The Zincali - An Account of the Gypsies of Spain
by George Borrow
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Dica Calli sos linastes terelas, plasarandote misto men calochin desquinao de trinchas punis y canrrias, sata anjella terelaba dicando on los chorres naquelos sos me tesumiaste, y andial reutila a men Jeli, dinela gao a sos menda orobibele; men puni sin trincha per la quimbila nevel de yes manu barbalo; sos saro se muca per or jandorro. Lo sos bus prejeno Calli de los Bengorros sin sos nu muqueis per yes manu barbalo. . . . On tute orchiri nu chismo, tramisto on coin te araquera, sos menda terela men nostus pa avel sos me camela bus sos tute.

Reflect, O Callee! (104) what motives hast thou (now that my heart is doting on thee, having rested awhile from so many cares and griefs which formerly it endured, beholding the evil passages which thou preparedst for me;) to recede thus from my love, giving occasion to me to weep. My agony is great on account of thy recent acquaintance with a rich man; for every thing is abandoned for money's sake. What I most feel, O Callee, of the devils is, that thou abandonest me for a rich man . . . I spit upon thy beauty, and also upon him who converses with thee, for I keep my money for another who loves me more than thou.


Gajeres sin corbo rifian soscabar yes manu persibarao, per sos saro se linbidian odoros y beslli, y per esegriton apuchelan on sardana de saros los Benjes, techescando grejos y olajais - de sustiri sos lo resaronomo niquilla murmo; y andial lo fendi sos terelamos de querar sin techescarle yes sulibari a or Jeli, y ne panchabar on caute manusardi, persos trutan a yesque lili.

It is always a strange danger for a man to live in concubinage, because all turns to jealousy and quarrelling, and at last they live in the favour of all the devils, voiding oaths and curses: so that what is cheap turns out dear. So the best we can do, is to cast a bridle on love, and trust to no woman, for they (105) make a man mad.


On grejelo chiro begoreo yesque berbanilla de chores a la burda de yes mostipelo a oleba rachi - Andial sos la prejenaron los cambrais presimelaron a cobadrar; sar andoba linaste changano or lanbro, se sustino de la charipe de lapa, utilo la pusca, y niquillo platanando per or platesquero de or mostipelo a la burda sos socabelaba pandi, y per or jobi de la clichi chibelo or jundro de la pusca, le dino pesquibo a or langute, y le sumuquelo yes bruchasno on la tesquera a or Jojerian de los ostilaores y lo techesco de or grate a ostele. Andial sos los debus quimbilos dicobelaron a desquero Jojerian on chen sar las canrriales de la Beriben, lo chibelaron espusifias a los grastes, y niquillaron chapescando, trutando la romuy apala, per bausale de las machas o almedalles de liripio.

On a certain time arrived a band of thieves at the gate of a farm- house at midnight. So soon as the dogs heard them they began to bark, which causing (106) the labourer to awake, he raised himself from his bed with a start, took his musket, and went running to the court-yard of the farm-house to the gate, which was shut, placed the barrel of his musket to the keyhole, gave his finger its desire, (107) and sent a bullet into the forehead of the captain of the robbers, casting him down from his horse. Soon as the other fellows saw their captain on the ground in the agonies of death, they clapped spurs to their horses, and galloped off fleeing, turning their faces back on account of the flies (108) or almonds of lead.


Y soscabando dicando dico los Barbalos sos techescaban desqueros mansis on or Gazofilacio; y dico tramisto yesque pispiricha chorrorita, sos techescaba duis chinorris saraballis, y penelo: en chachipe os penelo, sos caba chorrorri pispiricha a techescao bus sos sares los aveles: persos saros ondobas han techescao per los mansis de Ostebe, de lo sos les costuna; bus caba e desquero chorrorri a techescao saro or susalo sos terelaba. Y pendo a cormunis, sos pendaban del cangaripe, soscabelaba uriardao de orchiris berrandanas, y de denes: Cabas buchis sos dicais, abillaran chibeles, bus ne muquelara berrandana costune berrandana, sos ne quesesa demarabea. Y le prucharon y pendaron: Docurdo, bus quesa ondoba? Y sos simachi abicara bus ondoba presimare? Ondole penclo: Dicad, sos nasti queseis jonjabaos; persos butes abillaran on men acnao, pendando: man sirlo, y or chiro soscabela pajes: Garabaos de guillelar apala, de ondolayos: y bus junureis barganas y sustines, ne os espajueis; persos sin perfine sos ondoba chundee brotobo, bus nasti quesa escotria or egresiton. Oclinde les pendaba: se sustinara sueste sartra sueste, y sichen sartra sichen, y abicara bareles dajiros de chenes per los gaos, y retreques y bocatas, y abicara buchengeres espajuis, y bareles simachis de otarpe: bus anjella de saro ondoba os sinastraran y preguillaran, enregandoos a la Socreteria, y los ostardos, y os legeraran a los Oclayes, y a los Baquedunis, per men acnao: y ondoba os chundeara on chachipe. Terelad pus seraji on bros garlochines de ne orobrar anjella sata abicais de brudilar, persos man os dinare rotuni y chanar, la sos ne asislaran resistir ne sartra pendar satos bros enormes. Y quesareis enregaos de bros batos, y opranos, y sastris, y monrrores, y queraran merar a cormuni de averes; y os cangelaran saros per men acnao; bus ne carjibara ies bal de bros jeros. Sar bras opachirima avelareis bras orchis: pus bus dicareis a Jerusalen relli, oclinde chanad sos, desquero petra soscabela pajes; oclinde los soscabelan on la Chutea, chapesguen a los tober-jelis; y los que on macara de ondolaya, niquillense; y lo sos on los oltariques, nasti enrren on ondolaya; persos ondoba sen chibeles de Abillaza, pa sos chundeen sares las buchis soscabelan libanas; bus isna de las araris, y de las sos dinan de oropielar on asirios chibeles; persos abicara bare quichartura costune la chen, e guillara pa andoba Gao; y petraran a surabi de janrro; y quesan legeraos sinastros a sares las chenes, y Jerusalen quesa omana de los suestiles, sasta sos quejesen los chiros de las sichenes; y abicara simaches on or orcan, y on la chimutia, y on las uchurganis; y on la chen chalabeo on la suete per or dan sos bausalara la loria y des-queros gulas; muquelando los romares bifaos per dajiralo de las buchis sos costune abillaran a saro or surdete; persos los solares de los otarpes quesan sar- chalabeaos; y oclinde dicaran a or Chaboro e Manu abillar costune yesque minrricla sar baro asislar y Chimusolano: bus presimelaren a chundear caba buchis, dicad, y sustinad bros jeros, persos pajes soscabela bras redencion.

And whilst looking he saw the rich who cast their treasures into the treasury; and he saw also a poor widow, who cast two small coins, and he said: In truth I tell you, that this poor widow has cast more than all the others; because all those have cast, as offerings to God, from that which to them abounded; but she from her poverty has cast all the substance which she had. And he said to some, who said of the temple, that it was adorned with fair stones, and with gifts: These things which ye see, days shall come, when stone shall not remain upon stone, which shall not be demolished. And they asked him and said: Master, when shall this be? and what sign shall there be when this begins? He said: See, that ye be not deceived, because many shall come in my name, saying: I am (he), and the time is near: beware ye of going after them: and when ye shall hear (of) wars and revolts do not fear, because it is needful that this happen first, for the end shall not be immediately. Then he said to them: Nation shall rise against nation, and country against country, and there shall be great tremblings of earth among the towns, and pestilences and famines; and there shall be frightful things, and great signs in the heaven: but before all this they shall make ye captive, and shall persecute, delivering ye over to the synagogue, and prisons; and they shall carry ye to the kings, and the governors, on account of my name: and this shall happen to you for truth. Keep then firm in your hearts, not to think before how ye have to answer, for I will give you mouth and wisdom, which all your enemies shall not be able to resist, or contradict. And ye shall be delivered over by your fathers, and brothers, and relations, and friends, and they shall put to death some of you; and all shall hate you for my name; but not one hair of your heads shall perish. With your patience ye shall possess your souls: but when ye shall see Jerusalem surrounded, then know that its fall is near; then those who are in Judea, let them escape to the mountains; and those who are in the midst of her, let them go out; and those who are in the fields, let them not enter into her; because those are days of vengeance, that all the things which are written may happen; but alas to the pregnant and those who give suck in those days, for there shall be great distress upon the earth, and it shall move onward against this people; and they shall fall by the edge of the sword; and they shall be carried captive to all the countries, and Jerusalem shall be trodden by the nations, until are accomplished the times of the nations; and there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and in the earth trouble of nations from the fear which the sea and its billows shall cause; leaving men frozen with terror of the things which shall come upon all the world; because the powers of the heavens shall be shaken; and then they shall see the Son of Man coming upon a cloud with great power and glory: when these things begin to happen, look ye, and raise your heads, for your redemption is near.


'TACHIPEN if I jaw 'doi, I can lel a bit of tan to hatch: N'etist I shan't puch kekomi wafu gorgies.'

The above sentence, dear reader, I heard from the mouth of Mr. Petulengro, the last time that he did me the honour to visit me at my poor house, which was the day after Mol-divvus, (109) 1842: he stayed with me during the greatest part of the morning, discoursing on the affairs of Egypt, the aspect of which, he assured me, was becoming daily worse and worse. 'There is no living for the poor people, brother,' said he, 'the chok-engres (police) pursue us from place to place, and the gorgios are become either so poor or miserly, that they grudge our cattle a bite of grass by the way side, and ourselves a yard of ground to light a fire upon. Unless times alter, brother, and of that I see no probability, unless you are made either poknees or mecralliskoe geiro (justice of the peace or prime minister), I am afraid the poor persons will have to give up wandering altogether, and then what will become of them?

'However, brother,' he continued, in a more cheerful tone, 'I am no hindity mush, (110) as you well know. I suppose you have not forgot how, fifteen years ago, when you made horse-shoes in the little dingle by the side of the great north road, I lent you fifty cottors (111) to purchase the wonderful trotting cob of the innkeeper with the green Newmarket coat, which three days after you sold for two hundred.

'Well, brother, if you had wanted the two hundred, instead of the fifty, I could have lent them to you, and would have done so, for I knew you would not be long pazorrhus to me. I am no hindity mush, brother, no Irishman; I laid out the other day twenty pounds in buying rupenoe peam-engries; (112) and in the Chong-gav, (113) have a house of my own with a yard behind it.


Well, dear reader, this last is the translation of the Gypsy sentence which heads the chapter, and which is a very characteristic specimen of the general way of speaking of the English Gypsies.

The language, as they generally speak it, is a broken jargon, in which few of the grammatical peculiarities of the Rommany are to be distinguished. In fact, what has been said of the Spanish Gypsy dialect holds good with respect to the English as commonly spoken: yet the English dialect has in reality suffered much less than the Spanish, and still retains its original syntax to a certain extent, its peculiar manner of conjugating verbs, and declining nouns and pronouns. I must, however, qualify this last assertion, by observing that in the genuine Rommany there are no prepositions, but, on the contrary, post-positions; now, in the case of the English dialect, these post-positions have been lost, and their want, with the exception of the genitive, has been supplied with English prepositions, as may be seen by a short example:-

Hungarian Gypsy.(114) English Gypsy. English. Job Yow He Leste Leste Of him Las Las To him Les Los Him Lester From leste From him Leha With leste With him


Hungarian Gypsy English Gypsy. English Jole Yaun They Lente Lente Of them Len Len To them Len Len Them Lender From Lende From them

The following comparison of words selected at random from the English and Spanish dialects of the Rommany will, perhaps, not be uninteresting to the philologist or even to the general reader. Could a doubt be at present entertained that the Gypsy language is virtually the same in all parts of the world where it is spoken, I conceive that such a vocabulary would at once remove it.

English Gypsy. Spanish Gypsy. Ant Cria Crianse Bread Morro Manro City Forus Foros Dead Mulo Mulo Enough Dosta Dosta Fish Matcho Macho Great Boro Baro House Ker Quer Iron Saster Sas King Krallis Cralis Love(I) Camova Camelo Moon Tchun Chimutra Night Rarde Rati Onion Purrum Porumia Poison Drav Drao Quick Sig Sigo Rain Brishindo Brejindal Sunday Koorokey Curque Teeth Danor Dani Village Gav Gao White Pauno Parno Yes Avali Ungale

As specimens of how the English dialect maybe written, the following translations of the Lord's Prayer and Belief will perhaps suffice.


Miry dad, odoi oprey adrey tiro tatcho tan; Medeveleskoe si tiro nav; awel tiro tem, be kairdo tiro lav acoi drey pov sa odoi adrey kosgo tan: dey mande ke-divvus miry diry morro, ta fordel man sor so me pazzorrus tute, sa me fordel sor so wavior mushor pazzorrus amande; ma riggur man adrey kek dosch, ley man abri sor wafodu; tiro se o tem, tiro or zoozli-wast, tiro or corauni, kanaw ta ever- komi. Avali. Tatchipen.


My Father, yonder up within thy good place; god-like be thy name; come thy kingdom, be done thy word here in earth as yonder in good place. Give to me to-day my dear bread, and forgive me all that I am indebted to thee, as I forgive all that other men are indebted to me; not lead me into any ill; take me out (of) all evil; thine is the kingdom, thine the strong hand, thine the crown, now and evermore. Yea. Truth.


Me apasavenna drey mi-dovvel, Dad soro-ruslo, savo kedas charvus ta pov: apasavenna drey olescro yeck chavo moro arauno Christos, lias medeveleskoe Baval-engro, beano of wendror of medeveleskoe gairy Mary: kurredo tuley me-cralliskoe geiro Pontius Pilaten wast; nasko pre rukh, moreno, chivios adrey o hev; jas yov tuley o kalo dron ke wafudo tan, bengeskoe stariben; jongorasa o trito divvus, atchasa opre to tatcho tan, Mi-dovvels kair; bestela kanaw odoi pre Mi-dovvels tacho wast Dad soro-boro; ava sig to lel shoonaben opre mestepen and merripen. Apasa-venna en develeskoe Baval-engro; Boro develeskoe congri, develeskoe pios of sore tacho foky ketteney, soror wafudu-penes fordias, soror mulor jongorella, kek merella apopli. Avali, palor.


I believe in my God, Father all powerful, who made heaven and earth; I believe in his one Son our Lord Christ, conceived by Holy Ghost, (117) born of bowels of Holy Virgin Mary, beaten under the royal governor Pontius Pilate's hand; hung on a tree, slain, put into the grave; went he down the black road to bad place, the devil's prison; he awaked the third day, ascended up to good place, my God's house; sits now there on my God's right hand Father-all- powerful; shall come soon to hold judgment over life and death. I believe in Holy Ghost; Great Holy Church, Holy festival of all good people together, all sins forgiveness, that all dead arise, no more die again. Yea, brothers.


As I was a jawing to the gav yeck divvus, I met on the dron miro Rommany chi: I puch'd yoi whether she com sar mande; And she penn'd: tu si wafo Rommany,

And I penn'd, I shall ker tu miro tacho Rommany, Fornigh tute but dui chave: Methinks I'll cam tute for miro merripen, If tu but pen, thou wilt commo sar mande.


One day as I was going to the village, I met on the road my Rommany lass: I ask'd her whether she would come with me, And she said thou hast another wife.

I said, I will make thee my lawful wife, Because thou hast but two children; Methinks I will love thee until my death, If thou but say thou wilt come with me.

Many other specimens of the English Gypsy muse might be here adduced; it is probable, however, that the above will have fully satisfied the curiosity of the reader. It has been inserted here for the purpose of showing that the Gypsies have songs in their own language, a fact which has been denied. In its metre it resembles the ancient Sclavonian ballads, with which it has another feature in common - the absence of rhyme.



(2) EDINBURGH REVIEW, Feb. 1843.

(3) EXAMINER, Dec. 17, 1842.

(4) SPECTATOR, Dec. 7, 1842.

(5) Thou speakest well, brother!

(6) This is quite a mistake: I know very little of what has been written concerning these people: even the work of Grellmann had not come beneath my perusal at the time of the publication of the first edition OF THE ZINCALI, which I certainly do not regret: for though I believe the learned German to be quite right in his theory with respect to the origin of the Gypsies, his acquaintance with their character, habits, and peculiarities, seems to have been extremely limited.

(7) Good day.

(8) Glandered horse.

(9) Two brothers.

(10) The edition here referred to has long since been out of print.

(11) It may not be amiss to give the etymology of the word engro, which so frequently occurs in compound words in the English Gypsy tongue:- the EN properly belongs to the preceding noun, being one of the forms of the genitive case; for example, Elik-EN boro congry, the great Church or Cathedral of Ely; the GRO or GEIRO (Spanish GUERO), is the Sanscrit KAR, a particle much used in that language in the formation of compounds; I need scarcely add that MONGER in the English words Costermonger, Ironmonger, etc., is derived from the same root.

(12) For the knowledge of this fact I am indebted to the well-known and enterprising traveller, Mr. Vigne, whose highly interesting work on Cashmire and the Panjab requires no recommendation from me.

(13) Gorgio (Spanish GACHO), a man who is not a Gypsy: the Spanish Gypsies term the Gentiles Busne, the meaning of which word will be explained farther on.

(14) An Eastern image tantamount to the taking away of life.

(15) Gentes non multum morigeratae, sed quasi bruta animalia et furentes. See vol. xxii. of the Supplement to the works of Muratori, p. 890.

(16) As quoted by Hervas: CATALOGO DE LAS LENGUAS, vol. iii. p. 306.

(17) We have found this beautiful metaphor both in Gypsy and Spanish; it runs thus in the former language:-

'LAS MUCHIS. (The Sparks.)

'Bus de gres chabalas orchiris man dique a yes chiro purelar sistilias sata rujias, y or sisli carjibal dinando trutas discandas.

(18) In the above little tale the writer confesses that there are many things purely imaginary; the most material point, however, the attempt to sack the town during the pestilence, which was defeated by the courage and activity of an individual, rests on historical evidence the most satisfactory. It is thus mentioned in the work of Francisco de Cordova (he was surnamed Cordova from having been for many years canon in that city):-

'Annis praeteritis Iuliobrigam urbem, vulgo Logrono, pestilenti laborantem morbo, et hominibus vacuam invadere hi ac diripere tentarunt, perfecissentque ni Dens O. M. cuiusdam BIBLIOPOLAE opera, in corum, capita, quam urbi moliebantur perniciem avertisset.' DIDASCALIA, Lugduni, 1615, I vol. 8VO. p. 405, cap. 50.

(19) Yet notwithstanding that we refuse credit to these particular narrations of Quinones and Fajardo, acts of cannibalism may certainly have been perpetrated by the Gitanos of Spain in ancient times, when they were for the most part semi-savages living amongst mountains and deserts, where food was hard to be procured: famine may have occasionally compelled them to prey on human flesh, as it has in modern times compelled people far more civilised than wandering Gypsies.

(20) England.

(21) Spain.

(22) MITHRIDATES: erster Theil, s. 241.

(23) Torreblanca: DE MAGIA, 1678.

(24) Exodus, chap. xiii. v. 9. 'And it shall be for a sign unto thee upon thy hand.' Eng. Trans.

(25) No chapter in the book of Job contains any such verse.

(26) 'And the children of Israel went out with an high hand.' Exodus, chap. xiv. v. 8. Eng. Trans.

(27) No such verse is to be found in the book mentioned.

(28) Prov., chap. vii. vers. 11, 12. 'She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house. Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.' Eng. Trans.

(29) HISTORIA DE ALONSO, MOZO DE MUCHOS AMOS: or, the story of Alonso, servant of many masters; an entertaining novel, written in the seventeenth century, by Geronimo of Alcala, from which some extracts were given in the first edition of the present work.

(30) O Ali! O Mahomet! - God is God! - A Turkish war-cry.

(31) Gen. xlix. 22.

(32) In the original there is a play on words. - It is not necessary to enter into particulars farther than to observe that in the Hebrew language 'ain' means a well, and likewise an eye.

(33) Gen. xlviii. 16. In the English version the exact sense of the inspired original is not conveyed. The descendants of Joseph are to increase like fish.

(34) Exodus, chap. xii. v. 37, 38.

(35) Quinones, p. 11.

(36) The writer will by no means answer for the truth of these statements respecting Gypsy marriages.

(37) This statement is incorrect.

(38) The Torlaquis (idle vagabonds), Hadgies (saints), and Dervishes (mendicant friars) of the East, are Gypsies neither by origin nor habits, but are in general people who support themselves in idleness by practising upon the credulity and superstition of the Moslems.

(39) In the Moorish Arabic, [Arabic text which cannot be reproduced] - or reus al haramin, the literal meaning being, 'heads or captains of thieves.'

(40) A favourite saying amongst this class of people is the following: 'Es preciso que cada uno coma de su oficio'; I.E. every one must live by his trade.

(41) For the above well-drawn character of Charles the Third I am indebted to the pen of Louis de Usoz y Rio, my coadjutor in the editing of the New Testament in Spanish (Madrid, 1837). For a further account of this gentleman, the reader is referred to THE BIBLE IN SPAIN, preface, p. xxii.

(42) Steal a horse.

(43) The lame devil: Asmodeus.

(44) Rinconete and Cortadillo.

(45) The great river, or Guadalquiver.

(46) A fountain in Paradise.

(47) A Gypsy word signifying 'exceeding much.'

(48) 'Lengua muy cerrada.'

(49) 'No camelo ser eray, es Calo mi nacimiento; No camelo ser eray, eon ser Cale me contento.'

(50) Armed partisans, or guerillas on horseback: they waged a war of extermination against the French, but at the same time plundered their countrymen without scruple.

(51) The Basques speak a Tartar dialect which strikingly resembles the Mongolian and the Mandchou.

(52) A small nation or rather sect of contrabandistas, who inhabit the valley of Pas amidst the mountains of Santander; they carry long sticks, in the handling of which they are unequalled. Armed with one of these sticks, a smuggler of Pas has been known to beat off two mounted dragoons.

(53) The hostess, Maria Diaz, and her son Joan Jose Lopez, were present when the outcast uttered these prophetic words.

(54) Eodem anno precipue fuit pestis seu mortalitas Forlivio.

(55) This work is styled HISTORIA DE LOS GITANOS, by J. M-, published at Barcelona in the year 1832; it consists of ninety- three very small and scantily furnished pages. Its chief, we might say its only merit, is the style, which is fluent and easy. The writer is a theorist, and sacrifices truth and probability to the shrine of one idea, and that one of the most absurd that ever entered the head of an individual. He endeavours to persuade his readers that the Gitanos are the descendants of the Moors, and the greatest part of his work is a history of those Africans, from the time of their arrival in the Peninsula till their expatriation by Philip the Third. The Gitanos he supposes to be various tribes of wandering Moors, who baffled pursuit amidst the fastnesses of the hills; he denies that they are of the same origin as the Gypsies, Bohemians, etc., of other lands, though he does not back his denial by any proofs, and is confessedly ignorant of the Gitano language, the grand criterion.

(56) A Russian word signifying beans.

(57) The term for poisoning swine in English Gypsy is DRABBING BAWLOR.

(58) Por medio de chalanerias.

(59) The English.

(60) These words are very ancient, and were, perhaps, used by the earliest Spanish Gypsies; they differ much from the language of the present day, and are quite unintelligible to the modern Gitanos.

(61) It was speedily prohibited, together with the Basque gospel; by a royal ordonnance, however, which appeared in the Gazette of Madrid, in August 1838, every public library in the kingdom was empowered to purchase two copies in both languages, as the works in question were allowed to possess some merit IN A LITERARY POINT OF VIEW. For a particular account of the Basque translation, and also some remarks on the Euscarra language, the reader is referred to THE BIBLE IN SPAIN, vol. ii. p. 385-398.

(62) Steal me, Gypsy.

(63) A species of gendarme or armed policeman. The Miquelets have existed in Spain for upwards of two hundred years. They are called Miquelets, from the name of their original leader. They are generally Aragonese by nation, and reclaimed robbers.

(64) Those who may be desirous of perusing the originals of the following rhymes should consult former editions of this work.

(65) For the original, see other editions.

(66) For this information concerning Palmireno, and also for a sight of the somewhat rare volume written by him, the author was indebted to a kind friend, a native of Spain.

(67) A very unfair inference; that some of the Gypsies did not understand the author when he spoke Romaic, was no proof that their own private language was a feigned one, invented for thievish purposes.

(68) Of all these, the most terrible, and whose sway endured for the longest period, were the Mongols, as they were called: few, however, of his original Mongolian warriors followed Timour in the invasion of India. His armies latterly appear to have consisted chiefly of Turcomans and Persians. It was to obtain popularity amongst these soldiery that he abandoned his old religion, a kind of fetish, or sorcery, and became a Mahometan.

(69) As quoted by Adelung, MITHRIDATES, vol. i.

(70) Mithridates.

(70) For example, in the HISTORIA DE LOS GITANOS, of which we have had occasion to speak in the first part of the present work: amongst other things the author says, p. 95, 'If there exist any similitude of customs between the Gitanos and the Gypsies, the Zigeuners, the Zingari, and the Bohemians, they (the Gitanos) cannot, however, be confounded with these nomad castes, nor the same origin be attributed to them; . . . all that we shall find in common between these people will be, that the one (the Gypsies, etc.) arrived fugitives from the heart of Asia by the steppes of Tartary, at the beginning of the fifteenth century, while the Gitanos, descended from the Arab or Morisco tribes, came from the coast of Africa as conquerors at the beginning of the eighth.'

He gets rid of any evidence with respect to the origin of the Gitanos which their language might be capable of affording in the following summary manner: 'As to the particular jargon which they use, any investigation which people might pretend to make would be quite useless; in the first place, on account of the reserve which they exhibit on this point; and secondly, because, in the event of some being found sufficiently communicative, the information which they could impart would lead to no advantageous result, owing to their extreme ignorance.'

It is scarcely worth while to offer a remark on reasoning which could only emanate from an understanding of the very lowest order, - so the Gitanos are so extremely ignorant, that however frank they might wish to be, they would be unable to tell the curious inquirer the names for bread and water, meat and salt, in their own peculiar tongue - for, assuredly, had they sense enough to afford that slight quantum of information, it would lead to two very advantageous results, by proving, first, that they spoke the same language as the Gypsies, etc., and were consequently the same people - and secondly, that they came not from the coast of Northern Africa, where only Arabic and Shillah are spoken, but from the heart of Asia, three words of the four being pure Sanscrit.

(72) As given in the MITHRIDATES of Adelung.

(73) Possibly from the Russian BOLOSS, which has the same signification.

(74) Basque, BURUA.

(75) Sanscrit, SCHIRRA.

(76) These two words, which Hervas supposes to be Italian used in an improper sense, are probably of quite another origin. LEN, in Gitano, signifies 'river,' whilst VADI in Russian is equivalent to water.

(77) It is not our intention to weary the reader with prolix specimens; nevertheless, in corroboration of what we have asserted, we shall take the liberty of offering a few. Piar, to drink, (p. 188,) is Sanscrit, PIAVA. Basilea, gallows, (p. 158,) is Russian, BECILITZ. Caramo, wine, and gurapo, galley, (pp. 162, 176,) Arabic, HARAM (which literally signifies that which is forbidden) and GRAB. Iza, (p. 179,) harlot, Turkish, KIZE. Harton, bread, (p. 177,) Greek, ARTOS. Guido, good, and hurgamandera, harlot, (pp. 177, 178,) German, GUT and HURE. Tiple, wine, (p. 197,) is the same as the English word tipple, Gypsy, TAPILLAR.

(78) This word is pure Wallachian ([Greek text which cannot be reproduced]), and was brought by the Gypsies into England; it means 'booty,' or what is called in the present cant language, 'swag.' The Gypsies call booty 'louripen.'

(79) Christmas, literally Wine-day.

(80) Irishman or beggar, literally a dirty squalid person.

(81) Guineas.

(82) Silver teapots.

(83) The Gypsy word for a certain town.

(84) In the Spanish Gypsy version, 'our bread of each day.'

(85) Span., 'forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.'

(86) Eng., 'all evil FROM'; Span., 'from all ugliness.'

(87) Span., 'for thine.'

(88) By Hungary is here meant not only Hungary proper, but Transylvania.

(89) How many days made come the gentleman hither.

(90) How many-year fellow are you.

(91) Of a grosh.

(92) My name shall be to you for Moses my brother.

(93) Comes.

(94) Empty place.

(95) V. CASINOBEN in Lexicon.

(96) By these two words, Pontius Pilate is represented, but whence they are derived I know not.

(97) Reborn.

(98) Poverty is always avoided.

(99) A drunkard reduces himself to the condition of a hog.

(100) The most he can do.

(101) The puchero, or pan of glazed earth, in which bacon, beef, and garbanzos are stewed.

(102) Truth contrasts strangely with falsehood; this is a genuine Gypsy proverb, as are the two which follow; it is repeated throughout Spain WITHOUT BEING UNDERSTOOD.

(103) In the original WEARS A MOUTH; the meaning is, ask nothing, gain nothing.

(104) Female Gypsy,

(105) Women UNDERSTOOD.

(106) With that motive awoke the labourer. ORIG.

(107) Gave its pleasure to the finger, I.E. his finger was itching to draw the trigger, and he humoured it.

(108) They feared the shot and slugs, which are compared, and not badly, to flies and almonds.

(109) Christmas, literally Wine-day.

(110) Irishman or beggar, literally a dirty squalid person.

(111) Guineas.

(114) Silver tea-pots.

(115) The Gypsy word for a certain town.

(116) As given by Grellmann.

(117) The English Gypsies having, in their dialect, no other term for ghost than mulo, which simply means a dead person, I have been obliged to substitute a compound word. Bavalengro signifies literally a wind thing, or FORM OF AIR.


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