Vagabond vs. Gypsy

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Vagabond and Gypsy is that the Vagabond is a person, often in poverty, who wanders from place to place without a home or regular employment or income and Gypsy is a ethnic group living mostly in Europe and the Americas.

  • Vagabond

    Vagrancy is the condition of a person who wanders from place to place homeless without regular employment or income, referred to as a vagrant, vagabond, rogue, tramp or drifter. Vagrants usually live in poverty and support themselves by begging, temporary work, petty theft, garbage scraping or, where available, welfare.

    Historically, vagrancy in Western societies was associated with petty crime, begging and lawlessness, and punishable by law by imprisonment, forced labor, forced military service, or confinement to dedicated labor houses. The word vagrant is often conflated with the term homeless person, which does not necessarily include the wandering component. In modern societies, anti-homelessness legislation aims to both help and re-house homeless people on one side, and criminalize homelessness and begging on the other.

    Both vagrant and vagabond ultimately derive from the Latin word vagari, meaning “wander”. The term vagabond is derived from Latin vagabundus. In Middle English, vagabond originally denoted a criminal.

  • Gypsy

    The Romani (also spelled Romany , ), colloquially known as Gypsies or Roma, are a traditionally itinerant ethnic group living mostly in Europe and the Americas and originating from the northern Indian subcontinent, from the Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Sindh regions of modern-day India and Pakistan.Genetic findings appear to confirm the Romani “came from a single group that left northwestern India about 1,500 years ago.” Genetic research published in the European Journal of Human Genetics “revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma.” The Romani are widely known among English-speaking people by the exonym Gypsies (or Gipsies), which some people consider pejorative due to its connotations of illegality and irregularity. They are a dispersed people, but their most concentrated populations are located in Europe, especially Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (including Turkey, Spain and Southern France). The Romani originated in northern India and arrived in Mid-West Asia and Europe around 1,000 years ago. They have been associated with another Indo-Aryan group, the Dom people: the two groups have been said to have separated from each other or, at least, to share a similar history. Specifically, the ancestors of both the Romani and the Dom left North India sometime between the 6th and 11th century.Since the 19th century, some Romani have also migrated to the Americas. There are an estimated one million Roma in the United States; and 800,000 in Brazil, most of whose ancestors emigrated in the 19th century from Eastern Europe. Brazil also includes a notable Romani community descended from people deported by the Portuguese Empire during the Portuguese Inquisition. In migrations since the late 19th century, Romani have also moved to other countries in South America and to Canada.In February 2016, during the International Roma Conference, the Indian Minister of External Affairs stated that the people of the Roma community were children of India. The conference ended with a recommendation to the Government of India to recognize the Roma community spread across 30 countries as a part of the Indian diaspora.The Romani language is divided into several dialects which together have an estimated number of speakers of more than two million. The total number of Romani people is at least twice as high (several times as high according to high estimates). Many Romani are native speakers of the dominant language in their country of residence or of mixed languages combining the dominant language with a dialect of Romani; those varieties are sometimes called Para-Romani.

  • Vagabond (noun)

    A person on a trip of indeterminate destination and/or length of time.

  • Vagabond (noun)

    One who wanders from place to place, having no fixed dwelling, or not abiding in it, and usually without the means of honest livelihood; a vagrant; a hobo.

  • Vagabond (verb)

    To roam, as a vagabond

  • Vagabond (adjective)

    Floating about without any certain direction; driven to and fro.

  • Gypsy (noun)

    alternative form of Gypsy|nodot=1: a member of the Romani people.

  • Gypsy (noun)

    An itinerant person or any person, not necessarily Romani; a tinker, a traveller or a carny.

  • Gypsy (noun)

    A move in contra dancing in which two dancers walk in a circle around each other while maintaining eye contact (but not touching as in a swing). whole gyp, half gyp, and gypsy meltdown, in which this step precedes a swing.}}

  • Gypsy (noun)

    A person with a dark complexion.

  • Gypsy (noun)

    A sly, roguish woman.

  • Gypsy (adjective)

    alternative form of Gypsy|nodot=1: of or belonging to the Romani people or one of it sub-groups (Roma, Sinti, Romanichel, etc).

  • Gypsy (adjective)

    Of or having the qualities of an itinerant person or group with qualities traditionally ascribed to Romani people; making a living from dishonest practices or theft etc.

    “If anyone questions them, they’ll fold up faster than a gypsy roofing company.”

  • Gypsy (verb)

    To roam around the country like a gypsy.

  • Gypsy (verb)

    To perform the gypsy step in contra dancing.


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