In modern contexts, the word Bohemian describes someone who lives an unconventional lifestyle. These people, particularly artists, espoused free love, voluntary poverty, and resistance of the government. In a nutshell, hippies. This term originated in French as bohemien, meaning "gypsy", because the Roma people were traditionally associated with the unorthodoxy of those artists. It gets even more interesting after this: Bohemiens were named after the region of Bohemia in the western Czech Republic, because when they first came to France, there was some unsubstantiated urban legend that they came from that area. Bohemia, likely through Latin or French, ultimately comes from the Proto-Germanic words haimaz, meaning "home" and Boio, the self-appellation for the Celtic Boii tribe. Haimaz hails from Proto-Indo-European koymos, "village", and the origin of Boio is unknown but might have something to do with cattle.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.