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gypsies


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A member of a travelling people with dark skin and hair, speaking a language (Romany) related to Hindi, and traditionally living by seasonal work, itinerant trade, and fortune telling. Gypsies are now found mostly in Europe, parts of North Africa, and North America, but are believed to have originated in the Indian subcontinent. They have at various times been subjected to persecution and forced migration, notably in Nazi Germany.

The word (originally gipcyan) dates from the mid 16th century, and is short for Egyptian, because gypsies were popularly supposed to have come from Egypt.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500).


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