gyp

1

or gip

[ jip ]
/ dʒɪp /

verb (used with or without object), gypped, gyp·ping.

Informal: Offensive. to defraud or rob by some sharp practice; swindle; cheat.

noun

Informal: Offensive. a swindle or fraud.
Also gyp·per [jip-er], /ˈdʒɪp ər/, gyp·ster [jip-ster] /ˈdʒɪp stər/ .Informal: Offensive. a swindler or cheat.
Also called gypsy . (in horse racing) an owner of racehorses who also acts as trainer and jockey.

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Origin of gyp

1
An Americanism dating back to 1885–90; back formation from Gypsy. The variants at def. 3, gypper and gypster, are formed from gyp1 + -er1 and -ster respectively

usage note for gyp

The word gyp is a shortening of Gypsy , an insensitive label that has been used as a disparaging slur for the traditionally nomadic group whose preferred name is Roma . Gyp in the meanings “to swindle” or “a person who swindles” is further insulting to the Roma, since it stereotypes them as cheats and frauds. However, many people are unfamiliar with the origin and history of gyp and Gypsy , so these terms are still in use, even among speakers who generally try to avoid disparaging and offensive language.

Definition for gyp (2 of 2)

gyp2
[ jip ]
/ dʒɪp /

noun British Informal.

a male college servant, as at Cambridge and Durham.

Origin of gyp

2
First recorded in 1740–50; perhaps from gypsy
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

ABOUT THIS WORD

More context on gyp

A term you probably want to eject from your vocabulary is gyp, slang for “to cheat” or “a cheat.” It is a shortening of the word gypsy, an often derogatory term for the Roma, a nomadic people who have been stereotyped as being swindlers or con artists. Read our Usage Note for even more context on gyp.

If knowing the history of gyp has got you reflecting on your word choices, this slideshow, “These Common Words Have Offensive Histories,” discusses many other words whose place in your vocab you may want to reconsider. 

Keep in mind …

You don’t have to insult an ethnic group to refer to cheating. English has more alternatives for gyp than we can include here.

In place of gyp as a verb, consider:

In place of gyp as a noun, try fraud, racket, rip-off, con, and sham, to name a few.

And in place of gyp as a term for a person running a shady operation, use charlatan, con artist, crook, double-dealer, swindler, or thief.

Plenty more substitutes for gyp can be found a quick click away at Thesaurus.com. Start with cheat and fraud. Both of these do double duty (not double-dealing) as nouns and verbs for various duplicitous endeavors.

British Dictionary definitions for gyp (1 of 3)

gyp1

gip

slang

verb gyps, gypping, gypped, gips, gipping or gipped

(tr) to swindle, cheat, or defraud

noun

an act of cheating
a person who gyps

Word Origin for gyp

C18: back formation from Gypsy

British Dictionary definitions for gyp (2 of 3)

gyp2
/ (dʒɪp) /

noun

British and NZ slang severe pain; torturehis arthritis gave him gyp

Word Origin for gyp

C19: probably a contraction of gee up!; see gee 1

British Dictionary definitions for gyp (3 of 3)

gyp3
/ (dʒɪp) /

noun

a college servant at the universities of Cambridge and DurhamCompare scout 1 (def. 5)

Word Origin for gyp

C18: perhaps from Gypsy, or from obsolete gippo a scullion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012