Can anyone explain the unique use of the word "spell" to indicate a break, a period of time, a relief from work?|
Come in and set a spell.
After a workout, I need to spell myself for ten minutes of rest.
I spelled the First Mate at the end of the mid-watch.
It obviously has no relationship to correct orthograph. Could it perhaps have a common ancestry with the German word Spiel, relating to fun or a game or a toy?
||One theory goes that it comes from the Old English, spala, which meant something like "stand-in," or "surrogate."|