Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary, or spiritual pursuits. In this context, Bohemians may or may not be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.
This use of the word in the English language was imported from French in the mid 19th century and was used to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities.Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which often were expressed through free love, frugality, and—in some cases—simple living, vandwelling or voluntary poverty. A more economically privileged, wealthy, or even aristocratic bohemian circle is sometimes referred to as haute bohème (literally "high Bohemia").The term bohemianism emerged in France in the early 19th century, when artists and creators began to concentrate in the lower-rent, lower class, Romani neighborhoods. Bohémien was a common term for the Romani people of France, who were mistakenly thought to have reached France in the 15th century via Bohemia (the western part of modern Czech Republic). The term 'bohemianism' and the description 'bohemian' in this specific context has nothing to do with the ethnic or geographic term 'Bohemian' as it pertains to the historically indigenous people from the western part of the present day Czech Republic.