A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Gipsy

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 901, 902

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 901, 902

Gípsy. n.s. [Corrupted from Egyptian; for when they first appeared in Europe they declared, and perhaps truly, that they were driven from Egypt by the Turks. They are now mingled with all nations.]

  1. A vagabond who pretends to foretell futurity, commonly by palmestry or physiognomy.

    The butler, though he is sure to lose a knife, a fork, or a spoon every time his fortune is told him, shuts himself up in the pantry with an old gipsy for above half an hour. Addison.

    A frantick gipsey now, the house he haunts,
    And in wild phrases speaks dissembled wants.
    Prior.

    I, near yon stile, three sallow gypsies met;
    Upon my hand they cast a poring look,
    Bid me beware, and thrice their heads they shook.
    Gay.

    In this still labyrinth around her lie
    Spells, philters, globes, and spheres of palmistry;
    A sigil in this hand the gipsy bears,
    In th' other a prophetick sieve and sheers.
    Garth's Dispensat.

  2. A reproachful name for a dark complexion.

    Laura, to his lady, was but a kitchen-wench; Dido a dowdy; Cleopatra a gipsy; Helen and Hero hildings and harlots. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

  3. A name of slight reproach to a woman.

    The widow play'd the gypsy, and so did her confidant too, in pretending to believe her. L'Estrange.

    A slave I am to Clara's eyes:
    The gipsy knows her pow'r and flies.
    Prior.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Garth, Samuel (17) · Gay, John (51) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (46)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Gipsy." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: June 30, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=9825.


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