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  1. #1
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    Default Hold your piece oe hold your peace

    I am trying to find the origin for this expression and the correct key word. Is it piece, as in "speak your mind" or peace, as in "don't start a war?" Anyone know the origin?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Hold your piece oe hold your peace


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    Default Re: Hold your piece oe hold your peace

    Note: I am not a teacher...

    That link doesn't say they are equivalent at all. It says you hold your peace but *speak* your piece.

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    susiedqq is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Hold your piece oe hold your peace

    That's because they are not the same.

    Hold your peace means to keep cool, wait,

    Speak your piece means to speak your "piece of mind", which is to speak whatever is on your mind (say what you think).

  5. #5
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    Question Re: Hold your piece oe hold your peace

    I'm also not a teacher, but I do a great deal of writing in my line of work and this phrase always bothers me.

    If I see "hold your piece," my editorial response back to them is "hold my piece of what?" It sounds like an unfinished thought, whereas "hold your peace" derives from the "speak now or forever hold your peace" heard in wedding services.

    I'm also troubled by the phrase "speak your piece," which is commonly accepted to mean "speak aloud a piece of writing." I think it's more correct to use "speak your peace," with peace referring to "peace of mind." If I see "speak your piece of mind," I need to know to what piece of mind are we referring: the frontal lobe, hippocampus, the medulla oblongata?

    But each day is an opportunity to learn, so what am I missing?

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    Default Re: Hold your piece oe hold your peace

    I think what you're missing is that the idiomatic expression "give you a piece of my mind" is exactly that:it's figurative. It isn't intended to be taken literally so a rational argument against it based on a literal interpretation is not a valid one. It's simply an idiom meaning to tell someone what you'e thinking. Idioms are found readily in the English language and this one is a particularly common one that, as far as I know, has never given people, academics or otherwise, any cause for concern in the past. Take a look at the definition listed at any online dictionary.

    I think the definition you'll find is a broadly accepted one.

    Also, the hypothalmus and frontal lobe are parts of the human brain, not the mind.

    I'm sorry if I seem a little blunt, but it strikes me that quibling over long-established and well-accepted figurative expressions is a little silly.
    Last edited by nordicskiwidow; 03-Dec-2009 at 07:08. Reason: mis-spelling

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Hold your piece oe hold your peace

    Sorry, I should add that I was referring to the problem you mentioned with the phrase "speak your piece".
    If someone writes "hold your piece" then, as you said, they've confused it with "hold your peace" and it needs to be changed.

    Apologies.

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