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16 words that derived from the Romany Gypsy language- from cushty to cosh

Did you know that many of the words we use today have actually derived from the Romany Gypsy language?

From cushty and cosh to scran and skip, CornwallLive have revealed sixteen common words that originated from Romany Gypsies.

Although it is not spoken much in the UK, the Romany language is an unwritten language thought to have originated in Northern India from the Hindi, Sanskrit and Punjabi languages.

Read more weird news here

According to the 2011 census, there are around 500 Gypsy, traveller and Irish traveller people living in Warwickshire and around 150 in Coventry.

However, the government says this may not reflect the true figure, as some may be scared to disclose their ethnicity.

Nowadays, the largest concentration of Roma people is in Turkey, Spain and Romania.

Over the decades, common phrases and words used by travelling families in Britain have slowly cemented themselves into the workings of the English language.

Take a look at some of the most commonly used words and phrases that have originated from the Romany Gypsy language, as well as the meanings behind them…

Bar

What is known today as the place we go for cocktails on a night out, or those long poles preventing someone from leaving their prison cell, the term ‘bar’ originally comes from the word ‘stone’ in Romany. Its actual meaning is a pound coin or a pound note when used.

Chav

Now, all Coventrians will know this one. It is an extremely popular term in the English language which is used to describe a lower-class youth, generally dressed in sportswear. In Romany, the term actually meant ‘child.’

Cosh

Nowadays, the word cosh is used to describe a type of weapon, such as a heavy stick or a bar. But, the term actually derived from the Romany word ‘cosht’ which means ‘stick.’

Cushty

If you are an Only Fools and Horses fan, you will have definitely have heard the word ‘cushty’ before. It is one of the many phrases popularised by Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter. But, its origins are actually from Romany word ‘kushtipen’ or ‘kushti’ which means ‘very good.’

Dick

In the 19th century, the word ‘dick’ was commonly used to refer to a detective or private investigator. ‘To dick’ would mean to ‘to watch’ and comes from the Romany word ‘dik’ which means to look and to see.

Div

Div is still a commonly used word in some parts of the UK. It is used to insult people or point out a lack of intelligence. But, it actually derived from the Romany term ‘divvy’ which means mad.

Gavver

Gavver is another word to describe police officers, and it comes from the Romany Gypsy word ‘garav’ which means hide.

Gibberish

We use the word ‘gibberish’ to describe someone talking complete and utter nonsense, and it originated from the Romany word ‘jib’ which has the dual meaning of both tongue and language.

Lollipop

Ever wondered where the name for this sweet treat comes from? It actually derives from the Romany term ‘loli phabai’ which means red apple. Traditionally, Romany Gypsies used to sell candied apples on a stick.

Mullered

Most often used these days to describe someone as extremely drunk, the term ‘mullered’ actually came from the Romany word ‘muller’ which means dead or killed.

Nark

Nark is commonly used to describe a police informer, and it actually comes from the Romany word ‘nāk’ which means nose.

Pal

Probably the best known English expression to come from the Romany language, ‘pal’ is often used to describe friends, but it actually comes from the Romany word ‘phral’ which means ‘brother.’

Scran

Most commonly used in the North of England to describe food, the word ‘scran’ is used to describe ‘food.’ It is believed to have derived from the Romany word ‘satan’ which means to ‘eat.’

Skip

We use the word ‘skip’ to describe a container that can be found on building sites, and the word has a relatively similar meaning in the Romany language as it meant ‘basket.’

Togs

Togs is commonly used to refer to clothing, specifically swimming gear, and the word ‘togs’ also means clothes in the Romany language.

Wonga

Nowadays, the term ‘wonga’ is used to describe cash, and it has been most notably used by the former payday loan provider of the same name, but the word actually comes from the Romany word ‘vonga’ meaning coal as well as money.

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