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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!
+4
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

It's 'peace'. 'Hold your peace' means 'be silent, don't say anything'. In other words, take this opportunity to speak of any reason these two people should not get married, or else never say anything about this matter in the future.

I refuse to speculate on what it would mean if someone at a wedding decided to 'hold their piece'.

Best wishes, Clive
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The correct spelling is Peace

In a marriage ceremony, the phrase: "speak now or forever hold your peace" is the correct spelling and word use. "Speak now or forever hold your piece" is incorrect.

It can often be confused with the saying "to say your piece" (not "say your peace"). This refers to contributing one's opinion on a matter.

Speak now or forever hold your peace – Grammarist (grammarist.com)

The use of the phrase "speak now or forever hold your peace" is spoken to present a chance for someone to vocalise a reason for the couple not to be wed. To break their peace essentially.

Definition of peace

The word peace is a noun.

The noun, peace, means freedom from disturbance or a sense of tranquillity.

Definition of piece

The word piece is a noun.

The noun, piece, means a portion of an object or of material, produced by cutting, tearing, or breaking the whole.

Using the phrase in a sentence

Example:

The priest was required to state that, if anyone knew why the couple should not be joined in holy matrimony, let them "speak now or forever hold their peace".

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Comments  
CliveHi,

I refuse to speculate on what it would mean if someone at a wedding decided to 'hold their piece'.

Best wishes, Clive

One of your more cowardly moments, eh Clive?
It's piece. As in, your oration. Hold your piece. If you were at peace with the situation it would not need to be held. Speak now or forever hold your piece implies that you have something to say on the matter, but if you do not share it at that time, you must hold it forever.
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Hi,

No. 'Hold your peace' is an archaic way of saying 'be silent'.

Consider this.

MINISTER) Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of God to join this man, and this woman in holy matrimony. Not to be entered into lightly, holy matrimony should be entered into solemnly and with reverence and honor. Into this holy agreement these two persons come together to be joined. If any person here can show cause why these two people should not be joined in holy matrimony, speak now or forever hold your peace.

From http://www.dotcomwomen.com/home/wedding/traditional-wedding-vows.shtml

Clive
I actually think it's "piece" as in "speak your piece now, or forever hold it".
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This link gives the best justification for the correct word being "Peace."

http://www.answerbag.com/q_view/32175
I have seen this question posted numerous times. Repeatedly, I see well-intentioned misinformation.

The correct rendition of this oft-invoked phrase is: "Speak now, or forever hold your piece," not "Speak now or forever hold your peace."

While it sounds pleasing to the ear, "Speak now, or forever hold your peace," is not grammatically correct nor are there idiomatic English references asking someone to "hold your peace," although a person may be exhorted to "keep the peace."

The phrase "Speak now, or forever hold your piece," is a linguistic cousin to the expression "Have you said your piece?" (Have you said what you wanted to say?) When you realize realize the connection and similar inference between the two expressions, it becomes apparent that the last word of the phrase is spelled p-i-e-c-e and not p-e-a-c-e.
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