"Elope" from a nursing home?

Charles Cunningham cjc3esq at COMCAST.NET
Fri Nov 16 04:25:10 UTC 2007

Try Googleing "elope juvenile placement" and you will find a common,
specialized usage similar to your nursing home application.  I'm a judge who
hears dependency cases and it took me a while to get accustomed to this

Charlie Cunningham

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of
Laurence Horn
Sent: Thursday, November 15, 2007 11:09 PM
Subject: Re: "Elope" from a nursing home?

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.)


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