What Does Cast One’s Lot With Mean?

To Cast One’s Lot With

Definition: Decide to join someone or something and share in his or her fate.

When someone casts his lot with someone or something, he is joining this person or this group and, therefore, joins the fate of these people.

Origin of Cast One’s Lot With

Casting lots is also called cleromancy. It is the practice of using different methods to generate a random outcome, such as rolling dice. People cast lots in order to divide work or land. Sometimes they cast lots to make decisions or choose their fate.

The Old Testament of the Bible mentions this practice often. Ancient Romans also used this method.

If a person chose to cast his lot with someone else, this means he would accept the outcome this person received.

Examples of Cast One’s Lot With

Meaning of casting of lotsIn the below example, two friends are talking about a problem one of them has at work.

Ted: Are you okay? You seem stressed.

Rufio: I’ve been having more problems at work. The teachers are dividing into two groups. One group wants to unionize. The other doesn’t.

Ted: Oh, I see. What are you going to do?

Rufio: Well, I’d like to unionize. However, I’m worried that if I cast my lot with that group, I’ll lose my job.

Ted: It’s a tough decision.

Define cast my lotThis dialogue shows a woman talking about her younger brother with her friend.

Zayna: Look, I think you should meet with my little brother and talk to him.

Ben: Why me? We barely know each other.

Zayna: I know. But he respects you, and I think it might help for someone to speak to him, man to man.

Ben: What’s going on? What’s the problem?

Zayna: He’s cast his lot with this group of kids who are doing drugs and other illegal stuff. I want him to stay away from them.   

More Examples

The excerpt below analyzes which roles are best for the actor Ryan Reynolds.

  • “Green Lantern” was instructive for what not to do. For one thing, don’t cast your lot with a single radioactive-looking color scheme. For another, don’t ask a comedic actor to do pious superhero work. –New York Times

This excerpt is about whether to pick the side of those who spend their money or those or save it.

  • There are a few other things worth considering before you decide to cast your lot with the cash hoarders. –New York Daily News

Summary

To cast one’s lot with is an expression that means to choose to support or work with a person or group and to share in whatever happens.

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