[Idiom] at peace vs in peace

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yuriya

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Hello, everyone! I wonder when to use at peace and when to use in peace. For example, rest in peace, come in peace, at peace with oneself etc. Thanks in advance!
 

BobK

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At peace is a good place to be. If the person is known to be alive, s/he is at peast with him/herself. But someone who has died may be, in Christian terms, at peace (while - in those same terms - s/he is in peace. The commonly used tag 'RIP' is an abbreviation of the Latin requiesca[n]t in pace - [=may s/he/they rest in peace [that is, they are in peace but may they come to be at peace with God*]]. By contrast 'there's no rest for the wicked' - an idiomatic phrase commonly used today, in a secular society, even in the mouths of people who don't realize its theological background.

To 'come in peace' is nothing to do with being dead - apart, of course, from the speaker's wanting to remain alive. ;-)

* Please note that this is not a point of personal belief. But understanding the English language involves understanding its Christian roots.

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yuriya

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Thanks for the insight! I never realized this before but I get this feeling that expressions such as "peace be with you"or "peace out" are in fact ways of wishing you to make peace with God or be at peace with God?
 

Tdol

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Peace out often refers to making the peace sign with two fingers in a V shape, which isn't connected with religion as far as I know.
 

BobK

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Thanks for the insight! I never realized this before but I get this feeling that expressions such as "peace be with you"or "peace out" are in fact ways of wishing you to make peace with God or be at peace with God?
In fact, 'Peace be with you' is used in the Mass; it's the traditional translation of the Latin pax vobiscum (although in the Latin there's no verb, and it just means 'peace with you'). I've never met 'peace out'. I think the idea of making one's peace with God or just generally is a matter of context. If my Auntie Katie said 'peace be with you', she was thinking about God (but she did that all the time anyway!); priests use the expression in 'blessings' [saying goodbye formally], often using the expression '[may] the peace of the Lord be with you'; but people wishing 'peace' for each other may be doing so quite atheistically.

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