How it’s Used:
“Man, five dollars for a candy bar? What a gyp!”
What You’re Actually Saying:
“Man, five dollars for a candy bar? You’re a filthy Eastern European immigrant.”
Gyp is thought to be short for “Gypsy.” And long before that term meant a group of odd people who roam the countryside running scams, it was an ethnic slur for the Romany people who immigrated from Eastern Europe. The term “Gypsy” evolved from the habit of calling the people Egyptians, because they sort of looked Egyptian and the locals were apparently too shy to ask the people where they were actually from.
The point is the negative meaning of the word started centuries ago, and even now plays off the common stereotype of Gypsies as sneaky, thieving con artists. At least they don’t break all your stuff like the Vandals, though.