Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Spell (A),

E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Spell (A),
in workman’s language, means a portion of time allotted to some particular work, and from which the men are relieved when the limited time expires.   1
   To spell is to relieve another at his work.   2
   Spell ho! An exclamation to signify that the allotted time has expired, and men are to be relieved by another set.   3
   A pretty good spell. A long bout or pull, as a “spell at the capstan,” etc. (The German spiel means a performance as well as a play, game, or sport.)   4



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