In a time of heightened racial awareness when companies everywhere are retiring dated and stereotyped brands, one popular island restaurant is questioning its own name after someone argued it contains an ethnic slur.

Owners of Gypsy Joynt, which has two downtown locations, posted on social media that someone brought to their attention that the word "Gypsy" is an ethnic slur.

"We are using it as traveler, not a slur but if it comes across that way we are definitely up for changing our name!! What do y'all think?”

So far, the restaurant has gotten support for the name. But Eva Weller, whose family owns the restaurant, said in a phone interview Thursday that if more people said they were offended, owners would consider a name change.

The Romani people have a problem with the word Gypsy, according to this 2017 article. “Romani people are an oppressed ethnic minority whose diasporic roots date back to 10th-century India and are currently in the midst of a centuries-long human rights crisis — one that is, in part, perpetuated by the stereotypes of the Gypsy.

“The mythos of the Gypsy is a stew of stereotypes — the thief, the fortune teller, the free spirit, the seductress and the liar … ,” the article goes on to say.

(I'm compelled to note the irony in the fact that, publisher of the above-referenced article, bills itself as a provider of "snappy feminist news and analysis" and has in its name what is increasingly being called out as a sexist slur.)  

But back to Gypsy Joynt and its question.

This article goes on to say: "Gypsy" is commonly used to describe the Romani people. But the term carries many negative connotations, and its derivative carries even more: when somebody is "gypped," they are, according to Merriam-Webster, "defrauded, swindled, cheated."

What do you think? Should Gypsy Joynt change its name?

 Laura Elder: 409-683-5248;

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(37) comments

Brian Tamney

DO NOT change the name, these people who are offended by everything must not be allowed to take over the world!

Jack Reeves


Kenneth Diestler

I think we need a break from this search for some type of racism in every word, phrase, monument, Disney ride, etc--Lighten Up people

Brent Broussard

Good Lord. This country stands no chance if this keeps up.

Jack Reeves


Bailey Jones

I guess they could shorten it to GypJoynt. That way they could insult both the Roma and themselves.

Judy Spring


Dave Andrisek

And the Gypsies motorcycle club? Be sure to notify them too. The Mirriam Webster Dictionary doesn't specify Romania. Get a life.

Gary Scoggin

It’s their restaurant and they can do whatever they feel is right. I have no beef one way or another.

Bill Cochrane

This is an insult to all reader's intelligence. It's simply a marketing tool to get free advertising in the newspaper. And it worked!

PD Hyatt

So many snowflakes who are offended by everything under the sun.... What is a shame is that the MSM is pushing this nonsense! People need to grow up and develop some thicker skin....

Kenneth Cambiano

Nothing better to write about. Really. Just another way to get something started. This whole thing is out of control including the media. What a shame.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

Just need to point out I'm not advocating for a name change. I'm reporting that GypsyJoynt was considering one, which caused a stir on social media. It's buzz-worthy when businesses change their name because of controversy. Interestingly, this appears to be happening at other restaurants around the country.

Kenneth Cambiano

Your just planting the seed. Just what the media does best.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

I'm pretty sure they planted the seed when they posted it on social media.

David Shea

But to amplify it in the newspaper is part of the problem.

Kenneth Cambiano

My point exactly David. Thanks

Meg Cagnola

Do we still live in America? I love how Freedom of Speech only applies to those that agree with the far left. It's their restaurant, they have the right to name it whatever they wish. If you don't like it, don't eat there.

Karen Alberstadt

I completely agree.

Karen Alberstadt

I vote for NOT changing the name.

John E Sr. Macrini

Take it up with Cher …...Gypsies,Tramps and Thieves.

Wayne D Holt

Gypsy: Moth

Gypsy Woman: The Impressions (1961)

Gypsy Rose Lee: Fabric free dance instructor

Connie Reilly

They should not change the name.

Blanca Bell

Please stop being so easily offended.

Jim Forsythe

Now is not the time for a name change. If I was looking for a place to eat, past reviews would be under Gypsy Joynt. Since Galveston has many out of town visitors that depend on online food reviews, do not change the name.

I have eaten at the Gypsy Joynt and it has very good food.

You did the right thing in asking if they should change their name and I vote no.

Cary Semar

This is definitely a fun topic. Keep it going!

Joanne Griffin

I love their food and it’s one of the few places on the island that delivers for free, please don’t change a thing!

Gary Miller

Gypsy cuisine if enjoyed by many people. Naming a cafe for a type of cuisine is a good way to let people know where it can be found. Keep the name, too hell with the complainers. Getting rid of the complainers would be better than changing a name.

Bailey Jones

It would be awesome if they actually served ethnic cuisine, but they don't. It's more trendy American.

Ron Wooten

Love Gypsy Joynt, love the name! Please don't change it. It has always given me the thoughts and feelings of freedom, wandering, joy, acceptance and being who and what we wish to be. It would be sad if the name were to be changed.

John Merritt

Since I am one-sixty fourth Cherokee, I am offended by the name Jeep Cherokee.

Carlos Ponce

I liked the song, Cherokee Nation" by Paul Revere and the Raiders. Is that song now considered racist? Cher's song "Half Breed probably is.

Jeff Gorski


Wayne D Holt


Dan Braverman

Holly not Dan: They were called gypsies because Europeans mistakenly believed they came from Egypt. Get a grip, people.

Jeff Gorski


Iris Crow

If every name of every restaurant was changed, and every street name, every city, yes every business name, etc., the world would not be recognizable. We wouldn’t know where to find anything, how to get anywhere. It would be like moving to a new country that you knew nothing about. How frustrating! This world is spinning around so fast that no one can keep up. I agree, slow down, take a breath, stop thinking of yourselves, and concentrate on what really matters. There are more important things to do than nitpicking everything you see and hear and shredding it to bits. Tearing down all of our landmarks, our memorials, our museums, our buildings. Changing everything serves no purpose! Get a life! If the readers (and many more) don’t have enough to do, just look around; we have so many blessings we can’t count them all. Go in peace. Count your blessings. 😇❤️

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