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A History of the Gipsies by Walter Simson

I wormed out of them the following words Gaugie


[194] It would be well for the reader to consider what a _Gipsy is_, irrespective of the _language which he speaks_; for the _race_ comes _before_ the _speech_ which it uses. That will be done fully in my Disquisition on the Gipsies. The language, considered in itself, however interesting it may be, is a secondary consideration; it may ultimately disappear, while the people who now speak it will remain.--ED.

I fell in one day, on the public road, with an old woman and her two daughters, of the name of Ross, selling horn spoons, made by Andrew Stewart, a Tinkler at Bo'ness. I repeated to the woman, in the shape of questions, some of the Gipsy words presented in these pages. She at first affected, though very awkwardly, not to understand what I said, but in a few minutes, with some embarrassment in her manner, acknowledged that she knew the speech, and gave me the English of the following words:

_Gaugie_, man. _Managie_, woman. _Chauvies_, children. _Grye_, horse. _Grye-femler_, horse-dealer. _Roys_, spoons.

I observed to this woman, that I saw no harm in speaking this language openly and publicly. "None in the least, sir," was her reply.

Two girls, of the name of Jamieson, came one day begging to my door. They appeared to be sisters, of about eight and seventeen years of age, and were pretty decently clothed. Both had

light-blue eyes, light-yellow, or rather flaxen, hair, and fair complexions. To ascertain whether they were Tinklers or not, I put some Gipsy words to the eldest girl. She immediately hung down her head, as if she had been detected in a crime, and, pretending not to understand what was said, left the house; but, after proceeding about twelve paces, she took courage, turned round, and, with a smile upon an agreeable countenance, called back, "There are eleven of us, sir." I had enquired of her how many children there were of her family. I called both the girls back to my house, and ordered them some victuals, for which they were extremely grateful, and seemed much pleased that they were kindly treated. After I had discovered they were Gipsies, I wormed out of them the following words:

_Gaugie_, man. _Managie_, woman. _Chauvies_, children. _Grye_, horse. _Jucal_, dog.

When I enquired of the eldest girl the English of _Jucal_, she did not, at first, catch the sound of the word; but her little sister looked up in her face, and said to her, "Don't you hear? That is dog. It is dog he means." The other then added, with a downcast look, and a melancholy tone of voice, "You gentlemen understand all languages now-a-days."

At another time, four or five children were loitering about, and diverting themselves, before the door of a house, near Inverkeithing. The youngest appeared about five, and the eldest about thirteen years of age. One of the boys, of the name of McDonald, stepped forward, and asked some money from me in charity. From his importunate manner of begging, I suspected the children were Gipsies, although their appearance did not indicate them to be of that race. After some questions put to them about their parents and their occupations, they gave me the English of the following words:

_Gaugie_, man. _Chauvies_, children. _Riah_, gentleman. _Grye_, horse. _Jucal_, dog. _Aizel_, ass. _Lowa_, silver. _Chor_, thief. _Staurdie_, prison. _Bing_, the devil.

A gentleman, an acquaintance of mine, was in my presence while the children were answering my words; and as the subject of their language was new to him, I made some remarks to him in their hearing, relative to their tribe, which greatly displeased them. One of the boys called out to me, with much bitterness of expression, "You are a Gipsy yourself, sir, or you never could have got these words."


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