It’s fitting that elite emerged as one of the buzzwords of the 2016 presidential election, because elite is the French word for “selection” or “choice.” The word entered English in the late 14th century, when it signified “a chosen person,” especially a bishop-elect; it died out a few decades later and was re-introduced more successfully in Byron’s “Don Juan” (1823).:
At once the ‘lie’ and the ‘elite’ of crowds;
Who pass like water filter’d in a tank,
All purged and pious from their native clouds
In the poem, lie is pronounced lee, and meant “scummy remnant” (as in the lees at the bottom of a wine barrel).
As the name of a typeface, Elite was first recorded in 1920.
Special Elite typeface, “created to mimic the Smith Corona Special Elite Type No NR6 and Remington Noiseless typewriter models.” Via 1001 Fonts.