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Hi, I just had an argument with a friend on the phrase "Speak now or forever hold your peace", usually used in matrimonial proceedings. According to him, it ought to be "Speak now or forever hold your piece" which though not grammatically wrong, it in my opinion not the proper usage in the context of the original phrase.

Can someone shed some light on this please? I am absolutely convinced that its shd be PEACE and not PIECE. Emotion: smile

THANKS!
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I'm glad you asked because I have no Gravley idea that way we can both find out what is going on and not be made out to be false the next time we pronounce this phrase phrase
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Actually it is "peace" from the Anglican Church's 1662 Book Of Common Prayer "THE FORM OF SOLEMNIZATION OF MATRIMONY" see https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-worship/worship/book-of-common-prayer/the-form-of-solemnization-of-matrimony.aspx "Therefore if any man can shew any just cause, why they may not lawfully be joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for ever hold his peace."

Sorry for being 6 years late. I just don't understand how "speak your piece" is a proper idiom, yet "hold your peace" is considered different. Is it possible that, at one point in the evolution of English, that peace/piece were used to mean the same thing as alternative spellings, ie you/thou etc?
It is peace.
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You can speak your piece or you can hold it. Peace has nothing to do with this saying
PEACE as in calm
fold towelIs it possible that, at one point in the evolution of English, that peace/piece were used to mean the same thing as alternative spellings,

No, they have different origins. There is no relation between the two idioms.

Idioms with "hold"

Hold your tongue!
Hold your horses!
hold one's peace
Don't hold your breath
hold (all) the cards
hold a candle to

Idioms with "speak"

speak one's mind
speak one's piece
speak of the devil
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PEACE
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