hold your peace


don’t speak

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

“Farming supermarket ‘victims’ urged to speak out” - Supermarket suppliers with a grievance have been urged to speak up soon or forever HOLD THEIR PEACE.”

The Scotsman

Did you
know?

hold one’s peace
phrase

to keep silent

Collins Dictionary /


ORIGIN

During the 16th century English Reformation and following Henry VIII's break with Rome, communication between areas was slow and complicated. When a marriage was impending it was announced for three consecutive Sundays. This would give parishioners in the area a chance to raise an objection to the marriage, usually on the grounds that the groom in question was already married to someone else.

During the actual marriage ceremony, as a last chance to hear anyone’s objections, 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.

This phrase is often, but not always, included in today’s marriage ceremonies as a formality. The term “Speak now or forever hold your peace” is now also used in other situations as a warning that it is one’s last chance to object to something, or to voice an opinion.


HOLD YOUR PEACE, OR ELSE!

Kondraty Ryleyev was a Russian poet, publisher, and a leader of the Decembrist Revolt, which attempted to overthrow Russia’s Czar, Nicholas I in 1825.

The rebellion was quickly crushed and Nicolas I sentenced Ryleyev to death by hanging. Later, when the trapdoor opened, Ryleyev dangled from the rope for a split second before it broke and the rebel leader came crashing to the ground.

At this time in Russia, superstition ran high and situations, such as a broken rope, weren’t seen as coincidences but as divine intervention. Believing he was in the clear, Ryleyev climbed to his feet and shouted at the crowd:

“You see, in Russia they don’t know how to do anything properly, not even how to make rope!”

Later, as a disappointed Nicholas I found himself forced to sign the pardon that would make Ryleyev a free man, a messenger shared with the Czar the rebel’s last words. Nicholas I, dropped his quill pen, looked at the messenger and said:

“In that case, let us prove the contrary.”

The Tsar simply ordered more rope, and the execution was carried out not long after the first attempt. Ryleyev died holding a book of Byron’s poetry.

MORAL of the story: To keep the peace, it’s sometimes better to hold one’s peace!


SYNONYMS

hush, be quiet, stop talking, fall silent, quieten down, pipe down, belt up, clam up, shut it, cut the cackle, can it, save it, hold your tongue, quit chattering, shut your face, shut your gob, shut your mouth, shut your trap, button it, say no more, give it a rest, keep one’s lips sealed, keep mum, put a sock in it, keep your trap shut, keep your face shut, zip it


SMUGGLE OWAD into a conversation today, say something like:

“To keep the peace, it’s sometimes better to HOLD ONE’S PEACE!”


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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