1590s, from Anglo-Fr. aloper "run away from a husband with one's lover" (1338), from O.Fr es- + M.E. lepen "run, leap," or M.Du. (out)lopen "run away." Sense of "lovers who run from parents to marry secretly" is 19c. The oldest Gmc. word for "wedding" is represented by O.E. brydlop (cf. O.H.G. bruthlauft, O.N. bruðhlaup), lit. "bridal run," the conducting of the woman to her new home. Related: Eloped; eloping.