Casted

The verb cast is conventionally uninflected in the past tense and as a past participle. Casted  is an old form—examples are easily found in texts from every century from the 14th to the present—but it has given way to cast in modern English. In current usage, however, casted is gaining ground, especially where cast means either (1) to assemble actors for a performance, or (2) to throw out bait and/or a lure on a fishing line. (Both these senses have extended metaphorical uses where casted is likewise used at least some of the time). Many people object to casted, but that doesn’t change the fact that it is catching on and not likely to go away soon.

Examples

First, let’s look at two examples of the traditional form. In this example, cast is used as a past-tense verb:

I cast my line, and sure enough he was all over it. [Colorado Angler]

And in this sentence, cast is a past participle:

Ranulph Mabier, cast ashore by one of the Channel’s fierce storms, comes to live with the du Frocqs … [Shelf Love]

When the verb cast means to assemble a lineup of actors, the past-tense and past-participle casted is becoming more common. Here are a few examples of the word in action:

Jessica Biel, left, and Jaime Foxx, centre front, star in Garry Marshall’s impressively casted romantic comedy Valentine’s Day. [Metro News]

The total votes casted in Uniontown on Tuesday were 1,431, which represented a turnout of 55 percent.  [Associated Press via Real Clear Politics]

It has casted a pall over Delhi’s Games just as the problem-plagued event has begun to iron out the kinks. [Australian]

Of course, we are never required to use casted, and those who prefer the older form can go on using it, even in theater- and fishing-related contexts. Most editors around the English-speaking world still stamp it out when they see it.

26 thoughts on “Casted”

  1. I strongly disagree, Casted is NOT a word. Just because people use it doesn’t mean it is a word. Just because ain’t is now in the dictionary doesn’t mean it’s a word either. When fishing you cast, present and past tense. When casting a film a role has been cast. Casted is NOT a word.

    Reply
    • A word is a sound or a combination of sounds that communicates a meaning. “Casted” is one of these. One of the beautiful things about English is that there is no all-powerful arbiter who decides these things for us. The language is shaped by how English-speakers use it. Most dictionaries are historical documents, not guides for proper usage; all they do is set down a record of the language as English-speakers use it and have used it. Whether any of us finds a word objectionable doesn’t enter into it.

      Anyway, it is obvious lots of people have decided “casted” is a useful word, and there’s nothing we can do about that. The good news is we are all free to shun words we don’t like, and no one is ever going to force you to adopt this new word.

      Plus, something we neglect to mention in the above post (but will cover in our next revision) is that “casted” is actually an old form going all the way back to Old English, and examples are easily found in English texts from as recent as the 18th century. It just fell out of favor for a while, and now it’s starting to come back.

      Reply
      • Language is made up of rules. There is a right way and a wrong way. Normally the americans shorten things and it becomes accepted in culture through use. This doesn’t make it correct. Proper english is laid down and changes slightly with modernism. Casted is not a word in the english dictionary and in use there isn’t a requirement to use the extended ‘casted’. Bottom line is that it is used through ignorance of the correct terminology. Your 3rd & 4th sentences are not accepted by my school upbringing, sorry chum.

        Reply
        • Please point us toward the rule saying that “cast” cannot be inflected “casted” in the past tense. Even if there were so-called rules for this sort of thing, the rule would be that we make verbs past tense by adding “-ed.” The uninflected past-tense “cast” flaunts this rule because it is an irregular verb–i.e., a verb that by convention breaks the rules. So if you believe so strongly in letting rules guide our language in a perfectly logical way, then you should be in favor of the newer form.

          “Casted,” incidentally, is a very old form. Chaucer used it, and so did Shakespeare a couple of centuries later. The reason we typically use “cast” in the past tense is that lots of people did it that way and it became conventional–exactly what you say “doesn’t make it correct.”

          This is of course a useless discussion, though, as we know from long experience that there’s no point trying to discuss these things with people who insist that their own English–i.e., the rules and norms they learned in school–is the only proper English, especially when it gives them an excuse to talk about the ignorance of Americans (or whoever they don’t like).

          Reply
          • If we were writing formally, yes. But don’t you think a more conversational tone is appropriate for internet comment sections?

          • It doesn’t flout (what you *meant* to say instead of “flaunt” — ye gods and little fishes!) the -ed rule; the question is whether the past form of “cast” is an irregular verb in all cases or not. As an analog, the past form of “hang” can be either regular (ending in -ed) or irregular; we say “hung” if we’re talking about pictures on a wall, and “hanged” if we’re talking about felons. No one is arguing that the usual past tense of “cast” is the irregular “cast”, which resembles the past of other one-syllable verbs ending in -t such as cut, hurt, put, and quit; however, does there exist a case where the regular -ed form, casted, is correct? I think that in reference to casting a film, or casting actors for a role, that it is. It’s a different sense from the original meaning of the verb, which is “to throw.”

          • However, it’s worth noting that Merriam-Webster does not recognize “casted” in any sense, even the medical one.

        • casted is indeed a word. anyone who says otherwise is an idiot. casted is an old form of the past tense of cast. it was used as early as the 1500s

          Reply
    • 8saefohDSFHLH is a word, Donna. It’s just not a very good one. Casted is a better word than 8saefohDSFHLH, but proper English would dictate the use of “cast” under most circumstances. Its proliferation can probably be pointed to similar sounding words for which the “ed” suffix is actually appropriate. I mostly refer to “accost” as an example, but there are a few others. Similarities in context and sound issue the usage without assuage to these now former relics of our language.

      Reply
  2. Come on people, it’s two letters LESS. For once you can be lazy and not feel guilty about it.

    The past tense of cast is cast.

    Reply
  3. What about in terms of casting a spell? There’s this one game that counts “spells casted” at the end of every level, and it REALLY annoyed me because I have never heard or read anyone saying “I casted a spell,” or any variation of that. My spell check is also underlining the word.

    Reply
  4. You clearly are not as educated as you think because casted is an old form of the past tense of cast it was used as early as the 1500s in fact my oxford dictionary specifically has the word casted in it. and states that casted is the old form of cast

    Reply
  5. Saying it’s “catching on” because a bunch of illiterate people own computers and type on the internet does not validate the word.

    Reply

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