pinch off - pinched it plum off

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Senior Member
Español, Chile

I'm translating this conversation into Spanish:
A. How did your granddaddy lose his finger again?
B. He was working in the field with uncle Bill,
and uncle Bill was driving the tractor.
And he was towing a chain behind it.
I can't exactly remember what it was for.
And then, he was pulling it and granddaddy was straightening it out,
and there was a loop in the chain.
He caught his finger and he just pinched it plum off.
A. Oh yeah?
B. And he... yeah, and he took it to the doctor and...
and then granddaddy always says the doctor messed it up,
'cause it... it couldn't bend as good as it used to.

I get the general idea, but I want to translate it as precisely as possible.

1. Is "to pinch off" the same as "to rip off"? The finger was totally separated from the hand?
2. Did he rip it off himself? Or did the chain rip it off from the hand?
3. Does the word "plum" add any connotation?

  • andryuu

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    Hey mate,

    As for the word plum, see this link. "Plum off" here would mean "completely off".
    I would say, from the context, that the chain pulled his finger completely off.
    Lastly, "to pinch" is a little different to "to rip". Imagine you picked a banana off a tree and then peeled the skin off the banana. When you pick it off the tree by grabbing it and pulling, this is similar to pinching. When you peel the skin off the banana, you are ripping. It's a bad example :p but I hope it helps a little.

    I'll leave the translating to yourself and the native speakers here!
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