A gipsy, an impostor. The first gipsies that entered France came from Bohemia, and appeared before Paris in 1427. They were not allowed to enter the city, but were lodged at La Chapelle St. Denis.
A slang term applied to literary men and artists of loose and irregular habits, living by what they can pick up by their brains.
“Never was there an editor with less about him of the literary Bohemian. A strong contrast to his unhappy contemporary, Chatterton.” —Fortnightly Review: Paston Letter.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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