UrpleSquirrel (urplesquirrel) wrote in little_details,

Romany names

Time/setting: modern day America.

I have a character who is a young woman, born to Romany parents, but orphaned at about age ten and adopted. I've been doing some research on the names, looking for a traditional one that she might have had.

I came across a website which said: "We have found very little information about period Romany names. The Romany used at least two names each -- a private name in their own language that was not used outside their community, and a public name in the language of the country where they lived. We have found no evidence at all on Romany private names. We have found a little evidence about their public names, which seem to be typical of the country where they are found. Therefore, the best general advice we can give you is that in public a Romany man or woman would have used a normal name for the time and place where he or she lived [1]."

My question is this: Which period were they talking about, and is this still the custom? Would it make sense for this character to go by an ordinary name like Susan or Dee, but have another name she keeps to herself? I think it has the potential to be an interesting plot point, her opening up and trusting someone enough to tell them her other name, but I don't want to use it if it's wildly inaccurate.

Search terms used: Rom/romany/roma/romani/gypsy+names.
Tags: ~names

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