The word Gypsy or Gipsy traditionally refers to Romani people of Indo-Aryan origin. In this post, we have listed such Romany Gypsy baby names that represent this ethnic group’s traditions and history. According to the Oxford dictionary, Gypsy refers to an ethnic group from Asia who travels and lives in a caravan. While most Roma Gypsies originated in the northern regions of the Indian subcontinent, a few also have Irish ancestry. This is why their names conform to the nation’s rules they traveled to and do not resemble much to their original ancestry. Although Roman gypsies have varied originations, currently, many reside in America and Europe.
If you wish to choose a baby name with diversity, each of these Gypsy baby names has a story. In this post, we have focused on the culture, traditions, and history of Romans while considering their traditional traveling behavior. As you may notice, many of these names are common ones since Gypsy names are inspired from many places across the world.
1. Romany Gypsy Girl Names
Vadoma is probably the Romany feminine form of the Russian name Vadim. The etymologists believe that this name has its roots in the Slavic element vadic, which means ‘to know’. This is because the pagan magicians were called veduny, which means ‘the knowing ones.’
This moniker is derived directly by Romany. Its most famous bearer is Dame Roma Mitchell, the first woman Governor of an Australian state. It’s another name for Goddess Lakshmi and means ‘one with shiny hair’. Besides, it’s also the name of a place in Italy. So you have plenty of references here!
Charity is one of the three abstract virtue names along with Faith and Hope, but this one isn’t used much. This moniker was one of the top 500 names in the 1880s and 1950s. It remained in the top 1000 list until the year 1927, when it fell into obscurity. It later reappeared in the year 1968. In fact, it was one of the top 300 names in the 1970s and 1980s. We love this name for its freshness and rhythmic ‘y’ ending sound.
After being neglected for decades, Florence is getting love again, probably because of its floral feel and its connection with the Italian city. Even Florence Nightingale was named after her birthplace (Florence). You can even credit the red-haired Florence Welch for rejuvenating its image. For the nickname, Flora, Flossie, Flo, and Florrie would be best.
Lavinia is a prim and proper gypsy name, dating back to the classical mythology, where it was borne by the wife of Aeneas, the Trojan Hero. It also featured in G.B. Shaw’s “Androcles and the Lion”, Shakespeare’s “Titus Andronicus”, and Henry James’ “Washington Square”. And it comes with the vintage nickname option, Vinnie, too.
Ethelinda is the gypsy variation of the name Aethelind and means ‘noble maiden’. This moniker would appeal parents who like names with soft sound and admirable meaning. Yes, it does seem to be out of favor, but every great name bounces back, and so will Ethelinda. Besides, this name has its association with Ethelinda Vanderbilt Allen, daughter of US industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt.
This Old Testament name is used widely by the Romany gypsies. In the Bible, Kezia was the name of one of the three daughters of Job. This moniker was once associated with the slaves and is still well used in the African-American community. And with such a beautiful sound and meaning, ‘cassia tree’, Kezia rightfully deserves emancipation.
This one’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it? This moniker is associated with the burlesque performer and thoroughly intellectual Gypsy Rose Lee and the musical that was made on her life. Besides, this moniker was also used by Shooter Jennings and Drea de Matteo as the middle name for their daughter Alabama.
This medieval variation of the name Esther featured in “The Scarlet Letter’s name”. It’s pretty neglected now, but has a chance of revival, following the wake of its original name, Esther. It has made literary appearances in Oscar Wilde’s play, “A Woman of No Importance”, Theodore Dreiser’s novel “An American Tragedy”, and John Irving’s novel “A Prayer for Owen Meaney”. Hetty could be used as the nickname for Hester.
This lovely Puritan virtue name has a quality that is deeply undervalued today. This moniker is distinctive and stylish, which is a beautiful and rare combination. Although it was hugely popular in the late 19th century, it’s on the way for a comeback. It rose over 140 spots between the years 2012 and 2013, making it one of the fastest rising names.
This gypsy variation of Naomi is finding favor with parents who are looking for a soft, biblical name with a melodic sound and a positive meaning (pleasantness). Naomie Harri, the actress, helped in the modernization of this name.
This rhythmic and interesting name is heard not just in Romany, but also in the Native American community. In fact, in the Gold Rush in Nevada and California, this moniker was so common that it became the generic term for a Native American woman. Mahalia Jackson, the great gospel singer’s birth name was actually Mahala. Halie would sound extremely cute as a nickname.
This mellifluous name has a rich history. It’s associated with three opera characters; it’s the name of two characters played by the legend Elizabeth Taylor and it’s also bornentury Britis by the renowned British artist and writer, Leonora Carrington.
This moniker may be buried deep in the attic right in the western world, but is hugely popular with the gypsies. We think it would make an excellent pick for parents who find Theodora too cute and feminine. She’ll also get to share her name with Theodosia Burr Goodman, the American silent film actress. The meaning of this name is ‘giving to God’.
This moniker isn’t very popular beyond the realms of the gypsies. It swims below the top 1000, with just 20 babies being named Selina last year. You can pronounce this name as sel-ee-na or sel-eye-na.
Queenie started as a nickname for girls named Regina, but it’s used by the gypsies as a stand-alone name. We think it would work best as a nickname or middle name. Hester Maria Thrale was given the nickname Queenie by Samuel Johnson. Queenie means ‘queen’.
This sleek gypsy name is also worth consideration. Even this moniker has featured in several literary works, including Milan Kudera’s novel “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and Thornton Wilder’s play “The Skin of Our Teeth”. Its namesake would be Sabina Guzzanti, the Italian satirist, actress, writer, and producer.
Penelope is actually a Greek name, but is very familiar with the gypsies. This classic moniker has been moving up the charts, thanks to the glamorous actress Penelope Cruz. This moniker is associated with the faithful wife of Odysseus in Homer’s “Odyssey”. It also has several novelists as namesakes – Penelope Gilliatt, Fitzgerald, Mortimer, and Lively. Instead of the usual Penny, pick Poppy or Nell as a nickname.
This passive virtue name, popular with the Romany gypsies sounds much fresher than Charity, Faith, and Hope. This name got a bump in popularity after appearing in “Catwoman”. Patience Philips, remember? In literature, this name appears in Shakespeare’s “Henry VIII”, in Gilbert & Sullivan comic operetta and an Anthony Trollope’s novel.
Most of you would relate this name to a character in the 70s sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and its spin-off Rhoda. But this name has a long history. It features in the New Testament as the mother of John. This name started on the popularity list at #161 spot and is still stuck there.
This cutting edge name is frilly, cute, and sassy, all in one. You can see Rosella as a diminutive of the name Rose or as a nature name as Rosella is an Australian flower and a variety of Australian cockatoos. Its namesake is Rosella Falk, the Italian actress. But her first name is more commonly spelled Rossella.
Clementine is the Spanish form of the name Clementine and means ‘mild, merciful’. This name stands out for its ‘eena’ ending. And the ending takes it from the realm of the popular song ‘Oh my darling, Clementine”. Clementina has several notable namesakes that include, Lady Clementina Villiers, the 19th century British beauty; Sofia Clementina Handler, the daughter of actor American Evan Handler; and Clementina Black, the British writer on trade unions and feminism.
Esmeralda is a gypsy girl and the love interest of hunchbacked Quasimodo in Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame. She was born Agnes, but received the name Esmeralda due to the jewel she wore around her neck. This Portuguese version of Emerald has been famous with the Hispanic parents for long. It currently holds the #369.
This diminutive of Matilda is a surprise hit with the Malibu, Tribeca, and British parents. It currently holds the 90th spot on the Wales-England popularity list. It has also joined the Maisie, Milly, Lottie, and Kitty in the top 100 nickname list. Feminist favorite, Tillie Olsen is its most notable namesake.
Masilda is probably derived from the name Mathilda and means ‘battle-mighty’. So if you love the name and the meaning of Matilda, but are scared that your child might run into another Matilda in her school, pick Masilda. We’re very sure no one would share her name at school.
If you want a Romani gypsy name that still has a connection with America, pick Liberty. This one came to the surface following the American War of Independence. It caught up not just in America, but also in some Puritan colonies. It is now seeing a level of popularity that wasn’t seen since the end of World War I.
2. Romany Gypsy Boy Names
This Romany gypsy baby boy name carries a strong philosophical statement. But at the same time, it might be a bit of a load for your boy to carry. Ving Rhames chose this name for his baby boy. It also featured in the book “The Host” by Stephanie Meyer. It was the name of a young boy who was born in the caves after the alien invasion.
This name is believed to be a Romany name, meaning ‘born with teeth’. We don’t know whether it’s true or not, but there is a Romani word ‘danior’ that means ‘teeth’. It’s actually a plural form of the ‘daand’, which means ‘tooth,’ which is further derived from Sanskrit word ‘danta’. This moniker would fit perfectly with the trend of names ending with ‘or’.
Manfri is the Romany form of the much-loved name Manfred. If Manfri sounds too casual to use as a given name, you can consider using this name as a nickname for Manfred. The meaning of Manfri is ‘man of peace’. We hope your child strives for peace, which seems to be vanishing with every passing day.
To be honest, we’re pretty surprised at the popularity of this English rank of nobility name with the gypsies. We feel that the reason this moniker is enjoying a revival as one of the fastest rising names is its association with Edward Duke Ellington, the American jazz musician. It was also chosen by TV couple Giuliana and Bill Rancic for their son.
With the D silent in its name, Django is the traditional language of the gypsies. It got fame via Reinhardt, the Belgian-born jazz guitarist. His nickname is Django, which means ‘I awake’ in Romany. It got further exposure and familiarity after the release of Quentin Tarantino’s film “Django Unchained”. We think it would make a musical pick for jazz aficionado.
This Romany baby name is believed to have been derived from Russian and Yiddish name Movcha and Hebrew name Moses. Motshan has an evocative feel to it. It sounds exotic to the western ear without being attached to any particular race or culture. Motshan means ‘son’.
Vano is the Romany version of the name Ivan and means ‘god is gracious’. It’s one of the few Romany names that are beginning to be fully accepted into the European and American naming pool. The only concern with this name is that some parents might find it a bit heavy booted. Vano Bamberger is a famous gypsy guitarist.
This gypsy name, once popular in the 70s, is flowing back into favor with nature loving parents. Or you can opt for its variation Oceanus, which was generally given to the child born during the voyage of the Mayflower. Frank Ocean, the American singer, would be its famous namesake.
Timbo, the Romany variant of the French name Etienne meaning ‘crown’ feels oh so debonair. It’s classic with the Romany gypsies, but nearly unknown to the English speakers. Its namesake is Timbo Mehrstein, a contemporary Gypsy Jazz violinist. It doesn’t need a nickname, but you can shorten it to Tim if you want.
This one’s for our nature loving members. Patrin is a Romany name meaning ‘leaf trail’. This moniker is believed to have been derived from Sanskrit term Patta, which means ‘leaf’. It’s rhythmic and intriguingly unusual, yet easily comprehensible. For the nickname, you can consider Pattin.
Menowin is ubiquitous in the Romany gypsy culture. This name is believed to have been compiled using the German elements megin, which means ‘strength’ and win, which means friend’. But in case of Menowin Froehlich, its most famous bearer, his name was made up by his father to make it sound like Menuhin, the surname of the violinist Yehudi Menuhin.
This gypsy name is associated with the dominant figure in the Greek legend, who swam across the Hellespont every day to meet his beloved Hero, the priestess of Venus. This name is currently one of the top 40 names in Norway. Or you can opt for its variation Leandro, its appealing Spanish form.
Mythological names are quite popular with the Romany gypsies. One such name is Silvanus, referring to the Roman Tree God. This moniker is cute, lively, and elegant. And with the return of the classical names in the Western world, even Silvanus can resurface again. Silvanus Trevail, the Cornish architect is its famous namesake.
Here’s another mythological name well used by the Romany gypsies. Pyramus and his love Thisbe were young lovers in Babylon who were kept apart because of family rivalry. This Greek name is taken from the name of the river Pyramos, which means ‘fire’. It may be ancient, but does not sound as such.
Lash is the Romani variation of the name Louis and means ‘renowned warrior’. This Romani boy name had its heyday in the 19th century, particularly among them Americans. Its namesake is Lash Rushay Hoffman, the American wrestler who is better known by his screen name Stevie Ray.
The Romany people arriving France via Bohemia referred to as the Bohemians. So this name gives a straightforward reference to the gypsies. It also nods to the impoverished and artistic lifestyle of the gypsies.
Llewellyn with the double ‘ll’ would make a bold pick for your son. It has some worthy namesakes like Llewellyn Fawr, fondly called Llewellyn the Great and Llewellyn Olaf, also called Llewellyn the Last. It’s also the name of a major character in McCarthy’s “No Country for Old Men”. Some appealing nicknames for this one include Llelo, Lleu, and Llew.
This Old Testament name that was out of favor for centuries has suddenly reappeared, thanks to the Romany gypsies. It reached its highest spot #362 in 1998, and has been moving a few spots up or down since then. In the Bible, Nehemiah was the prophet assigned with the task of rebuilding the city of Jerusalem after the captivity of the Babylonians.
3. Irish Gypsy Girl Names
Margaret, as in Margaret Barry was an Irish Traveler, and a renowned banjo player and singer. This rich and classy name has been borne by several saints and queens. It’s also an important family name, having taken one of the top spots in the first half of 1900. We recommend you this name for its classic status and strong sound.
This moniker refers to Nan Joyce, the Irish Travellers’ rights activist. She worked hard to improve the living conditions of travelers in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Nan is the diminutive of Nancy and means ‘grace’. It received love in the English speaking countries via Nan, the protagonist of “The Nanny Diaries”.
Shelta is actually the secret language spoken by the Irish Travellers and means ‘a voice that moves’, moves in the sense of being affectionate, emotional, and endearing. The modern Celticists believe that it comes from the Gaelic word siulta, which means ‘walking’. This word was first recorded in 1876 by Charles Leland, the American ‘gypsiologist’ and the first countryman to come across the language of Irish Travellers.
4. Irish Gypsy Boy Names
This name belongs to Patrick Dune, the Irish musician and seanchai. He was born into a family of Irish Travellers. Patrick is enjoying a renaissance in England, along with George and Charles. It’s also associated with Saint Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. This name is currently at a healthy #164 spot.
Paddy Keenan is the son of John Keenan, the famous Irish Traveller. Most of the people consider Paddy as a generic term for the Irishmen. But not many know that it originated as a diminutive of Patrick. Mare Winningham used it for her son recently. We’d suggest you use Patrick as your son’s given name and Paddy as the nickname.
Bartley Gorman V also referred to as the King of the Gypsies, was an Irish traveler and an undefeated knuckle-boxing champion of Ireland. The meaning of Bartley is ‘birch tree meadow’. This surname is inspired by the Bartley Redis in Hampshire and was first recorded in the mid of the 16th century.
We hope you find our compilation of gypsy baby names interesting. Which name would you select for your son or daughter? Share your views with us in the comment section below!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the difference between a Roma and a Gypsy?
The words Roma and Gypsy are not synonymous. The word Roma means “man” and is used by several sub-groups who immigrated from North India to Europe in the ninth century to refer to themselves. On the other hand, “Gypsy” is a term coined by others to define the Roma communities. While some find the term Gypsy derogatory and a racial slur, it is accepted by some Roma communities (1) (2).
2. What are common Romany last names?
- Their name: Roma? Sinto? Gypsy;
- The Roma in Europe: 11 things you always wanted to know but were afraid to ask;
- Tracing Gypsy Romany and traveller ancestors at Surrey history centre;
- Hungary: Traditional Roma names; name-changing practices after marriage; languages spoken by Roma including variations in spoken Hungarian (2015-December 2017)
This list of Irish and Roman Gypsy baby names can help you find a suitable name that your child will also adore when they are older. Irish and Roman Gypsy names are diverse, attractive, and unique. Further, these meaningful names will help reflect the child’s ancestry. So read through each name and its meaning, and select a name that you think will best suit your little one’s personality. Remember, your baby’s name is a reflection of who they are. So pick a sweet, adorable, and relevant name that can add a spark to your munchkin’s persona.
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