Gypsy (sometimes spelled Gipsy, Gipsey) is a word used to name, as a blanket term, various unrelated ethnic groups or persons fitting the Gypsy stereotypes. It is usually intended to refer to members of the Roma people.
The word derives from the word for "Egyptian" in Latin, the same as the Spanish Gitano or the French Gitan. It emerged in Europe, in the 15th century, after their migration into the land of the Romani people (aka Roma) in that continent. They received this name from the local people either because they spread in Europe from an area named Little Egypt, in Southern Balkans or because they resembled the European imagery of Egyptians as dark-skinned people skilled in witchcraft (in fact they arrived from Northern India). During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it was written in various ways: Egipcian, Egypcian, 'gipcian, 'gypcian. As the time elapsed, the notion of Gypsy evolved including other stereotypes, like nomadism, exoticism.