What Does Bohemian Mean?


7 Answers

Babz Bell Profile
Babz Bell answered
If I may consult my trusty Chambers 20th Century Dictionary (always better than Oxford English, I don't care what anyone says), they define Bohemian as follows Noun. A native or inhabitant of Bohemia; a Czech; a gypsy;  a person of loose or irregular habits; an artist or man of letters, or indeed anyone, who sets conventions aside: The Czech language. Also adjective.

Bohemian comes from the French Bohemien, a gypsy, from the belief that these wanderers came from Bohemia, a historical region in central Europe, occupying the western two-thirds of the traditional Czech Lands. It is now located in the contemporary Czech Republic with its capital in Prague. In a broader meaning, it often refers to the entire Czech territory, including Moravia and Czech Silesia, especially in historical contexts, such as the Kingdom of Bohemia.

Flicking through my equally handy Chambers Giant Thesaurus, synonyms for Bohemian as an adjective include: Alternative, artistic, avant-garde, bizarre, eccentric, exotic, non conformist, offbeat, original, unconventional, unorthodox, (and more colloquially) arty, oddball, off-the-wall, way-out. Antonyms include bourgeois, conventional, orthodox.
For Bohemian as a noun, synonyms include: Beatnik, drop-out, hippie, non conformist.
As you can see it can be both a compliment and a slur so be careful where and when you employ this wonderful word. Any doubts? Use the synonyms provided above.

Just as a little aside, a Bohemian ruby is rose quartz and a Bohemian topaz is citrine.
Arun Raj Profile
Arun Raj answered
Traditionally the word bohemian means "a gypsy". Bohemian also means an unconventional or eccentric behaviour. A person who is a nonconformist or someone who disregards traditional or conventional norms of behaviour is called a bohemian. Very often artists and creative people are associated with having a bohemian life style. Not only are they unconventional in dress and mannerisms but also in their outlook. They would rather live by their rules rather than live life the usual way.

Bohemian also refers to a native of Bohemia in the Czech Republic. The traditional bohemian or the gypsy is a dusky skinned person who would earn his or her livelihood by doing seasonal work and fortune telling. Believed to have once originated in India, bohemians are found the world over in almost all the continents of the world especially Africa, Europe and North America.
Michael Era Profile
Michael Era answered
There was a country called Bohemia, now the Czech republic, then there is bohemianism, a way of life, sorta hippie, or gypsyfied if you will, a culture of life where the people are very artistic and very carefree.
Sandy Rass Profile
Sandy Rass answered
Someone from the Bohemia region of Austria
Fred Jones Profile
Fred Jones answered
An asshole

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