Origin of the Name ‘Gypsy’

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When the Roma arrived in Europe from the East, given their dark skin and eyes, they were believed to be from Turkey or Egypt. The word gypsy is derived from the word Egypt (gyp) and the people just called them gypsies. At that time the word did not have a negative connotation, but only identified the group as a people.

Also called travelers in many countries, they were nomadic people who rarely set down roots, traveling in wagons from place to place—always on the move—and sleeping in tents until the mid-1900s.

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