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.

The juva, that sikkers her burk will sikker her bull.

“Free of her lips, free of her hips.”

He sims mandy dree the mui—­like a puvengro.

He resembles me—­like a potato.

Yeck hotchewitchi sims a waver as yeck bubby sims the waver.

One hedgehog is as like another as two peas.

He mored men dui.

He killed both of us.  A sarcastic expression.

I dicked their stadees an langis sherros.

I saw their hats on their heads.  Apropos of amazement at some very ordinary thing.

When you’ve tatti panni and rikker tutes kokero pash matto you can jal apre the wen sar a grai.

When you have brandy (spirits), and keep yourself half drunk, you can go through the winter like a horse.


Boro Duvel, or “Great God,” an Old Gipsy term for Water—­Bishnoo or Vishnu, the Rain-God—­The Rain, called God’s Blood by Gipsies—­The Snow, “Angel’s Feathers.”—­Mahadeva—­Buddha—­The Simurgh—­The Pintni or Mermaid—­The Nag or Blind-Worm—­Nagari and Niggering—­The Nile—­Nats and Nautches, Naubat and Nobbet—­A Puncher—­Pitch, Piller and Pivlibeebee—­Quod—­Kishmet or Destiny—­The Koran in England—­“Sass”—­ Sherengro—­Sarserin—­Shali or Rice—­The Shaster in England—­The Evil Eye—­Sikhs—­Stan, Hindostan, Iranistan—­The true origin of Slang—­Tat, the Essence of Being—­Bahar and Bar—­The Origin of the Words Rom and Romni.—­Dom and Domni—­The Hindi tem—­Gipsy and Hindustani points of the Compass—­Salaam and Shulam—­Sarisham!—­The Cups—­Women’s treading on objects—­Horseflesh—­English and Foreign Gipsies—­Bohemian and Rommany.

A learned Sclavonian—­Michael von Kogalnitschan—­has said of Rommany, that he found it interesting to be able to study a Hindu dialect in the heart of Europe.  He is quite right; but as mythology far surpasses any philology in interest, as regards its relations to poetry, how much more wonderful is it to find—­to-day in England—­traces of the tremendous avatars, whose souls were gods, long ago in India.  And though these traces be faint, it is still apparent enough that they really exist.

One day an old Gipsy, who is said to be more than usually “deep” in Rommany, and to have had unusual opportunity for acquiring such knowledge from Gipsies older and deeper than himself, sent word to me, to know if “the rye” was aware that Boro Duvel, or the Great God, was an old Rommany expression for water?  I thought that this was a singular message to come from a tent at Battersea, and asked my special Gipsy factotum, why God should be called water, or water, God?  And he replied in the following words: 

“Panni is the Boro Duvel, and it is Bishnoo or Vishnoo, because it pells alay from the Boro Duvel. ’Vishnu is the Boro Duvel then?’—­Avali.  There can’t be no stretch adoi—­can there, rya?  Duvel is Duvel all the world over—­but by the right formation, Vishnoo is the Duvel’s ratt.  I’ve shuned adovo but dusta cheiruses.  An’ the snow is poris, that jals from the angels’ winguses.  And what I penned, that Bishnoo is the Duvel’s ratt, is puro Rommanis, and jinned by saw our foki.” {110}

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