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  1. #1
    mrghd is offline Junior Member
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    What does "cast off her spell" mean?

    Hello Everybody,

    I currently read Iceberg Slim's book: "Pimp -The story of my life". Since I am not a native English speaker I have problems with interpreting some expressions in it. I Would be grateful if You could help me to understand these phrases or slang words exactly.

    Now my question is: What does "cast off her spell" mean? Below I give you the short detail that contains this expression:

    "About ninety days after Steve smashed my kitten Mama cast off her spell, and one gray April dawn while Steve layed in a drunken, open-mouthed stupor, Mama and I packed what we could carry and moved into a hotel room."

    (The background is: Slim as a little boy and his mother temporarily lived with a cruel man, a former lover of his mother (Steve), but he hurted them so many times that the mother finally decided to leave.)

    Does "cast of her spell" mean that:

    a) the mother finally made her decision to escape

    b) she said to his little boy that they gonna escape and these words was like some magic spell for the kid who had been eager to go away for a long time.

    c) anything else?

    many thanks in advance

    mrghd

  2. #2
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: What does "cast off her spell" mean?

    It's not particularly well-expressed (in common with much of the text!) 'Cast' collocates with 'spell' in the phrase 'to cast a spell'. There is also the phrase 'to cast off' (what you do with bed-clothes for example'. In this case, you're right - his mother's made a decision to get away from Steve's influence. It's unusual (at best ) to say 'cast off a spell'. You break a spell, and in this case it's his (Steve's) spell - the magic that keeps her with her abusive man.

    b

    PS BNC lists these eighteen cases of 'cast' appearing near 'spell':
    1 CAST A SPELL 9
    2 CAST ITS SPELL 3
    3 CAST HIS SPELL 1
    4 CAST YOUR SPELL 1
    5 CAST THIS SPELL 1
    6 CAST THEIR SPELL 1
    7 CAST THE SPELL 1
    8 CAST NO SPELL 1
    There is no instance of 'cast off a spell' either in BNC or in COCA. But the writer is presumably a self-taught low-life - so don't expect too much!
    Last edited by BobK; 30-May-2012 at 13:23.

  3. #3
    mrghd is offline Junior Member
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    Re: What does "cast off her spell" mean?

    Thank You, It is much clearer now!

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