Thursday, August 11, 2016

Examining wise Romany (Gypsy) sayings by Josie Riviera

I love wise sayings. You know the ones...“A stitch in time saves nine,” or “A bird in the hand is worth two in a bush.”
For the past several years, I’ve explored the mysterious and fascinating Romany (Gypsy) culture, and, along the way, I’ve learned many wise Romany sayings. 

I’ve listed a few of these sayings below, first in Romany, then followed by the English translation:
 Si khohaimo may patshivalo sar o tshatshim.” (There are lies more believable than the truth.)
“Te bisterdon tumare anava.” (May your names be forgotten.)
“I chatski tsinuda de tehara, vai de haino, khal tut.” (The true nettle stings from the beginning.)
“Feri ando payi sitsholpe te nayuas.” (It was in the water that one learned to swim.)
“Kon del tut o nai shai dela tut wi o vast.” (He who willingly gives you a finger will also give you the whole hand.)
“Ki-shan-I Romani, Adoi san’ I chov’hani.” (Where Gypsies go, there the witches are, we know.)
Gadje Gadjensa, Rom Romensa.” (Gadje with gadje, Rom with Rom.)
A gadje, BTW,  is any person who isn’t Romany.
Do you have a favorite, wise saying to share? ? Leave a comment below and one lucky winner will receive a free ebook copy of my inspirational historical novel, Seeking Patience. Winner will be announced August 12th.

Here's the blurb:

Half-Romany, half-English lord, he lives a perilous Gypsy life … until a sweet English rose saves his life, and perhaps his soul. Widowed by a cruel husband, she's given up all hope of love. Brought together in peril, they dare to reach for a brighter future together.

In the meantime: check out my Amazon giveaway:
‪#‎AmazonGiveaway  Enter to win a free ebook copy of Seeking Patience!
No purchase necessary.
Or Goodreads giveaway. Enter for your chance to win a paperback of Seeking Patience.
 Author Josie Riviera lives in the Charlotte, NC, area with her wonderfully supportive husband of 40 years. They share their empty nest with an adorable Shih Tzu who constantly needs grooming and an old house forever needing renovations.

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  1. Fascinating to me because my grandmother may have had some Romany blood.

  2. Wow, that's really interesting, Jean.

  3. That was fun. Some of the sayings were pretty universal. Not sure about the witches one, though... LOL. Interesting post. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Very cool! I've been fascinated with gypsy culture ever since I read Philippa Carr's Return of the Gypsy in 190-something. :-) Are there any non-fiction books you can recommend? I'd love to read more!

    Really fun post! Thanks for sharing. :-)

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. That was supposed to be "1980-something." Sigh. So many technical difficulties! ;-)

    3. Misha, I found very little info on the Romany and had to do lots of digging, so I can't recommend any specific book. I even joined a Romany Facebook group before I was kicked out. (they discovered I wasn't a Rom...)

  5. Fun quotes, Josie! Enjoyed reading them! :)

  6. There was a popular telenovela from Mexico about gypsies, and they always said "gadje" when referring to the non-gypsy characters. It was a lovely story about forbidden love titled "Gitanas".

    1. I've never heard of it but will need to check it out, Cindy.

  7. I always liked "A stitch in time saves nine."

    1. That's always been a favorite of mine, Michele.

  8. Michele Hayes, You're the winner! Please email me at:

  9. Josie, thank you very much, email sent.