[goto next page or index] [go to Jeremy Sandford  FanClub homepage]
Jeremy Sandford FanClub Archives ~ www.JeremySandford.org.uk


Feb 99


This glossary is included at the request of some of those who used Romany or Cant or other unfamiliar words when talking to me.

Romany has seldom until recently been written down, so opinions about the pronunciation, spelling and sometimes meaning of words vary in different parts of the country.

Romany words are often different to, though often also the same as, those used in the rest of Europe.

I am very grateful to Dr Donald Kendrick for help in compiling this glossary. Mistakes, if any, however, are mine, not his.

(C) = Cant

(R) = Romany

atch to stop or camp (R)

atchin tan a camping place (R)

banshee ghost of young woman with very long hair (Gaelic)

barons frontier guards (Irish vernacular)

barricade type of tent

bender tent bough tent made by placing tarpaulin over arched saplings

blue chronic an ailment

bottom valley (vernacular)

busker, busk to perform music in public for money (vernacular)

byroad second class road, as opposed to high roads (Irish official jargon)

caer, ker house (R)

camp where Gypsies are stopped (Scottish vernacular)

Cant a secret language known to Irish Travellers

ceili, a get-together (Gaelic)


chal man (R)

chavvy child (R)

chop to exchange (R)

chore to steal (R)

chored stolen (R)

chuchi rabbit (R) more correctly, Shushi

conish fein gentleman (C)

conya excrement (C)

corbed beaten, finished (C)

cosh wood, firewood (R)

countryman, non-Gypsy (Scottish and Irish vernacular)

country handle

caush comra go dog (R)

connich fein wise man (C)

culcannon stew (Gaelic)

cushti good, nice (R)

Diddecoi a form of Gypsy (some say true-blooded, others half-bred)

drom road (R)

duckering fortune-telling (R)

Espanolo Spanish Gypsy (Spanish)


fannie, ring (C)


feek, feik to take, to have intercourse (R)

fetich curse (R)

frashed frightened (Scottish vernacular)

Galune Good God (C)

gavmush, policeman (R)


Gorjio non-Gypsy(ies) (R) listed with this

(s, is, ios) spelling in the Concise Oxford Dictionary.

grai horse (R)

hatch to stop or camp (R)

hatchin tan a camping place (R) more correctly, atchin tan

hawk to go door knocking, selling (English vernacular)

Hedgecrawler inferior form of Gypsy (English vernacular)

hopping hop picking (English vernacular)

hotchiwitchi hedgehog (R)

hug-a-day scarecrow (English vernacular)

iron-calling recycling scrap iron (English vernacular)

jogray Gypsy stew (possibly originally Joe Gray, a cockney stew, English vernacular)

joller, joll, variations of the verb ‘to go’ (R)


jukel dog (R)

ker, kaer house (R) more correctly cer, caer

ladog lady (C)

landings lead or metal piping (English vernacular)

lifted arrested (Scottish vernacular)

lureacones fairies (C)

marin bones horse defect

monya fetich good charm (C)

moulder lorry (R)

Mumpley inferior form of Gypsy (English vernacular)

mush friend, man (R)

muskra policeman (R)


nogany filth, unclean (R)

nyupe excrement (C)

paki outcast (R)

Pav (Pavee) Irish Traveller (C)

peg to sell from door to door (C)

Pikie inferior form of Gypsy (English vernacular)

poove a field, and hence, to graze (R)

poppys soup (Gaelic)

rackley woman or girl (R)

ragging dealing in old clothes (English vernacular)

rokra speech (R)

rocker speak (R)

Romanestan where a Gypsy happens to be standing at the moment

Rom, Romany Gypsy, wandering racial group, originally from North West India (R)

(in traditional Romani: Roma)

Romany Anglicised version of Romani, an important Gypsy language (R)

ruileah fein madman (C)

saulked arrested (C)

scholar a person who can read or write (English vernacular)

Shelta a secret language known to Irish Travellers

shifted evicted (Scottish vernacular)

shirted taken by the police, moved on, evicted (Scottish vernacular)

shushi rabbit (R)

spavin horse defect

splits horse defect

starry prison (R)

skiving dealing in ... (English vernacular)

tan camping place (R)

Tinker Scottish or Irish Traveller

tooken away sent to prison (Scottish vernacular)

totting dealing in junk or scrap (English vernacular)

trailer motor-drawn caravan (English vernacular)

trashed frightened (R)

In English vernacular means ‘broken or destroyed’

Travellers Romanies, Gypsies, Tinkers, Pavees and others who have adopted the Travelling lifestyle (English, Irish, Scottish vernacular)

Ulean pipes Irish bagpipes

unproved unofficial or unpaved (roads)

opré forward (R)

vass hand (R)

wake (to) to perform a ceremony to mark passing on of a deceased (vernacular)

Water Gypsy families living on canal boats (English vernacular)

wing wong wigwam (vernacular)

yolks things (English vernacular)


[goto top of this page] [go to Jeremy Sandford  FanClub homepage] Jeremy Sandford FanClub Archives
Almost all of the content of these webpages is copyright of the estate of
Jeremy Sandford, RIP.
They are provided here for your private research, and as a tribute to Jeremy.
However the index and sorting and coding are copyright of me,
George @ dicegeorge.com(c)2006

www.JeremySandford.org.uk (c) 2006
[Jeremy Sandford FanClub]