Say Your Piece (or Hold Your Peace)

A woman saying her piece

Today we?Re going to speak approximately the right phrase to apply in a not unusual expression: ?To mention your piece.?

This came up currently within the place of work of our visitor writer Samantha Enslen.

Sam assures us that she by no means fights together with her coworkers. But in the future she was having a teeny confrontation together with her colleague Magi through chat. Sam said her point; Magi said hers. Then, Magi wrote ?I?Ve stated my peace.? P-E-A-C-E.

Sam chatted back, ?I suppose you mean ?I?Ve stated my PIECE.?? P-I-E-C-E.

Now the combat become definitely on.

What?S exciting, Sam located, is that each girls had been considering actual sayings. There are expressions?One makes use of ?Peace? With an ?Ea,? And the opposite makes use of ?Piece? With an ?Ie.? But their meanings are very one of a kind.

The first expression is to ?Talk one?S piece" or ?To mention one?S piece??Spelled P-I-E-C-E. This method to say what you observed and then announce which you?Ve completed so.

For example, in case you have been arguing with a pal over the merits of Star Trek versus Star Wars, you may explain your factor and then say, ?I?Ve said my piece.? In different phrases, you?Ve stated everything you have got to mention on the difficulty. Now it?S up for your friend to make her very own choice.

This phrase ?Piece? On this expression alludes to a memorized poem or speech, the sort you would possibly have made in basic college. It first seemed in print in the early 1800s.

This phrase calls to thoughts the expression to ?Supply someone a chunk of your mind,? However the two are unrelated. The latter one dates returned to the 1500s, and the ?Piece? Here really means a ?Element.? Note that the portion of the thoughts on this phrase is constantly poor. You most effective deliver someone ?A bit of your thoughts? When you?Re indignant and ready to share some fierce grievance.

The 2d expression is to ?Keep one?S peace? Or to ?Preserve one?S peace??Spelled P-E-A-C-E. This is the close to-opposite of the preceding phrase; it way to hold quiet.

For example, in case your friend insisted that Star Wars became advanced?And also you had been uninterested in arguing about it?You may ?Maintain your peace? And genuinely say ?You?Re right.?

You?Ve likely heard this expression in traditional Christian wedding ceremonies. The man or woman officiating usually says some thing like this:

Into this union those humans now come to be joined. If every body can display just reason why they’ll no longer be lawfully wed, talk now or for all time maintain your peace.

In other phrases, if you got a problem with these getting married, now?S the time to mention it.

“Hold your peace” was first seen in writing in 1250. But a variation of this phrase, to “hold one’s tongue,” goes back much farther. The first recorded use was in a book called “Gregory’s Pastoral Care.” This was written by Pope Gregory I around the year 590 and translated into Old English by King Alfred The Great in 897.

Let’s take a moment to say that Alfred was a pretty cool guy. He was king of the Wessex region at the time the Vikings were raiding England. As part of their onslaught, the Vikings regularly destroyed monasteries—and all of the books within them. At the time, monasteries were not only religious centers, but also centers of learning—somewhat like the maesters’ Citadel in Game of Thrones.

Alfred saw that this destruction was eating away at literacy and learning. In his introduction to “Pastoral Care,” he wrote that “so general was its [Latin’s] decay in England that there were very few on this side of the Humber who could understand their rituals in English or translate a letter from Latin into English … so few that I cannot remember a single one south of the Thames when I came to the throne.”

In response, he commenced to translate books from Latin into Anglo-Saxon (aka Old English), and he recruited a set of students to assist him. He selected books he thought it ?Maximum considered necessary for guys to know, and to deliver it to bypass … If we have the peace, that each one the kids now in England … Can be dedicated to learning.?

In short, Alfred changed into an early proponent of translating important texts from Latin into English, in order that they could be understood with the aid of a broader variety of humans. So that more human beings could examine?And learn how to read.

(A side note: this seems like a simple idea, but in the United States, the Catholic Mass was spoken in Latin all the way up to 1964.)

OK! After a couple small detours, we?Ll wrap this section up. We mentioned two terms: talk your piece, with an ?Ie,? And hold your peace, with an ?Ea.? The first means to mention what you observed. The 2d means to preserve your opinion to your self.

Samantha Enslen runs Dragonfly Editorial. You can find her at or @DragonflyEdit.

Ammer, Christine. Hold one’s tongue, piece of one’s mind, speak one’s piece. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms, 2nd ed. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Oxford English Dictionary, online edition. Oxford University Press. Hold one’s peace, hold one’s tongue, speak one’s piece,  (subscription required, accessed March 6, 2018).

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

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