Wordwatch Towers

A plain language guide to punctuation, grammar and writing well.

Travellers and Gypsies

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Vincent van Gogh: The Caravans - Gypsy Camp ne...

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The following are acceptable terms:

  • Travellers (no, not people off on their holidays; they would be travellers, lower-case ‘t’)
  • Gypsies
  • Irish Travellers

Note that these terms always take an initial capital letter.

There is no need to describe people as any of the above if the fact is not relevant to what you are writing about.

Never use words such as ‘tinker’, ‘gypo/gyppo’ or ‘itinerant’. Not even with an initial capital letter.

A no-nonsense guide to political correctness

Sweeping away class barriers?


One Response

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  1. A point of view from Roxy Freeman, writing in The Independent.


    I do not live on the road, but much of my family does. Some relatives legally occupy their own land, but still come up against opposition. Gypsies defy the dreams of those wanting a homogeneous society, which is crime enough in many people’s eyes.

    The extreme ignorance to our way of live saddens and infuriates me, but people only notice the negative side of a travelling life.


    15/02/2011 at 6:11 pm

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