Word Origin & History
1600, alteration of gypcian, a worn-down M.E. dial. form of egypcien "Egyptian," from the supposed origin of these people. Cognate with Sp. Gitano and close in sense to Turk. and Arabic Kipti "gypsy," lit. "Coptic;" but in M.Fr. they were Bohémien (see bohemian
and in Sp. also Flamenco "from Flanders." "The gipsies seem doomed to be associated with countries with which they have nothing to do" [Weekley]. Zingari, the It. and Ger. name, is of unknown origin. Romany is from the people's own language, a pl. adj. form of rom "man." Gipsy is the prefered spelling in England.