Though I shamelessly use words from foreign languages as is, in situ in the text of the two series, I always try to make them self-explanatory from the context. Nevertheless, seeing that there are terms from Spanish, Romanian, Romani Jib (often), Gaelic (very rarely), Zulu and various other languages, I have been considering for a while including a glossary. However, since most of the first series is already published and internationally in circulation, the most practical way is to make this glossary available for free in various places so that people who really want to know, can add it to their book as they grab their copy.
Please note that none of these words are made up, as opposed to “neothixotropalene lubri-squatch” (motor grease), “compounding” (a widely-used plastic-like substance, vaguely organic with slightly uncanny overtones) and so on. The words in this glossary are used in languages today; the translation given is as in February 2016, should any of the words acquire politically abrasive meanings after this date, I do apologize for failing to see the future.
Here it is, hopefully it is complete.
Gadje, gadjo, gadchey: Refers to a non-gypsy (plural, male and female respectively). Slightly derogatory association.
Gadzo, gadzi – Latin Rom: Ditto.
Kathal: Go gently; can also mean farewell
Yoy, ih yoy: Exclamation of astonishment or annoyance, also of stress.
Romipen: The concept of a gypsy’s “gypsyness”, refers to the collective traditional values and codes. The Romipen is a fascinating concept and worth reading more on. Please feel free to consult Dr Google.
Drom: The roads. Also, the gypsy traditions and values and the eternal restlessness that lives in a gypsy’s blood.
Jelenedra : Little Sister
Hai shala: Do you understand?
Shebari: Young woman / bride
Shovihani / Shovani: witch
Manya: A clairvoyant woman
Voyda, voyvote: A clan leader (male)
Rom baro: “Big Man”, also a clan leader
Familia: The clan or tribe of gypsies that travels together; usually one single family.
Kumpania: A tribe of gysies, or a gathering of various familias.
Vesta, vetsa, vitsa: A family (as connected by name & blood, e.g. the Costellos). Sometimes a family from a specific location.
Con son: Who are you?
Mi sim a… : My name is…
ande…: from… (e.g. “Mi sim a Paean, ande Irlandia.”)
Hokano baro: Big hoax. Refers to a prank a gypsy plays, usually on an unsuspecting gadjo.
Mo chroi: My darling
Ceilidh: (actually the Welsh spelling, Irish people tend to prefer Ceili): A musical event, usually with many amateur musicians joining in; also simply a party
Clarsach: Small Celtic harp
Bodhràn: Irish style portable drum
Bagpipes: Okay, you all know it’s been defined as a weapon of war. There was a family from whom 5 bagpipes were stolen. First suspects were the neighbours.
Tryst: While not a Celtic word (ancient English), it is outdated enough to be included here. A wedding or betrothal.
Atenţie: Alert; pay attention
Poliţia: Police, policeman
Dulciuri: Sweeties, candy
Ijuba: A home-brewed liquor
Mampoer: Another home-brewed liquor
“Ma brew”: My brother
Ubuntu: The concept of community and doing things for each other and for the good of the community.
Ishaya wena: I’ll “klap” you.
Klap: A resounding smack in the face, usually well-deserved.
La viuda de: The widow of
Caramba: Exclamation of astonishment / disgust
Carajo: Strong exclamation of disgust
Gata: Cat (overtones of loose woman)
Pronto: Quickly, promptly (but you knew that!)
Basta: Interjection: Enough!
Hacienda: A mansion
Siesta: Midday break, often involves a nap.
Loco: Crazy. Locos: Crazy, referring to oneself (adjectives and names get an -s added to them when a person uses them to refer to himself. “I am locos Carlos.” – “Oh, hello, Carlo. Why are you loco?”)
Perdita: Name; meaning: Lost.
Perdonne: Excuse me
Hatch: a doorway
Companionway / companion ladder: A set of stairs inside the ship
Bridge: The control room from where a ship is steered.
Bulkhead: A wall
Cabin sole: The deck of the cabin
Deck: Floor & ceiling
Outer deck: the outside deck
Command deck: The deck in front of the bridge
Poop deck: The deck overlooking the rear (stern) of the ship
Prow, bow: front
This is a glossary of foreign expressions to supplement the Solar Wind and Shooting Star series.