Bohemians are the people of Bohemia, in the Czech Republic, inhabitants of the former Kingdom of Bohemia, located in the modern day Czech Republic. The name derives from the Latin term for the Celtic tribe inhabiting that area, the Boii, who were called "Boiohaemum" in the early Middle Ages. The word "Bohemians" was never used by the local Czech (Slavic) population. In Czech, the region since the early Middle Ages has been called only "Čechy" (Bohemia) or "Království české" (Kingdom of Bohemia), and its mainly Czech-speaking inhabitants were called "Češi".

In other European vernaculars and in Latin (as "Bohemi"), the word "Bohemian" or a derivate was used to designate all inhabitants of Bohemia. If the Czech ethnic origin was to be stressed, combinations like "Bohemian of Bohemian language" ("Čech českého jazyka"), "a real Bohemian" ("pravý Čech") etc. were used.

It was not until the 19th century that other European languages began to use the word "Czechs" (in English — "Tschechen" in German, "tchèques" in French) in a deliberate (and successful) attempt to distinguish between Bohemian Slavs and other inhabitants of Bohemia (mostly Germans). Currently, "Bohemians" is still used when there is need to distinguish between inhabitants of the western part of the Czech Republic (Bohemia), and the eastern part (Moravia) and the north-eastern part (Silesia).

The term "Bohemian" as related to Bohemianism - i.e. describing the untraditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, musicians, and actors in major European cities - has little or nothing to do with the above, though, often leading to confusion.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bohemian FC — Bohemian Football Club Bohemian FC Généralités Nom complet Bohe …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bohemian — Bo*he mi*an, a. 1. Of or pertaining to Bohemia, or to the language of its ancient inhabitants or their descendants. See {Bohemian}, n., 2. [1913 Webster] 2. Of or pertaining to a social gypsy or Bohemian (see {Bohemian}, n., 3); vagabond;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bohemian — a gypsy of society, 1848, from Fr. bohemién (1550s), from the country name (see BOHEMIA (Cf. Bohemia)). The modern sense is perhaps from the use of this country name since 15c. in French for gypsy (they were wrongly believed to have come from… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Bohemian — [bō hē′mē ən, bōhēm′yən] n. 1. a person born or living in Bohemia 2. CZECH1 (n. 2) 3. [Fr Bohémien: from the fact that the Gypsies passed through Bohemia to reach W Europe] a Gypsy 4. [usually b ] a person, esp. an artist, poet, etc., who lives… …   English World dictionary

  • Bohemian — Bo*he mi*an, n. 1. A native of Bohemia. [1913 Webster] 2. The language of the Czechs (the ancient inhabitants of Bohemia), the richest and most developed of the dialects of the Slavic family. [1913 Webster] 3. A restless vagabond; originally, an… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Bohemian — index nonconforming Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • bohemian — [n] nonconformist artist, beatnik*, dilettante, flower child*, free spirit, gypsy, hippie*, iconoclast, writer; concept 423 …   New thesaurus

  • Bohemian — ► NOUN 1) a person from Bohemia, a region of the Czech Republic. 2) a socially unconventional person, especially an artist or writer. ► ADJECTIVE 1) relating to Bohemia. 2) socially unconventional. DERIVATIVES Bohemianism noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Bohemian F.C. — Football club infobox clubname = Bohemian |nat=Ireland fullname = Bohemian Football Club nickname = Bohs The Gypsies founded = 1890 ground = Dalymount Park, Phibsborough, Dublin 7 capacity = 12,200 chairman = Gerry Cuffe (President) manager = Pat …   Wikipedia

  • bohemian — [[t]boʊhi͟ːmiən[/t]] bohemians ADJ GRADED: usu ADJ n You can use bohemian to describe artistic people who live in an unconventional way. ...a bohemian writer. ...bohemian café society. ...the bohemian lifestyle of the French capital. N COUNT A… …   English dictionary