The language of the gypsies, which is an Indo-European language related to Hindi. It is spoken by a dispersed group of about 1 million people, and has many dialects. The name comes (in the early 19th century) from Romany Romani, feminine and plural of the adjective Romano, from Rom ‘man, husband’.
Romany rye a man who is not a gypsy by birth, but who lives with gypsies; the phrase is first recorded in George Borrow's Lavengro (1851), an account of a wandering life apparently based on Borrow' own; the sequel, published in 1857, was called The Romany Rye. (Rye here represents Romany rai ‘gentleman’.)