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)


Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.


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