from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To deprive (another) of something by fraud; cheat or swindle.
  • n. A fraud or swindle.
  • n. One who defrauds; a swindler.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A cheat or swindle; a rip-off.
  • v. To cheat or swindle someone of something inappropriately.
  • n. A college servant.
  • n. Gypsophila.
  • n. Pain or discomfort.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A college servant; -- so called in Cambridge, England; at Oxford called a scout.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To swindle; cheat.
  • n. A male servant who attends to college rooms. Also gip.
  • n. A swindler, especially a swindling horse-dealer; a cheat.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. deprive of by deceit
  • n. a swindle in which you cheat at gambling or persuade a person to buy worthless property


Probably short for Gypsy.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Probably from the term gypsy ("Roma"), due to a stereotype of the Roma as swindlers. Compare jew ("defraud"), from Jew, and welsh ("swindle by defaulting on a debt"), from Welsh. (Wiktionary)
Perhaps the same as Etymology 1. (Wiktionary)
Shortening. (Wiktionary)
Perhaps from gee up. (Wiktionary)



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • Huh--gyp or jip was an elementary school staple for me back in the 70s in Ohio and upstate New York. Not until this moment did I ever consider its derivation. Or how it might be spelled.

    January 21, 2008

  • I've been told not to use gyp, because it is racially offensive to the Gypsy people, better known as Romani.

    January 21, 2008

  • The "swindle" sense is the only one I've known for this word. If you get ripped off (perhaps another Americanism[?] meaning to be scammed) you might say "aww, what a gyp!" Actually I'm not sure that I've seen the word in print, and I assumed it was spelled jip or something like that.

    January 18, 2008

  • Probably. I wasn't aware of the "swindle" sense until now. Yet another transatlantic nuance.

    January 18, 2008

  • Derivative of gypsy?

    January 18, 2008

  • Annoyance.

    E.g. "I wanted to go for a run but my ankle was giving me gyp, so I stayed in and ate a big bag of cheez-its instead."

    Or, "darling, pass me the elephant gun. I'm thoroughly sick of those urchins across the street giving us gyp."

    January 18, 2008