lift off

kahroba

Senior Member
Persian
Hi
What's meant by "it's time they got the motor lifted off me." in the following context from "The Big Money" by Dos Passos:
Time: 1920s
Location: a trial air field in Detroit
Charley, the American ace pilot in WW1, has developed a new plane motor. He has had a crash while trying to fly his plane, equipped with his own motor.
In the ambulance he tried to ask the man in the white jacket about Bill and to remember back exactly what had happened, but the leg kept him too busy trying not to yell. "Hay, doc," he managed to croak, "can't you get these aluminum splinters out of my side? the damn ship must have turned turtle on them. Wing couldn't take it maybe, but it's time they got the motor lifted off me. Hay, doc, why can't they get a move on?"
 
  • reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    The textual information provided does not give any indication what is meant by the "motor" other than the airplane motor. So we have to assume Charley actually means what he says, to wit: the airplane motor landed on him during the crash and it's still on him and he's asking the "doc" to lift it off him.
     
    Last edited:

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    I agree with reno. I wonder if the speaker is hallucinating, since he clearly cannot have an aircraft engine on top of him when he is in the ambulance, or any other "motor" for that matter.
     

    kahroba

    Senior Member
    Persian
    I agree with reno. I wonder if the speaker is hallucinating, since he clearly cannot have an aircraft engine on top of him when he is in the ambulance, or any other "motor" for that matter.
    I agree with you both that he is hallucinating. So when he says "Hay, doc, why can't they get a move on?" is he asking them to move the weight off him?
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    why can't they get a move on? = Why can't they hurry up?

    Cf: "Get a move on!" = "Hurry up!"
     
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