Hi DR.Smooth, You have gotten some great answers already, but I have always loved the gypsies so I will add some more! (This is from the Google dictionary widget...)
Gypsies came to Europe in several migrations from northern India around the 14th century. Now, they are also in North America and Australia. The app tells us, "Many Gypsy groups have preserved elements of their traditional culture, including an itinerant existence and the Romany language."
And, the origin of the word "gypsy..." it is from the Middle English word gypcian, which is short for Egipcien - Middle England's way of spelling EGYPTIAN, because that is where they thought the gypsies came from!
It's actually a derogatory term that is used in reference to people of the Rroma culture. I had no idea until recently that many of them view it as a racial slur. The association as a wanderer, and/or one with a carefree lifestyle is simply an overly romanticized stereotype that has been perpetuated by authors and in movies.
There are several types of gypsy. They're itinerant people who are now known by the politically correct term of Travellers. Over the centuries they have been associated with seasonal work and fortune telling, They have been subject to prejudice wherever they travel and are vilified as opportunistic thieves.
Some gypsies are certainly thieves. So are plenty of non-gypsies.
One typically gypsy delicacy is called hotchi-witchi. Cooked in the embers of a campfire they're said to be delicious. Non-gypsies would call them hedgehogs.
The best-known gypsies are the Romanies. but there are also many Wendish gypsies.
Although it is not widely known there is a wild rose native to the United States that, because it is propagated by migrating birds, is known as the Gypsy Rose. It has been found in places as widely separated as Maine, Florida and Utah. You may learn more about this unique and beautiful wildflower by visiting this link: http://tinyurl.com/44pmewg