Romano Lavo-Lil Romany Dictionary Gypsy Dictionary
George Borrow

Part 1 out of 4

characters are used which cannot easily be reproduced. Rather than
omit these entirely I have commented where they occur in the text.
If there's sufficient demand I'll try to produce an updated text with
these characters. David Price, 28 June 2000}


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

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 tomorrow 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

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 Dictionary.

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 [Greek text: ].

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

Kek man camov te jib bolli-mengreskoenaes,
Man camov te jib weshenjugalogonaes.

I do not wish to live like a baptized person. {1}
I wish to live like a dog of the wood. {2}

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

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



ABRI, ad. prep. Out, not within, abroad: soving abri, sleeping
abroad, not in a house. Celtic, Aber (the mouth or outlet of a

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 opre, 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,

Apre, ad. prep. Up: kair lis apre, do it up. Vid. Opre.

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.

Artaros. Arthur.

Asa / Asau, ad. Also, likewise, too: meero pal asau, my brother

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 mangue, I can; astis
lengue, they can.

Asha / Ashaw, ad. So: ashaw sorlo, so early. Wal. Asha. See Ajaw.

Atch, v. n. To stay, stop.

Atch opre. Keep up.

Atraish, a. part. Afraid. Sans. Tras (to fear), atrasit
(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. Baliba.

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, pango (stiff,
lazy, paralysed).

Bar, s. A stone, a stoneweight, a pound sterling. Span. Gyp. Bar.
Hun. Gyp. Bar. Hindustani, Puthur. Wal. Piatre. Fr. Pierre. Gr.
[Greek: ] (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 Yaga,
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. (Blani fur).

Berro, bero, 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 Beluni of the Spanish Gypsies, by whom sometimes Beluni
is made to signify queen; e.g. Beluni de o tarpe (tem opre), 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 blowen.

Bob, s. A bean. Wal. Bob: pl. bobbis, bobs.

Boccalo, a. Hungry: boccale pers, hungry bellies.

Bokht, s. Luck, fortune: kosko bokht, good luck. Sans. Bhagya.
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 moon.

Bokkari-gueri, s. Shepherdess.

Bokkeriskoe, a. Sheepish, belonging to a sheep: bokkeriskey pire,
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. [Greek: ] (heavy).

Borobeshemeskeguero, s. Judge, great-sitting-fellow.

Boro Gav. London, big city. See Lundra.

Boronashemeskrutan. Epsom race-course.

Bosh, s. Fiddle. Pers. [Persian: ] 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. [Greek: ].

Brisheneskey, a. Rainy: brisheneskey rarde, a rainy night;
brisheneskey chiros, a time of rain. Mod. Gr. [Greek: ].

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. [Greek: ]
(pain, torment).

Buroder, ad. More: ad. ne buroder, no more.

Bute, a. ad. Much, very. Hin. But.

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 term.

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.

Canafi / Canapli, Turnip.

Canairis. A Gypsy name.

Canior / Caunor, s. pl. Pease.

Canni. A hen. Span. Gyp. Cani. 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. [Greek: ] 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: ] Cara, incurvavit se. Eng. Cower.

Cayes, s. Silk. Pers. [Persian:] Span. Gyp. Quequesa. Sans.

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.

Charo, 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. [Greek: ].

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. Czoko (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. Cormuni (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. [Greek: ] (thieves' lantern, dark lantern).

Choredo, a. Poor, poverty stricken. Sans. Daridra.

Choredi, fem. of Choredo.

Choriness, s. Poverty.

Choro, a. Poor. Span. Gyp. Chororo. Hin. Shor.

Chovahan, v. a. To bewitch.

Chovahani / Chowian, 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 Gypsies.

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. [Greek: ] 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. [Greek: ]

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 cales.

Comorrus, s. A room, hall. Hun. Kamara. Hin. Cumra. Ger. Kammer.

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. Kover (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. Ghara.

Coro-mengro, s. Potter.

Coro-mengreskey tem. Staffordshire.

Corredo, a. Blind. Span. Gyp. Corroro. Pers. [Persian:] Wal. Kior

Cosht / Cost, s. Stick. Sans. Kashtha.

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. [Greek: ]

Curlo, s. Throat. Pers. [Persian: ] Chin his curlo, cut his

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, Tad. 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: ] Daya. Mod. Gr. [Greek: ]. Rus. Gyp. Daia.
Wal. Doika.

Deav, v. a. Give. Sans. Da. 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:
wafoduder 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 hori.

Devel, s. God. Sans. Deva. Lith. Dewas. 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.

Dinnelipenes, s. pl. Follies, nonsense.

Diverous. A Gypsy name.

Diviou, a. Mad: jawing diviou, going mad. Sans. Deva (a god, a

Diviou-ker, s. Madhouse.

Diviou kokkodus Artaros. 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. [Persian: ] 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: dovo si, that's it.

Dovor. Those, they: wafoduder 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: ] Daru. Wal.

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. [Greek: ]

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. [Greek: ] (fortune).

Dukkipen, s. Fortune-telling.

Dukker, v. n. To ache: my sherro dukkers, my head aches. See Duke,

Dum / Dumo, s. Black. Pers. [Persian: ] (tail).

Dur, ad. Far. Sans. Dur. Pers. [Persian: ]

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

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.

Feter, ad. Better. Pers. [Persian: ] Span. Gyp. Feter.

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

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. Fuz (willow), facska (a shrub), fuszar (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: ]

Gav-engro, s. A constable, village officer, beadle, citizen.

Gillie, s. A song. Sans. Kheli.

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

Gilyava. I sing, or shall sing. Hin. Guywuya. Mod. Gr. [Greek: ].

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: ] 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 town.

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, Gul.
Rus. Gyl=gool (shout); Golos (voice).

Grommena / Grovena / Grubbena, s. and v. Thunder, to thunder. Sans.
Garjana. Rus. Groin (thunder). Heb. Ream, raemah. Gaelic, Gairm (a

Gudlo, a., s. Sweet; honey, sugar.

Gudlo-pishen, s. Honey-insect, bee. See Bata.

Gue. An affix, by which the dative case is formed: e.g. Man, I;
mangue, to me.

Guero, s. A person, fellow, that which governs, operates. Sans.
Kara (a maker). Pers. [Persian: ] 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

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.

Hanlo, s. A landlord, innkeeper. Span. Gyp. Anglano.

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. [Greek: ] Wal. Gounoiou. Irish,
Gaineamh (sand).

Hin, v. a. To void ordure. Sans. Hanna. Mod. Gr. [Greek: ]

Hindity-mengre / Hindity-mescre, s. pl. Irish. Dirty, sordid

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. Kuhana (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 engri, 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. Enre.

Iouzia, s. A flower.

Is, conj. If; it is affixed to the verb--e.g. Dikiomis, if I had

Iv, s. Snow. Hun. Gyp. Yiv. Span. Gyp. Give.

Iv-engri / Ivi-mengri, s. Snow-thing, snowball.

Iuziou, a. Clean. Mod. Gr. [Greek: ] (sound, healthy). See


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

Ja, 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, 3rd 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, asa, asha.

Jib, s. Tongue. Sans. Jihva.

Jib, v. n. To live, to exist. Sans. Jiv. Rus. Jit. Lithuanian,

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 rokrapenes. 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.

Jobis, 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. Srigala (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. [Greek: ]

Kanau / Knau, ad. Now.

Karring. Crying out, hawking goods. Span. Gyp. Acarar (to call).
See Koring.

Kaulo, a. Black. Sans. Kala. Arab. [Arabic: ]

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. lenke, 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. [Greek: ]

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. Eliken bori
congri, the great church of Ely. See En.

Ken, s. A house, properly a nest. Heb. [Hebrew: ] Kin.

Kenyor, s. pl. Ears. See Kaun.

Ker / Kerava v. a. To do; make: kair yag, make a fire. Sans. Kri.
Pers. [Perisan: ] Gaelic, Ceaird (a trade), ceard (a tinker). Lat.
Cerdo (a smith). English, Char, chare (to work by the day).

Kerdo. He did.

Kedast, 2nd 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. Kelna. 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. Quinao.

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: ]

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. [Greek: ]
(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 Artaros, 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. [Persian: ]

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. Kiraly. 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: ] 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.

Lengue, 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

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; 2nd 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: ] Lal.

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. Lubha (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. [Greek: ].

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. Lovok (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.


Ma, ad. Not; only used before the imperative: ma muk, let not.
Sans. Ma. Pers. [Persian: ]

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.

Maluno / Maloney, s. Lightning. Rus. Molniya.

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: ja 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

Mansa. With me.

Mang, v. a. To beg. Hin. Mangna. Sans. Marg.

Mango-mengro, s. A beggar.

Mangipen, s. The trade of begging. Sans. Margana (begging).

Manricley, s. A cake. Span. Gyp. Manricli.

Manush, s. Man. Sans. Manasha. 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. [Greek: ] (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. Mana.

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

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 ker, s. Sepulchre, cemetery.

Mullo, s., a. Dead man, dead.

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


Back to Full Books