to be known to everybody, it’s no longer Rommanis.”

{1} Lavengro and the Rommany Rye:  London, John Murray.

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The English Gipsies and Their Language from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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