Karl asked if the words ludicrous and interlude are based on the same root. The short answer: in spite of the spelling-challenged rapper, yes. Both came from the Latin Verb ludere, to play. The concept of play lies beneath the surface of a number of common words, at least in their original meaning. For instance, we have
· allude (to make a playful reference to something)
· collude (to play against someone)
· delude (to play on someone’s hope)
· elude (to playfully evade)
· interlude (a presentation between the acts of a play)
· prelude (the warmup to a play or to a musical piece)
A warning, however. If you see –lude immediately preceded by a –c– (-clude) you are dealing with another source entirely. That source is the Latin verb claudere, to close. Common examples are
· conclude (to close an action)
· exclude (to shut out)
· occlude (to obstruct)
· preclude (to block a course of action)
· seclude (to shut up in isolation)
I came across an intriguing word while researching this topic. The word is hastilude – spear play in a tournament – but I don’t see the point.
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