"a company of Egyptians, or as they were more vulgarly called gypsies"
The term gypsy
originates from the Greek word gifti
. It derives from an erroneous belief that the Romanies originated in India, and were exiled as punishment for allegedly harboring the infant Jesus. The Oxford English Dictionary defines a 'gipsy' as a member of a wandering race, of Indian origin, which first appeared in England about the beginning of the 16th
century. According to the OED the word was first used in English in 1514. During the 16th
centuries the name was written in various ways, including Egipcian
, and 'gypcian