"Elope" from a nursing home?

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Nov 16 04:09:25 UTC 2007

At 10:58 PM -0500 11/15/07, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>I have been told that a resident of a nursing home was informed that
>he would not be readmitted because he had eloped (that is, left
>without permission and not returned soon).  While "elope" does have
>such a sense (2. gen. To run away, escape, abscond), I find this
>application unusual.  Any comments?
Unusual if not downright archaic.  The first kind of eloping was done
by a woman running off from her husband with a lover; only later was
it transferred to running off from her parents, or more generally
abscond or escape.  I've never heard it in this OED sense 2.  Could
it be regional? Do prisoners ever "elope"?  (I love the OED cite from
Keats, 1817:  "Spenserian vowels that elope with ease".  Now
*consonants* could never elope like that.)


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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