Word Confusion: Peace versus Piece

Posted November 25, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

No, peace vs. piece is not a frequent word confusion, and yet I feel compelled to include it. I suspect I’m obsessing about pie, as in I want a piece of Thursday’s pumpkin pie. And some of that turkey, and a bit of the cranberry sauce. Nor will I forget to help myself to some of the yams. Yum!

Of course, it being a holiday of family getting together, it’s likely the peace will get cut up with arguments — politics being a favorite.

For myself, I see peace as a very flowing, calm, sort of word. I think it’s all those as as the word just floats along calmly and serenely, just burbling along the stream of words.

Piece, however, has a choppy feel to it. It’s all those es and that i breaking the word, tearing it. It doesn’t feel like a word that flows, but has a more independent stance.

It’s too bad that peace is so frequently in pieces

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Peace Piece
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com

“Peace Sign” was originally uploaded by Schuminweb at English Wikipedia (transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons) and is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

“Man Sets Record by Walking on Broken Glass for 18 Miles” courtesy of The Telegraph

Ouch, ouch, ouch! All those pieces of broken glass!

Part of Grammar:
Noun; Verb, intransitive

Past tense or past participle: peaced
Gerund or present participle: peacing

Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: pieces
Past tense or past participle: pieced
Gerund or present participle: piecing

Used as a greeting

Used as an order to remain silent

Freedom from disturbance

Mental calm; serenity

Freedom from or cessation of war or violence

Ceremonial handshake or kiss exchanged during a service in some churches

Verb, intransitive:
[Obsolete] To be or become silent

Portion of an object or of material, produced by cutting, tearing, or breaking the whole

One of an item that were put together to make something and into which it naturally divides

An item forming part of a set

A written, musical, or artistic creation or composition

A figure or token to make moves on a game board

[Slang] Firearm

[Slang, offensive] Woman

Verb, intransitive:
[Chiefly North Midland U.S.] To eat small portions of food between meals

  • Snack

Verb, transitive:
Assemble something from individual parts

Slowly make sense of something from separate facts and bits of evidence

[Archaic] Extend

[Archaic] Patch

Peace, brother.

We keep hoping for peace in the Middle East.

Isn’t there a song with the phrase peace on earth in it?

Verb, intransitive:
Peace thyself.

Hey, cut me a piece of cheese, willya?

Hey! Who took my bike to pieces?

Ooh, that’s a nice piece of luggage.

What a lovely piece of music!

C’mon, Joe, gimme a piece.

Verb, intransitive:
We’ll probably just piece around all day on Christmas.

Are you piecing?

Verb, transitive:
I pieced five squares together for my quilt.

Sherlock Holmes solved cases by piecing together the hints and clues.

If it be broken, it must be pieced.

Adjective: peaceless, peacelike
Noun: peacelessness, nonpeace, self-peace
Adjective: multipiece, unpieced
History of the Word:
Middle English from the Old French pais, which is from the Latin pax, pac- meaning peace. Archaic:
Extend; patch

Middle English, from the Old French piece is of obscure ultimate origin (compare this with the medieval Latin pecia, petium).

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

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Pinterest Photo Credits

It’s been too long, and I can’t find the original sources for any of these images. If anyone recognizes them, please let me know, so I can credit them.