So I just stumbled upon this beautiful word, Eleusinian(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleusinian_Mysteries), named after a Greek town. Given they had a history of cool initian rites, and all the jazz of ancient cults, I'm wondering if Elusive and Eleusinian have any connection? Wiktionary suggests no, can anybody verify? Supposedly "elusive" is derrived from "elude". Does this word have a greco-roman origin? https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/elusive


1 Answer 1


First off, let me say I'm not sure why your question has so many close-votes: it is directly about the etymology of a word, and so is definitely within scope.

Okay, elusive comes more-or-less directly from Latin. Latin has the word ēlūdō which apparently can mean "avoided". This word is made up of ex- (out of) and lūdō (a trick). This is evidence against any direct descendance from Greek, because these elements in turn come directly from Proto-Indoeuropean.

I couldn't find any etymology for Eleusis though. But the most likely explanation is a coincidence.

  • The close votes are probably for the sheer unlikelihood, but agreed, it's in scope. Jan 26, 2018 at 18:07
  • That's not what close votes are for, though. Sigh. Jan 28, 2018 at 9:36
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    No, the close votes are because it's a philology question, not a linguistics question.
    – curiousdannii
    Jan 29, 2018 at 1:46
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    @curiousdannii What is your definition of philology?
    – Alex B.
    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:06
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    @AlexB. I'm using it to mean "the study of words" (which is not exactly its real meaning) rather than "the study of languages". Perhaps I should just say it's an etymology question. Here's what I've said on Meta.
    – curiousdannii
    Feb 1, 2018 at 4:11

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