What does Bohemian Mean?

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What Does Bohemian Mean

We explain what a bohemian is, his relationship with the Bohemian region and with art. Also, examples of its use in sentences.

Bohemian often refers to eccentric artists, writers, musicians, and characters.

What does bohemian mean?

The term bohemian in Spanish can have different meanings, all related in one way or another to the idea of ​​living life in a disorderly, chaotic or free way , without being governed by social conventions and the laws of others.



Let's start at the beginning: Bohemia is a region of central Europe , today located in the present-day Czech Republic, along with Moravia and Silesia. Its name derives from the Boii, a Celtic tribe that inhabited the region around the 5th century BC. C. and that later comprised of the Roman Empire.

Therefore, in later times those who were born in the region were called "bohemians" , without any other connotation than the name of the people.

However, at some point it was thought that gypsies, characterized by their nomadic, disorganized life, and always viewed with distrust by the rest of Europe, were originally from this central region of the continent, and the term Bohemian began to be used as a synonym for "Gypsy" , a meaning that still retains today.

Therefore, it was also used to call those who, precisely, live life as if they were gypsies: without respecting conventions, without staying still for long, without abiding by "good customs".

Furthermore, this latter meaning, which is the one that predominates today, was reinforced in the 19th century when the French romantic novelist Henri Murger (1822-1861) wrote his famous Scéns de la vie de bohemie ("Scenes of Bohemian Life" ), a series of plays in which he portrayed his life as an impoverished writer in Paris.

This work was an important inspiration for later artists, such as the Italian composer Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), author of the opera La bohemia (1896) in which he covered Murger's work.

It was also taken by the composers Gustave Charpentier (1860-1956), author of the opera Louise (1900), and Geroges Bizet (1838-1875), author of the famous opera Carmen (1875), the latter also inspired by the poem “ The Gypsies ”of 1824 by the Russian Alexandr Pushkin (1799-1837).

As we have seen, the term "bohemian" went around many times before ending up meaning what it means today: an individual little given to social conventions , who aspires to live his life freely and who often possesses certain airs of rebellion. It is a very frequent term when referring to eccentric artists, writers, musicians and characters .

It can serve you: Eclectic

Examples of use of the word bohemian

Here are some phrases that exemplify the use of the term "bohemian":

  • "Your father will never approve of you marrying that foul-mouthed bohemian musician ."
  • "Paris has always been the cradle of the bohemians , artists and rebels of the West."
  • "Keith Richards is a perfect example of contemporary bohemia ."
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