"Crypto" is a Latin root meaning "buried" (or, metaphorically, "obscured"). Modern English instances include cryptography, crypt, and Krypton (so named because the Noble Gasses are unreactive and thus difficult to identify, and because krypton is extremely rare).

Crypto- can also be used as a prefix to indicate that the appended thing or quality is hidden. For example, a politician who claimed to support welfare for the poor by giving large tax breaks to corporations might be called a crypto-conservative. Crypto-fascist is another popular term.

Using crypto- to describe something is usually inflammatory, since it implies that it is not entirely honest.

Crypto comes from the Latin crypta, for crypt, and prior to that from the Greek kruptein, "to hide." (etymology taken from the American Heritage Dictionary).

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