The exact meaning of Petulengro in Romany means either ‘horseshoe-fellow’ or ‘tinker’.

Petali or Petala is Greek for horseshoe (derived from the Modern Greek).

Engro is an affix, connected with the Sanskrit ‘kara’ - to make.

‘Bedel’, in Hebrew, means tin, and as there is not much difference between the pronunciation of the two words petul and bedel, so it could translate as ‘tin-worker’ (hence ‘tinker’), or ‘horseshoe-fellow’.

Gypsies are the descendants of a prehistoric people who had been turned into nomads by a geological and/or political catastrophe and had been roaming far and wide ever since.

Gypsies, blacksmiths in the Bronze Age, may have established their production centres in the Western Alps of Europe; from there trading as they roamed, they spread their metalworking among the Celts and other tribes.

Reference: Gypsies: An Illustrated History
By Jean-Pierre Liegeois, Al Saqi Books 1986

The Ray Smith Notebook of Metalworking Orgins - Copyright © 2002 Ray Smith
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