Word-Play (Literally)

With all of the wonderful reading I’ve been doing on games and creative play lately, I realized that some fun insights could be had around words stemming from the Latin word for play.

  • Ludus — Latin for play, game. Also the name for primary schools in ancient Rome.
  • Ludi — Latin for players, or students, depending on context. Also refers to spiritual, festival games.
  • Ludus Magnus — the largest gladiatorial arena in Rome; literally “great game.”

And now for some word in English…

  • Allude — to reference, to play with.
  • Collusion playing together, an agreement.
  • Elude — to escape, literally “away from play.”
  • Illude — to trick, literally “in play.”
  • Illusion — tricking, deceiving, literally “playing upon.”
  • Interlude — between the playing, a pause
  • Ludicrous — outrageous, over-the-top, out of control
  • Prelude — before the playing, a getting ready
  • Postlude — after the playing, a conclusion

What words on this list stand out to you? What connection did you find the most interesting? Are there others you can think of? Please share in the comments!


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